INDIANAPOLIS - Will former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight ever return to IU? Bob Hammel, friend and co-author of "The Power of Negative Thinking" is noncommittal.
In an interview with RTV6's Dave Furst on "Sunday Sports Xtra," Hammel said it may take a very special occasion.
"If my funeral was held at Assembly Hall, he might come," Hammel said with a hearty laugh. "We used to joke, he and I, about his 180 club, where he would have somebody who was just a sworn enemy and he would flip that guy around to where he was the biggest believer in the world, so I don't rule out anything."
Hammel has been a fixture at IU basketball games for decades, having spent 30 years as sports editor of the Bloomington Herald Times and written several books, including an autobiography of Knight.
In his latest collaboration with Knight, "The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results,"Hammel turns the classic "The Power of Positive Thinking" on its ear.
"The idea of Bob Knight and 'The Power of Negative Thinking' always generates a laugh," Hammel said. "It began as a joke, to be honest about it. Bob essentially spouted the title. In my own books, the title's the last thing I deal with. We started with the title."
In the book, Knight explains the philosophy:
"Being alert to possible negatives in any situation is the best way to bring about positive results."
Hammel said writing this book was more difficult than the autobiography because the first book had a logical flow. Editors were perplexed by the new book, finding it difficult to ascertain continuity.
"With Bob Knight, there isn't continuity," Hammel explained.
Many IU fans have longed for Knight to be seen again in Bloomington, now 13 years since he was fired, but it didn't sound likely in a quote published last week in the New York Times.
"I don't need a hero's welcome. What do I need a hero's welcome for? Obviously, I don't have any interest in going back, or I would have. It's that simple," Knight said.
"I'd love to see him back, too, but I also understand that once you're fired someplace, you sometimes carry some umbrage there," Hammel said. "I'm hoping it will happen sometime."
The people involved in Knight's dismissal are no longer at IU. Athletic Director Fred Glass and current coach Tom Crean have reached out.
"Tom couldn't be more open to Bob's players. He's extremely appreciative of the Indiana heritage," Hammel said.
Hammel and Knight will be signing copies of the book Wedesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis.