"As you know, a few weeks ago I was minding my own business, thinking that I've only taken this team to two NCAA tourney games in the last six years, when some little creep gets right in my face and says, 'Whazzup, Knight? How about showing us some deep-breathing exercises?' And all I said was, 'That's Coach Knight, you little sack of horse manure. How'd you like a foot of shoe leather up your hind end?' That's all I said. I didn't even raise my voice. And the next thing I know, some Dr. Somebody is telling me I'm fired because I violated some 'zero tolerance' policy. I asked him, 'Can you explain this '"zero tolerance" policy?' And he says, 'We bought an insurance policy in case you tear someone's arm off, but if you actually kill someone, we get zero.'"
"Now, let me put a few things straight. I always went to those stupid alumni things, and I never punched any of those drunken yahoos in the nose when they asked me to put their miserable kids in the lineup. And I didn't insult any high-ranking female university administrator. I just told that broad where she could stick her women's lib briefcase. And as far as not having enough contact with the athletic director, let's put it this way. If I need to borrow a whistle, I'll stop by. Otherwise, he should go draw lines on the running track and I'll win basketball games, capeesh?"
"The fact is, they've been trying to dig up dirt on me for years. They say I slugged a cop at the Pan Am games. They say I banged my fist on the scorer's table after getting a technical. They say I threw a chair across the court after losing to Purdue. They say I'm a psychopath who's gone off on everyone from sportswriters to Connie Chung. And you know what? They're right."
(applause, stomping of feet)
"Because sports isn't for sissies. It's for guys who are tough enough to spit on an umpire, strong enough to attack some player with a hockey stick, and sometimes ? yes, sometimes ? even get arrested for committing a homicide. And if winning three national championships doesn't entitle me to knock people around once in a while, then go hire Phil Jackson and maybe he can teach these freshman punks how to meditate."
(more applause, several chairs thrown)
"In closing, I'd like to tell you a little story that might inspire you. Most of you would think I have a pretty good life. Fairly interesting job, make lots of money, pretty successful, too. And you're probably saying, 'Then tell us, Coach Knight, why are you always so pissed off?' Well, I will tell you. When I was a young boy, I realized I would have to make myself tough and strong to survive in this world. So right then and there, I decided to start wearing my underwear three sizes too small. And you know what? I've done that ever since ? and it's made me a winner. Now goodbye, and God bless basketball."
(tumultuous applause, and exit)
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