Knight’s success as a college basketball coach is unquestioned. He was college basketball’s Coach of the Year five times and won three NCAA championships. He’s currently a basketball analyst for ESPN. Knight’s success was built on preparation. Recognizing that offensive success could be fleeting, he always emphasized defense, which he describes as making the appropriate response to the negativity one can encounter on offense. So negative thinking about offense leads one to focus, as coaches and players, on defense. See? It’s a conceit that lends itself more to a catchy title than an application in sports, life, or business. What we’re really left with here is solid, commonsensical advice on preparation—how to move quickly from one success to the next challenge rather than basking in the afterglow, as well as how to use losses (failures) as inspiration while moving through life. Knight sprinkles personal anecdotes throughout to illustrate his points and concludes each chapter with a couple aphorisms he calls “Knight’s Nuggets.” (For example: “One more beer can’t hurt . . . unless you’re driving.”) This is an easily digestible self-help book by a very successful man. The advice is generally useful, except for the Nuggets. Hold the Nuggets, next time, Mr. Knight. There’s a negative you can build on. --Wes Lukowsky
“It’s an antidote to America’s kiss-the-booboo Little League moms — and psycho bleacher dads, too.”—New York Post
“If the book could be summed up in one sentence, it’s probably the short, italicized one found in the introduction: 'Victory favors the team making the fewest mistakes.'
But, such a digest would preclude any discussion of theology, turkey mating calls and the upside of being hard to please.”—Indianapolis Star
“Brightly anecdotal. Legendary college-basketball coach Knight sings the praises of negativity [in] a quick, negative-to-achieve manifesto.”—Kirkus