Bob Knight, John Thompson and Rick Pitino talk … Taco Bell?


Back in 1996 — when Bobby Knight was still at Indiana, Rick Pitino was in the midst of leading Kentucky to a national title and John Thompson Jr was busy playing out the end of his career at the helm of Georgetown — the three hall of fame coaches got together to film a commercial for Taco Bell.

It was a pretty big deal for the city of Bloomington, as the Kentucky Kernel wrote:

Most of the shooting took place in the home of Kathryn Propst and Ed Furia. Gannon said arranging the shoot “was very difficult with all the coaches’ schedules,” and to accommodate their itineraries, Taco Bell selected Bloomington as the film site. Six moving trucks, four recreational vehicles, three limousines and two police cars invaded the couple’s neighborhood as production crews from Los Angeles and Indianapolis got to work.

The plot was fascinating. Knight and Thompson were in the living room of a seven-foot recruit, arguing over whether to supply the player with illicit soft tacos or crunchy tacos when Pitino shows up with a double decker taco, which is made with both soft and crunchy shells.

Riveting stuff.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is our buddy Adam Lefkoe, who somehow managed to win an Emmy as a sports anchor for WHAS 11 in Louisville, dug up some behind-the-scenes footage of the commercial. Believe it or not, the director actually critiques the performance of Knight and Thompson. That guy had to have some serious stones, because those two terrify me:


Perhaps my favorite part of this video is that in doing some research, I came across this story from Alexander Wolff in Sports Illustrated back in March of 1996. In it, Wolff writes about how Dan Kreft, a center for Northwestern’s basketball team, started his own website (Gasp!!!) to chronicle his thoughts (He was a blogger?!?) and the contempt that Wolff has for the fact that the NCAA won’t allow Kreft to write for the magazine.

Good to know that the NCAA has responded so quickly to the criticism of their “irrationally oppressive” rulebook.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.