Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino hires agent, hopes to coach in NBA for third time
Third time's a charm, right?
After Louisville fired Rick Pitino following an FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting, the Hall of Fame coach has joined Twitter, started a podcast, and now has hired prominent NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus with his sights on coaching again in the NBA.
"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."
The news contradicts comments made by Pitino last month on ESPN's Get Up morning show that he was "finished coaching" and comes just a day after the Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach Ty Lue after three straight NBA Finals appearances.
Pitino is a college basketball coaching legend, winning two national titles (2013 with Louisville was vacated) and reaching five Final Fours.
He has also been connected to several scandals, including an NCAA probe into the use of escorts in recruiting and a pay-to-play scheme involving recruit Brian Bowen that led to his dismissal.
In four decades of coaching, Pitino spent six years in the NBA. In two seasons with the New York Knicks from 1987-89, Pitino was 90-74, including two trips to the playoffs. He then left the NBA to spend eight years in college with the Kentucky Wildcats, where he won his first NCAA title in 1995-96.
Pitino returned to the NBA for the 1997-98 season to serve as the president and coach of the Boston Celtics after signing a 10-year, $70 million contract. After missing the playoffs in his first three years, Pitino resigned 34 games into the 2000-01 season with nearly $30 million left on his deal. He was 102-146 in Boston.
Pitino insisted that he's "not looking for any of that (power/control)" this time around.
"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."
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