by Kent Pavelka
About 2 hours before the game started, a wet-behind-the-ears radio play-by-play announcer roamed the corridors of Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. It was December, 1974. He worked by himself in those early years with no help from an analyst or color-commentator. So he was looking for someone to grab for a short recorded interview to play at half-time of his Nebraska-SMU broadcast. The second game, later that night in the 4 team tournament, featured the host Indiana Hoosiers against Creighton.
Kent Pavelka, in his first year broadcasting Husker basketball, spotted Bob Knight. Ah, thought the 24 year-old Pavelka, I'll ask Coach Knight if he would be so kind.
Pavelka nervously approached Knight, who was also early in his career. He introduced himself and asked the question. Knight looked down at the young broadcaster and snapped, "You've got 30-seconds. Go."
More than a little shaken, Pavelka managed to turn on the recorder and fumble through a few questions as Knight answered them.
Pavelka would marvel as the years passed, watching Knight and remembering those rude and intimidating few minutes, as Knight repeated his bully tactics and boorish behavior over and over again.
39 seasons later, Pavelka is back in Bloomington for his second basketball broadcast there between Nebraska and Indiana. Ironically, Indiana's Sports Information office offered Tom Crean for a few minutes of live pre game chatter for the Pavelka-Matt Davison broadcast Wednesday. Pavelka declined the offer.
Pavelka believes he has changed a lot since that night in 1974. He also says he has doubts Knight has changed at all.
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