Rick Pitino Rumors

Louisville is the NBA’s perpetual bridesmaid. The decades-long dance between the basketball-crazed city and the world’s preeminent basketball league began in the mid-1970s. The ABA’s Kentucky Colonels, one of the league’s most decorated and financially successful franchises, were poised to make the jump into the NBA when the two leagues merged, but owner John Y. Brown decided to cash out by selling star players to other franchises and accepting a $3 million buyout to fold his team. Decades later, Louisville had the then-Vancouver Grizzlies in hand in 2001. “We fumbled on the one-yard line,” Steve Higdon, chairman of NBA2LOU, tells CBS Sports. A combination of local politics and the inability to raise funds for a new arena killed the deal, and the Grizzlies landed in Memphis. A year later, Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville exerted their own influence to keep the then-Charlotte Hornets out of Kentucky. Toss in a failed bid at the Houston Rockets, and the home of the 1975 ABA champions had grown sick of losing out on professional basketball.
Louisville had the then-Vancouver Grizzlies in hand in 2001. “We fumbled on the one-yard line,” Steve Higdon, chairman of NBA2LOU, tells CBS Sports. A combination of local politics and the inability to raise funds for a new arena killed the deal, and the Grizzlies landed in Memphis. A year later, Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville exerted their own influence to keep the then-Charlotte Hornets out of Kentucky. Toss in a failed bid at the Houston Rockets, and the home of the 1975 ABA champions had grown sick of losing out on professional basketball.
In his recent interview with Open Sport, coach Rick Pitino said that no matter what has been reported he will still coach the Greek National team. He also admitted that this season he didn’t want to coach Panathinaikos. “All I wanted to do is coach the National team which I’m still going to do. I am going to coach the Greek National team.” “The second year I did not want coach Panathinaikos. It wasn’t my type of team the second year.”
Just 51 days removed from being named the new coach at Iona, Hall of Famer Rick Pitino is already under intense NCAA scrutiny as the findings of a scandal investigation dating back to his tenure at Louisville come to light. On Monday, the NCAA released its long-anticipated notice of allegations related to his former employer and misdeeds allegedly committed while leading the Cardinals program. Those allegations include a Level I violation levied against the university for improper recruiting benefits provided to the family of an enrollee and three Level II violations — one of which tags Pitino with failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.
Storyline: NCAA Scandal
Crotian Hall of Famer Dino Radja talked about the end of his Boston Celtics experience with contra.gr: «Υοu cannot work with a person who has lied to you. When he came to the Celtics i had heard rumors that he wants to get rid of everybody. For 4 years i was among the best players of the team. I felt i have the right to ask him directly about his plan. I went to see him to ask him if he wanted to trade me. I told him ‘i m 30 years old and i have the feeling that i have gain every right to ask you if you want to trade me. And i want you to give me an honest answer. If you don’t like me it is fine by me. It is your prerogative to trade me. it’s just business. Just say so and if you trade me i would like to go to a competitive team. Don’t send to me any whorehouse. This is something i deserve, after everything i have done for the Celtics and in my career’. He told me ‘no, i don’t have the slightest interest to trade you. I want to build the team around you”.
Dino Radja: “After few days i found out he trade me to the worst organization there was back then: the Sixers. I could have react in many different ways. The Balkans are smarter than the Americans. So i decide to don’t lose my right. I didn’t ask him to trade me to the champions. I just wanted to play in a good team. But he didn’t want to do that. I wasn’t trade because of my knee. If i would, i could finalize the trade. But that was something i didn’t want to do. So, we agreed on letting me go back to Europe».”
Do you think you could mediate a sit-down between James Dolan and Charles Oakley and Spike Lee? Rick Pitino: (Chuckle) I would love to try, ’cause I love Oakley and I love Spike. … The best thing to do is just everybody in a room, hash it out, speak it out, and become friends, that’s the best way to do it. If I was Jim Dolan, call up Spike, call up Oak, put ’em in a room, “Hey guys, let’s leave this best friends and let’s move on.”
Storyline: Spike Lee Incident
What do you think of Patrick Ewing as a head coach? Rick Pitino: Patrick did a great job the year before at Georgetown. I followed him, I talked to him a lot on the phone, I’d call him after games and said what I liked and what I thought he needed to work on. I didn’t follow him this year because of being over in Greece. Q: How come he didn’t become an NBA head coach? Rick Pitino: I think that maybe a little bit of the stereotype of big guys, they don’t like to hire centers. It’s strange, but the only reason I say that is because there aren’t too many big guys being head coaches.
Pitino said he wanted his team to take at least 10 3s a game. One of his best shooters, Trent Tucker, told Pitino he had to warm up to shooting 3s. Pitino told him to warm up by taking them. He hated shots in the 18- to 22-foot range. He often raised his hands when one of his players fired a 3, then pumped his fist when it went in. One game, the Knicks went 0 for 7 from 3-point range, which was part of a prolonged drought. Pitino wasn’t fazed. The Knicks made an NBA record 11 3s in their next game. “They’ll know I’ll be upset if they don’t take the 3s,” he said. This was at a time when most of the NBA still ignored the line. Sports Illustrated wrote that “most coaches get queasy even talking about the 3-pointer and consider it a kind of guilty pleasure at best.”
Greece coach Rick Pitino says he is planning on trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics without Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Pitino officially took over as coach of the Greek national basketball team on Monday. He said he would leave a roster place open for Antetokounmpo in qualifying games but is not sure if he will be able to rely on his best player.
Storyline: Olympic Games

Rick Pitino to coach Greece

Rick Pitino confirmed he will be Greece’s head coach in next summer’s Olympic qualifying tournament following a meeting with the president of the Greek Basketball Federation George Vassilakopoulos on Friday. “I am the coach” he proclaimed. He previously stated that he’s willing to coach Greece for free upon returning to the country after his stint with Panathinaikos OPAP. “We are going to discuss the logistics on Monday, but obviously it is a great honor for me to accept this position” the 67-year-old American explained, “I’ll spend most of the winter once the brackets are announced, studying the film and going to work.”
Rick Pitino reached an agreement with Louisville and both sides dropped their lawsuits, the school announced on Wednesday. The former head coach of Panathinaikos OPAP will receive no money, but his personnel file will now reflect that his employment ended in 2017 as a result of a resignation. The 67-year-old American initially sued Louisville for breach of contract and was seeking more than $35 million. ULAA counter-suited pursuing damages allegedly caused by its former head coach.
“Today, I move on to a new chapter in my life,” mentioned Pitino in a statement released by his lawyer, “I am very proud of the many accomplishments my teams achieved at Louisville. I’m so thankful and honored to coach such dedicated athletes. I’m also disappointed in how it ended. But as head coach I am held responsible for the actions of all team members.”
During testimony at a trial last October, Sood said he gave about $19,500 in 2017 to the father of top recruit Brian Bowen Jr. to get him to commit to the University of Louisville. After the payments were revealed, Bowen left Louisville. The school also fired coach Rick Pitino. Last year, Sood was among defendants sued by Bowen in federal court in South Carolina.
Storyline: NCAA Scandal
“It’s great to see Nick again, he was always a great passer and he was coached this season by Rick Pitino, who was also my coach”, said Donovan during a brief interview to the Greek national television and explained the purpose of his trip. “I am here to meet with Danilo Gallinari who is our new player in Oklahoma City. Before arriving here, I was in Germany and met with Dennis Schroder. We like to meet with our players during the summer in their home countries and of course, it’s great to see them competing at this level”.
Messina believes that being successful in the NBA is an equally challenging task for everybody, regardless of nationality or background. “It’s an elite league. It’s not easy there for anybody whether you are an American or foreigner. I don’t think that there is a general perception like that. Even if you see in Europe, with the exception of Rick Pitino, we don’t have one American coach.”
Rick Pitino is a top target of influential boosters to be the next head men’s basketball coach at UCLA, an industry source told me. Casey Wasserman, a billionaire UCLA alum who was influential in the hiring of Chip Kelly as UCLA’s new football coach, and John Branca, a graduate of the UCLA Law School and an entertainment lawyer who is the co-executor of Michael Jackson’s Estate, both want Pitino, the source said.
Reports in the States, have Rick Pitino possibly going back to the NCAA and coaching the UCLA Bruins. However, he states that his goal is to return to the NBA, but currently his only focus is for Panathinaikos to make the EuroLeague playoffs: “When I left last year, I said I wanted to go back to the NBA, and that’s why I took this job (at Panathinaikos), but right now to be honest, I’m not thinking of anything except trying to make the playoffs with this organisation. It’s not easy for a coach to come in and does not know the offense, defense and out of bounds plays. I have to find new ways, in order to win. I miss my family, but overall I am having a great time here. The owner has been great to me, and I am focused to be the coach here.”
Storyline: Rick Pitino to NBA?
In his second Turkish Airlines EuroLeague game, Rick Pitino could not overcome Olympiacos Piraeus obstacle, as Panathinaikos OPAP’s rivals were the superior team on Friday night. After the final buzzer, the 66-year old head coach addressed the media. Reports in the States, have Rick Pitino possibly going back to the NCAA and coaching the UCLA Bruins. However, he states that his goal is to return to the NBA, but currently his only focus is for Panathinaikos to make the EuroLeague playoffs: “When I left last year, I said I wanted to go back to the NBA, and that’s why I took this job (at Panathinaikos), but right now to be honest, I’m not thinking of anything except trying to make the playoffs with this organisation. It’s not easy for a coach to come in and does not know the offense, defense and out of bounds plays. I have to find new ways, in order to win. I miss my family, but overall I am having a great time here. The owner has been great to me, and I am focused to be the coach here.”
Storyline: Rick Pitino to NBA?
Panathinaikos remains unbeaten in the Greek league after getting the road win against Promitheas Patras and Rick Pitino was ready to repeat a historic quote. “Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they’re going to be gray and old”, Pitino has said as the coach of the Celtics when his team was beaten in Boston at the buzzer by the Toronto Raptors after a made three by Vince Carter. This time around, Pitino’s team got the 86-69 road win and Pitino emphasized defense using almost the same quote in the press conference, saying for his players: “Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are not walking through that door, so you have to do it with defense every night”.
When asked about any signings, Pitino answered that while he hasn’t spoken with the club’s management regarding any potential new transfers, there is a certain someone he’d really like to have on the team. “I’ll speak with the GM and the owner about that. But I’m here just one day. I would like Giannis [Antetokoumpo] to come back and play for us instead of Milwaukee,” Pitino joked.
Panathinaikos has started 6-7 in the EuroLeague, leaving the team in 10th place. The team’s owner, Dimitrios Giannakopoulos, has a volcanic reputation in Europe. He was fined 150,000 euros in 2015 for barging into the referee’s room and threatening to kill the officials and their families after a playoff victory over CSKA Moscow. Panathinaikos’ roster includes Nick Calathes, Georgios Papagiannis, Keith Langford, Deshaun Thomas, James Gist and the older brother of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis.
2 years ago via ESPN
Brad Stevens, the exception among college coaches who have attempted to navigate a move to the NBA, has no doubt that if Pitino truly wanted to make the jump, he’d be a success. “He’s a good coach,” the Celtics coach said. “He’s had a lot of success on a lot of levels. I always thought he was an outstanding coach. We always struggled against him when I was at Butler.”
Storyline: Rick Pitino to NBA?
After his firing following an FBI probe at Louisville, Rick Pitino is planning to use the season to immerse himself in the NBA game and hopes to become a candidate for head-coaching openings in the spring. “I just want to be a part of an organization,” Pitino told ESPN. “I want to develop young players. I want to be part of a team. I miss it terribly. I’m using this time to really study the NBA. If something opens up with a young basketball team, I’d have deep interest in it. “I think the league is going to get younger and player development will become even more important to every organization. That’s my forte. I believe I can help an organization find a pathway to success.”
2 years ago via ESPN
Pitino resigned with the Celtics early in his fourth season in 2001 with a 102-146 record. Pitino was considered to have been overwhelmed with dual roles, which had been pro sports’ biggest coaching/executive deal to date: 10 years, $70 million contract. He resigned with nearly $30 million left on the deal. “I’m not looking for any of that (power/control) at this stage of my life,” Pitino told ESPN. “I want to develop teams and develop players and build a winner. I value analytics. I want to fit into an organization. At this stage, that’s all I’m interested in.”
2 years ago via ESPN
3. So far, no big-name coach has been proven to be in violation of NCAA rules. On wiretap, Dawkins and Code make it clear they don’t believe Pitino knew directly about the $100,000 scheme to pay Brian Bowen Sr. for his son to play at Louisville. It is fair in the court of public opinion to believe he should have known. “Plausible deniability,” as Code put it. There is no direct evidence, though, and it doesn’t appear any of the key participants in the deal thought he knew. Score one for Pitino.