SIGNED BY TWO OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S LEGENDARY COACHES, BOBBY KNIGHT AND HIS PROTEGE MIKE KRZYZEWSKI, WHO HAS SIGNED IT TWICE: RARE 1968 FIRST EDITION OF KNIGHT'S FIRST PRIVATELY PRINTED BOOKLET OF BASKETBALL STRATEGY, LET'S PLAY DEFENSE
KNIGHT, Bobby. Let's Play Defense. Walden, New York: Robert M. Knight, 1968. Slim quarto, staple-bound as issued, original pictorial beige paper wrappers; pp. 36.
First edition of Bobby Knight's first book, a primer on playing defense in basketball by one of America's most famous coaches, in original pictorial wrappers, inscribed by him on the front wrapper, "Best wishes Bill, Bob Knight," and also inscribed on the front wrapper by Knight's most famous player and protégé, Mike Krzyzewski, "To Bill: Best of luck in coaching! Mike Krzyzewski." Krzyzewski played under Knight at West Point Military Academy, and is featured in the four interior photographic illustrations displaying proper defensive technique; he has additionally signed his name under the first of these, on page 6.
"A thorough guide for aspiring basketball coaches" (Inquirer). A favorite of many other NCAA coaches including Herb "Shot Doctor" Magee, Bobby Knight's Let's Play Defense was "the first basketball book St. John's coach Mike Jarvis bought… At $1.50, Jarvis says, it was the best basketball investment he has made, still informing his strategy more than 30 years later" (New York Times). "While Knight had issues—with his temper, with his language, with four-legged plastic projectiles—selfishness with his concepts was not one of them. He was the most sought-after clinic speaker of that era, and in conjunction with his lectures, he sold pamphlets entitled Let's Play Defense, with an illustration of a devil… in a defensive stance on the cover. The 37-page booklet diagrammed Knight's man-to-man D, as well as the drills necessary to implement it" (Sports Illustrated).
Krzyzewski started his coaching career in 1974 as an assistant on Knight's staff with the Indiana Hoosiers during their historic 1974-75 season. After one year with Indiana, Krzyzewski returned to West Point as head coach at age 28. In 1980, Krzyzewski was named the head coach at Duke University, where he has taken his program to postseason play in 36 of his 39 years at Duke and is the most winning active coach in men's NCAA Tournament play with a 100-30. His Duke teams have won 15 ACC Championships, been to 13 Final Fours, and won five NCAA tournament National Championships. He has also coached the U.S. Men's National Team to three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016). This copy is in the standard beige paper wrappers; copies in blue paper wrappers are considered a variant (no priority determined however). Owner signature of the inscribee, himself a basketball coach who clearly consulted this pamphlet regularly: there are underlinings and marginalia in pencil, blue and red ink in his hand, and he has affixed two small (two-by-three-inch) diagrams of his own design to interior pages. Small auction label affixed to verso of front wrapper.
original wrappers expertly restored from heavy tape repairs. A very good copy, most desirable inscribed and signed by two of college basketball's all-time most successful coaches wishing success to a fellow coach.