Monday night should have been Frank Martin's night. His tenure at Kansas State has been fraught with doubters who thought he wasn't cut out to handle the gig, that he was just a Michael Beasley-involved holdover. Not so: Martin has built K-State into a national contender, a process that culminated with the Wildcats' upset over No. 1 on Monday night.
So, was Monday night Frank Martin's night? Sort of. But not really.
Sure, Martin got the win. But after the game, as he was about to meet one of his coaching idols -- Bob Knight, whom you may have heard of -- Martin got an upbraiding instead of a handshake. From the Kansas City Star (via The Dagger). (Warning, long blockquote ahead.)
He hadn’t slept in two days. That’s what happens when you feel you haven’t adequately prepared, not yet, for the most important game of your life. Having just won it, Martin rubbed his eyes. He looked about to fall asleep.
He didn’t see Bob Knight waiting for him.
Martin started to tell Knight, whose hand he was shaking for the first time, how much he’d always respected him. Knight, the longtime coach and now an ESPN announcer, cut him off.
“To hell with that,” he said. “We need to get you to run a better offense.”
[...] Knight was still talking. He was telling Martin how his offense wasn’t run smoothly enough, how his guys weren’t using the right angles, how that very well could have cost Martin this win.
“I’d be glad to help if you call me tomorrow,” Knight said.
“I’ll call you in the morning,” Martin said.
“This almost cost you the game,” Knight went on. He lowered his voice: “…he makes bad offensive decisions,” he growled.
By now, Martin had been backed against a wall. When Knight finally left, Martin continued his exhausted journey toward his news conference.
A good-natured, ostensibly helpful upbraiding, but an upbraiding nonetheless. This is akin to an aspiring fashion model landing a major contract, ecstatically meeting Cindy Crawford, and having Cindy Crawford offer to help the model with her hair. Or a low-level politician winning his first election and having Barack Obama call him and offer him help with his handshake. But, but ... what's wrong with my hair? What's wrong with my handshake? Hey, Knight: What's up with my offense?
This wasn't the worst of Martin's night; when he got the parking lot, he found his car was towed, and when he arrived at the restaurant where he planned to celebrate the victory with his wife, his favorite dish was sold out. Rough night. But I'm betting that win helped ease the pain of what followed. What do you think?