Rick Pitino Rumors
The president-coach model has cycled through several incarnations, including the failed regimes of Rick Pitino and John Calipari, who never accepted that the players are the stars in the NBA; that dictatorships only work on campus. Four years ago, Rivers told me: “The risk is all mine. To go to an organization that hasn’t won but [two] playoff series in their entire history, in a town where the other team is the best franchise in sports history — that’s risk. “But the opportunity — for me — gives me life. If we get this right, it will be the story of stories to tell. At this point in my life, the gamble is worth it.”
The 1988-89 Knicks, under coach Rick Pitino, attempted 1,147 3-pointers, up by more than 400 from the previous league high, and made 386, to shatter the former 271 standard. Saturday, as part of the Knicks’ 70th anniversary season, “The Bomb Squad” of Mark Jackson, Johnny Newman, Rod Strickland, Trent Tucker and Gerald Wilkins staged a Garden reunion and were honored in a ceremony. The group sat for an interview session before individual pictures as well as the club’s iconic Bomb Squad promo poster. “Congratulations, Bombinos. It was great watching all those 3-point shots,” Pitino said in a taped greeting.
“Rick turned me into a 3-point shooter. It was the last year I was a 3-point shooter,” Strickland said, laughing. “Rick told me, ‘I will never take you out of the game for shooting, but if you don’t take the next shot that Mark Jackson passes you the ball, you will be sitting beside me,’ ” Tucker said.
“I didn’t [do anything wrong in Boston] and I really wanted that to work out,” he said. “I wanted that Boston thing to work out. You’re the third pick in the  draft and you come and you think you’re going to be there for a long time, and most guys that get picked that high are. It didn’t work out and it was tough. “But the one thing that I will say is when I did get traded and I didn’t know any different at the time, at least when Rick came to be, he was honest with me. He told me, ‘Chaunce, look, I still think you’re going to be a great player in the league. There’s a lot of pressure on me to make the playoffs and I need a veteran point guard. I’ve really always been a big fan of Kenny Anderson.’ ”