Don Haskins, who died Sept. 7 at age 78, earned the nickname “The Bear” with his gruff demeanor. But he could be quite accommodating, too. In 1992, Haskins took a phone call in his hotel room just a few hours before his Texas-El Paso basketball team was to play an NCAA Sweet 16 game in Kansas City. The caller was a reporter who had been ordered to follow up on Bob Knight’s suggestion earlier in the day, at a different NCAA regional site, that Haskins was in line to become coach at UNLV. Knight and Haskins were longtime friends, and Knight has never bashful about trying to pull one over on the media. The reporter, who happened to be based in Oklahoma City, explained that he was just following orders in calling Haskins, and figured that Knight either had the scoop of the year or just another joke of the day. “Which do you think?” Haskins asked. “Joke of the day,” the reporter said. “Well, hell YES!” Haskins replied. Then he laughed and proceeded to ask about things in his native Oklahoma and chat for another five or 10 minutes.