Bob Knight, right, presents a chair — no, not that one — to a retiring Lou Henson in 1996. The former Indiana coach Knight — and long-time rival of Henson and the Illini men’s basketball program — died on Wednesday. Knight was 83 years old.
As part of our “Whatever Happened To …” series, we asked around as to the whereabouts of the chair that Bob Knight presented Lou Henson before the coach’s last game at Indiana in ’96. Here’s what MARY HENSON told us.
“As best as we can recall, the large box containing The Chair was loaded into the underbelly of the Illini bus and accompanied the team and staff on our return to campus. Some unknown driver in a van brought it to our home, unloading it into a far corner of our garage. There the box remained, unopened for months. Eventually, as usual, some amount of spring cleaning of the garage was needed and we decided to have another look at The Chair.
“Since our home is full of a large assortment of antique furniture, we felt this vintage-looking, Hitchcock-style black chair might well fit with the décor in our Illini room. Of course, if we were actually going to use it, that would necessitate the removal of the black straps, electrodes and electrical cord. Not to be put off by such trivialities, we soon found a corner in our Illini room for the newly-refurbished chair. But wait!
RIP to the legend Bob Knight.
— Mark Titus Show (@MarkTitusShow) November 1, 2023
“What’s that on the inside back panel of the chair? Oh, no! Is it what it seems to be — a large, gold stencil of the seal of Indiana University right there in plain sight? Never in our beloved Illini room. But The Chair fits so well there — and it would certainly lead to a few intriguing conversations.
“What to do? A little sandpaper and black spray paint would take care of the dilemma. But no! Our great-great-great-great grandchildren, who’d want to haul this thing to ‘Antiques Roadshow’ for an appraisal in the thousands, would be sooo disappointed in us. We will have ruined the authenticity of their treasured heirloom. We had to resort to an action much less drastic.
“So I grabbed our orange and blue basketball throw and flung it over that ostentatious gold seal. You might even describe The Chair as having been thrown.”