Good ol’ Bobby Knight, Kentucky’s biggest fan, sat down with Andrew Goldman for the New York Times Magazine’s weekly interview to discuss his new book:
Your book, “The Power of Negative Thinking,” presents what could be considered an anti-Pollyanna vision of the world. I have to agree that eternally optimistic positive thinkers are incredibly annoying.
When I first started coaching, one of the worst things that I think I heard was “It will be O.K.” I would wonder, How the hell is it going to be O.K.? The worst word in the English language is “hope.”
Do you think you inherited this outlook from your family? I’m wondering if you were hugged a lot and told you could be president if you put your mind to it.
My dad was a very quiet person, and unbelievably tough. But my grandmother gave me my first look at negative thinking to bring about positive results. When I was just a little guy, anytime I came to my grandmother and said I wish for this or that, Grandma would say, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” I’m glad you asked me, because I don’t think they put this in the book. It’s supposed to be dedicated to my grandmother. Damn it — I’m going to call them.