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Joe B, Bobby and the “Slap”


It is a part of UK lore and for many old-time UK fans, the main reason they hate Bobby Knight. During a game in 1974, Bobby Knight “slapped” Joe B Hall on the back of the head during a game. Depending on who you ask, it was either a playful pat or an egregious act of a complete jerk. The truth is often debated, but in this excerpt from a 2006 biography of Knight, Joe B Hall tells his side of the story:

“The situation was, he was yelling at the officials from in front of my bench, in front of me”, Hall says. “And as he turned to go back to the bench, I said, ‘Way to go, Bob, give ‘em hell.’ Good-naturedly, because this was a friend of mine.”

“And he turned and broke down, almost like an attack position, and he screamed at me, ‘Don’t ever talk to me during a game! Why don’t you coach your own motherf***ing team!’”

“And his facial expression was — what do I want to say? — distorted in anger so that I felt moved to do something. So, I followed him up and I said, ‘Hey, Bob, I didn’t mean anything by that. You know I hope you’re not upset by what I said, because I didn’t mean anything personal to you. You’ve kicked our butts soundly; you’ve got a great team.’”

“And I turned to walk away and he popped me with an open hand at the back of the neck. Pretty strongly. And I turned in response, and he again broke down in attack mode and he said, ‘I didn’t mean anything by that, either.’”

Knight insists that the tap was playful, but at the time Hall clearly disagreed. The issue still divides both fan bases, but one thing seems clear to me. Knight is, and was, a Grade A jerk…and if Hall, one of the nicest men I have ever known, was offended at the time, then I am on #TeamJoeB.

Article written by Matt Jones

61 Comments for Joe B, Bobby and the “Slap”

  1. WildcatFan
    9:05 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bobby Knight is, and always will be, an ass.

  2. Gilchrist on D
    9:06 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    F. Bob Knight. Crusty old man. Glad they fired him after all he did for IU. “Hey Bob, your fired.”

  3. P.L. Wallingford, III
    9:06 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    A turd would be a better Christmas dinner guest than Bobby Knight.

  4. Christopher Hitchens
    9:07 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    do we have video of this incident?

  5. JOE B HALL!!!!
    9:07 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Joe B Hall should have stone cold stunned him

  6. Dandy Andy
    9:10 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    On On m’fers #teamjoeb

  7. nic j
    9:10 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I never go looking for a fight, but I’ve ended up in plenty sticking up for people like Joe B. I can promise you that if I EVER saw Bobby Knight he would not have a choice but to come at me, and I would beat the brakes off of that old piece of shit.

  8. epps2shep
    9:12 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bob’s “slap” on Coach K a month ago was pretty dickish as well.

    Red faced drunk. Bully. #shotfake

  9. twnky
    9:13 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I HATE rmk and think he needs to be taken to an old folks home tied down to a chair sitting in his own sh*t, but i can never get that clip of him asking what a gameface is out of my head! Thats funnier than a retard eating hot wings!!!! GO BIG BLUE!!!!!!!! CATS by 18

  10. epps2shep
    9:13 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    7) let’s start looking at Shoney’s across the nation. got a feeling he frequents them so he can intimidate and berate waitresses. “Eggs are runny!?”

  11. Janet Jackson's Boob
    9:14 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bob Knight is now just a bitter, old, fired has-been. Life has already slapped him back.

  12. Designated Drinker
    9:16 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Simply put, the world will be a better place when Bob Knight is no longer on it. Not wishing him I’ll will or death, just stating a fact.

  13. nlk
    9:22 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    And in the mideast regional final that same year, Joe B. made RMK literally CRY as he kicked the dog-ish out of the undefeated Hoosiers. Advantage, Joe B.

  14. floydfan
    9:23 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    My parents used to travel to the away games to support the Cats because they couldn’t get tickets to Rupp. Joe B. always made a point to go over and talk to the groups of UK fans in those foreign arenas and it made them feel like home games. Joe B. is a gentlemen and my Mom loved him and my Dad still does. Couple that with an NCAA Championship my freshman year – I’m on #TeamJoeB for life.

  15. wizzledizzle
    9:25 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t stand BK either, but c’mon guys….”retards eating hot wings”? Let’s stay classy UK. And as far as hating on BK, the truth is, he has accomplished a TON. It’s all I can do to stomach ESPN when he’s on, but bashing him with “fired” jokes and “has-beens” makes us come across as far more bitter than him. It’s no contest between IU and UK. we’re better. always have been. And hating on him this fervently makes us come across like the delusional IU fans who are jealous and bitter. For the record, BK is still more nationally relevant than any of you good-hearted UK fans who are trashing his name. It says more about you than it does him. Just a thought.

  16. ashland cat
    9:25 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    JoeB, Can I adopt you as my grandpa?

  17. twnky
    9:27 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    hey #15…. Chill out it’s a joke man.

  18. Blue Daisey
    9:28 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    KSR’s blatant use of Cats Illustrated message board material is comical. You guys used to come up with original material. Just not enjoyable anymore.

  19. Trythats$%#onme
    9:28 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Here is a link to the entire account of the incident.
    I LOVE Coach Nance’s response to that piece of crap in a red sweater, and also the UK AD Harry Lancaster’s words to Coach Nance afterwards. I can’t express how awesome it is that Coach Hall and the Cats knocked out IU’s “greatest team ever” from the tournament.

  20. getting old
    9:28 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    As you can see by my name, I do remember this & it wasn’t playful. Knight is an A1 ahole!!!!

  21. ThatsAShame
    9:32 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Non-story used to fan the flames during a slow news week. It happens.

  22. Kyle
    9:32 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    After reading that… Lynn Nance is my hero.

  23. Kevin
    9:34 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I remember that incident so clearly. I also remember UK assistant coach Lynn Nance coming after Knight after Knight hit Hall and being restrained. Nance, a big guy in good shape, would have destroyed Knight.

  24. he says she
    9:34 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bob Knight has a LONG track record of this kind of bullying, juvenile behavior. Apparently, one of UK’s assistant coaches went after Knight and had to be restrained after Knight slapped Joe B.

    Joe Hall got the ultimate revenge after that unprovoked attack. From that game on, Joe B won the next 8 out of 12 games against Knight and IU. That was the beginning of UK owning IU.

  25. gacatfan
    9:34 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    The “slap” was in malice. I remember it well. In fact assistant coach Lynn Nance had to be restrained from decking Knight on the spot. Bobby Knight is big and probably was pretty tough back in 1974 but Lynn Nance would have cleaned his clock. It is a good thing Harry Lancaster was not coaching in that game because he would have wiped the floor with BK. I have zero respect for Bobby Knight as a person. No one is as low as him in the coaching profession.

  26. GoCats2
    9:35 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bobby Knight is the very definition of No Class. He would never ever tolerate anyone treating him the way he treats other people. He deserves no respect in my opinion. Respect works both ways, he shows no respect to anyone so I show no respect to him.

  27. ktmiln2
    9:36 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    18- Thank you, your thoughts have been noted. You know, there are 2 things you aren’t considering. One, this site is free, so who cares what it says. Two, there is no requirement you come here.

  28. Old man sleeping in lower arena
    9:40 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bob Knight has always hated UK but when I was a child my grandfather used to fish with him in off season. Said he was a lot to handle but was generally a nice guy. Sorry grandpa… #TeamJoeB

  29. bung
    9:42 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    great post to get revved up for the game…

  30. Coach K
    9:43 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bobby Knight SUCKS! He slapped me a few times..but it didn’t hurt

  31. bung
    9:44 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Knight and the 2 other pretenders sure had to coach in a lot of games to finally pass Adolph…but their win % is still behind his

  32. 2pac is dead
    9:45 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I hope I see him out somewhere.. I’ll pull a full days in jail to kick him in the nuts.. Or punch him or something….

  33. fo rally
    9:46 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    15) I will try to be mature about what I am going to say.. You are a fairy. Do you think I give a f$%# if Bobby Knight is “more nationally relevant” than me?? Knight is a mean person, and no amount of coaching wins can cover the stink of an asshole. Clown.

  34. Here ya go
    9:47 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Many controversies surround coach Bobby Knight’s long career as a disciplinary basketball coach.

    In 1974, following a victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, Knight slaps coach Joe Hall in the back of the head.

    In 1979, angry that his team wasn’t allowed in the gym to practice for the Pan American Games, Knight is arrested for assaulting a police officer in Puerto Rico.

    In 1976, Knight pulls guard Jim Wisman off the court by his jersey.

    In 1985, Knight throws a chair across the court to protest a referee’s call.

    In 1988, Knight enrages women nationally in an interview with Connie Chung after saying, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and let it happen.” Knight was actually referring to bad calls he felt the referees were making.

    In 1992, Knight is protested by civil rights leaders after feigning whipping his black player Calbert Cheaney (an act that was later admittingly staged by the players as a joking response to media’s comments on how hard it was to play for Knight).

    In 1993, Knight allegedly kicks his own son, Pat Knight (debated that he actually kicked the chair).

    In 1998, Indiana is fined $30,000 for a verbal outburst by Knight after running late for a press conference which had been informed by an unofficial person that Knight wasn’t going to show at all.

    In 1999, Knight pays a $10,000 fine himself to avoid suspension for his remarks about a referee.

    In 1999, Knight is involved in a hunting accident in which he shoots his friend Thomas Mikunda in the shoulder with a 20 gauge shotgun.

    In 2000, an Indiana University secretary accuses Knight of throwing a potted plant at her.

    Assistant coach Ron Felling sues Knight claiming he was thrown off a chair and punched in the chest by Knight.

    In 2000, Knight can be seen on video striking and holding the throat of his player Neil Reed during practice.

    In 2006, Knight is restrained by police officcers after being heckled by a Baylor University student.

    In 2006, Knight slaps his player Michael Prince during a timeout to get his attention.

    Read more:

  35. Jon Slone
    9:48 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bob is a jerk-wad
    Bob is a punk.
    A first-class cad
    And a drop-dead drunk!
    And a no-good turd
    And tops as a loser!
    And a mean muther bastage
    And a bad word abuser!

    If you want to know who the greatest basketball player who ever lived was, click on my site!

    Kyle Wiltjer for president!!!

  36. Susan
    9:53 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bobby Knight is the biggest jerk who ever lived! I think he is a disgrace and embarrassment to the game of basketball.

  37. BillDozer
    9:54 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    #27…..I think what #18 is getting at is that Matt Jones has made fun of TCP & Rivals sites in the past saying they are outdated and not needed…and then you see things either himself or a staffer mentions that is an EXACT topic from the message board.

    TCP and other sites are needed bc of quality recruiting coverage and message boards. Two things KSR does not do first hand. Until then, no need for KSR people to bash TCP & others in the process.

    10:00 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bob Knight is a bully….nothing more nothing less……a First Class Asshole!!!

  39. Al's IndiCats
    10:07 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I was told this so I’m not really sure but was told that Lynn Nance was a former FBI agent, who taught hand to hand combat classes for the FBI. But I do remember the slap on Joe. I also knew the girlfriend in 1975 of the guy Knight damn near hit with his car while he was on his bycicle on IU campus. When the guy yelled at him to watch where he’s driving, Knight jumped out of his car and literally beat the hell out of this kid, cussing him out the entire time. IU settled out of court and the kid transfered to Purdue. That should’ve been the red Flag for things to come!

  40. GapToothDanny
    10:13 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I really miss ol Bobby (as coach, anyway-hate to watch a game with him announcing!). I though Mike Davis and Dakich made good replacements as IU’s coach: all three are nutty as a fruitcake…34: thus we have the expression “beat like a red-headed point guard”!

  41. RCS
    10:17 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I always heard that after that game that Hall told Knight that if he ever did anything like that again he would take him out back and whip his a$$. Not sure if it is true but I always liked the story. If Joe B. is threatening to kick your butt you must be one serious a-hole.

  42. LvlFanHere(dn'tShoot!)
    10:22 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hall once. While I was only in his presence for about 5 minutes, I can honestly say that I walked away thinking that he was one of the nicest people I’d ever met. Bob Knight is a tremendous douche-bag; he’s nothing more than a bully and a sanctimonious wind bag who deserved nothing more than to be fired from IU and fail epically at Texas Tech at the end of his career.

  43. jimmy
    10:22 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    can we get a video of the slap?
    team Joe B

  44. Hey Knight, What's Up?
    10:24 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    After reading that story, Lynn Nance is my new hero. #teamjoeb

  45. Knights son
    10:25 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    My dad sucks, but he was a better coach than me.

  46. Coachoff
    10:30 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    How about a KSR poll. Who is the biggest jerkoff? Robert Montgomery Knight or Billy Clyde Gillespie.

  47. Cat89
    10:33 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    BK and the administration that enabled him are completly responsible for the current condition of Indiana University. The University has yet to
    and likely never will recover financially. His legacy should have served as warning that no one person’s agenda, or purpose should take precedent
    above the interest of the greater good of an institution. But as we all know that mistake occures on a regular baisis. See Penn State.

  48. buzzard
    10:34 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    sorry about the double post

  49. DonInFlorida
    10:48 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    C’mon, Coachoff – it’s not even close. BCGhas decades of catching up to even get near to Knight’s Level of Ass.

  50. DonInFlorida
    10:49 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    C’mon, Coachoff – it’s not even close. BCG has decades of catching up to even get near to Knight’s Level of Ass.

  51. JRA
    11:12 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bobby reminds me of a surgical procedure I used to do, he is foul, red, swollen and a pain in the ass, just like a hemorrhoid!

  52. Doug
    11:20 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    My Dad and I were at that game. I was young and dont remember it, but Leonard Hamilton who was an assistant to Hall made a move to go over and put a beat down on Knight(so I was told). See Knight is a typical bully who only picks on the weaker. Leonard is a pretty big fellow and had he not been stopped maybe ol` Bobby would have learned a lesson a long time ago. He got away with so much ONLY because he won, when he stopped winning then his antics were disciplined. Had he never stopped winning he would have retired form IU on his own terms. He is/was a jack ass of the highest degree. I wish one time one of his pleyers would have punched him in the face and walked off his team. I am so tired of the media talking about how special all these guys are the Coach K`s the Bobby Knights because they win/won.

  53. rekojerif
    11:34 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    how’s Bob Knight, is what will be said 20 years from now. Woo care about this tired old Fart. He does stuff like this to try and stay relavent but he isn’t. An neither is the Indiana Douchers.

  54. JackNicklaus
    11:53 am December 9, 2011 Permalink

    everyone agrees that this guys is a class A jerk. Then why do so many others kiss his arse so much? Vitale, Coach K, others. Just because he may be decent to them, surely they can see how he treats others.

  55. jdneedstoknow
    12:52 pm December 9, 2011 Permalink

    #52 thought the assistant was Lynn Nance. Joe B. got him back pretty good in March of 75.

  56. Inside Your Mind
    12:56 pm December 9, 2011 Permalink

    15. Knight is a bully and a ass. He’s always been that way. And yes, he is a has-been. His bullying ways weren’t cutting it in the late 90s when he was going down hill and he was finally called out for it. IU fired his ass and he should have retired but he stuck around just get over 900 wins. He’s a selfish prick that deserves all the hate he gets. He has serious anger management issues. He would go on and on about how he graduated players, made them better men and didn’t cheat, yet he would throw a chair onto the court that could have hurt someone, slapped an opposing coach on the neck just for talking to him and head-butted a player. Those aren’t the actions of someone that deserves respect. I think we can all agree that he was a great coach but he was/is a terrible person.

  57. BlueTexan
    1:27 pm December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I was at the game…seated not far from Knight’s idiotic tirade and it was not a ‘playful’ slap…if it hadn’t been for a stern security guard…I, and about 30 other BBN fans would have been on the floor (and jail). I lost all coaching respect for that jerk that day and gained more for Joe B.

  58. The Big Dog
    1:54 pm December 9, 2011 Permalink

    Bobby Knight is lower than prehistoric frog poop fermenting at the bottom of an Indiana scum pond. I can’t wait for him to do color on a game at Rupp. Will never happen though.

  59. Harlanhick
    4:36 pm December 9, 2011 Permalink

    No respect for him….he is just bitter and irrelevant

  60. CD
    4:47 pm December 9, 2011 Permalink

    I LOVE this site, but stealing from Rupp’s Rafters again? Come on…

  61. Big Blue In Memphis
    5:46 pm December 9, 2011 Permalink

    There is no one in sports that I despise more than BK. I thought I was going to be sick watching him slobber all over coach K after the game he passed BK in all time wins. Personally, I don’t think BK belongs in the HOF. I put him in the same class of coach as Sandusky and Fine.