Rick Pitino gone from Louisville- and probably from basketball
Hey fans, this photo is all about me. You only see one face, right?
"What do you think of Rick Pitino?" I was asked this question by an innocent young main in Florida years ago. When my angry rant really got going , he gave me a fake excuse, turned on his heels and was gone. I'm not sure he was ever there. Poor kid! Well, now this is my chance! Pitino has been dismissed from Louisville, and this will almost certainly result in a firing.
Rick Pitino came close to destroying what Walter Brown, Red Auerbach and Bill Russell built. How's that trio for greatness! Ownership/coach/superstar! What a team. You already can tell I hate the man, right?
Hell, he took away Red Auerbach's title of Celtics President. He drafted Chauncy Billups and promptly traded him in Chauncy's rookie season. Billups became a five-time all-star, He allowed Rick Fox to leave and go to the rival Los Angeles Lakers. Fox took home three championship rings with the Lakers. I'm not done! Here are some quotes from Chauncy via the Minnesota Star Tribune's Steve Aschburner:
"I didn't like his coaching style," said Billups, who was traded to Toronto shortly after the 1997 All-Star break. He averaged 11.1 points and 4.3 assists in 51 games for Boston.
"He was up on the court, screaming the whole game," Billups said of Pitino. "Every time I'd take two dribbles, he'd be screaming, and I'd have to look up to see where we were going. It was too much.
He didn't just rid himself of talented players, he acquired untalented ones. Let's move on to the Travis Knight Travesty (I'm on a roll). Ricky, as I affectionately call him, saw the truly amazing stats of 16.3 MPG/4.8 PPG/4.5 RPG that Travesty- I mean Travis- had with the Lakers and promptly (Rick had a lot of promptly's) signed him as a free agent to a seven-year/22 million contract. What a hell of a genius. At the time, Knight said about the signing, "I really have mixed emotions...". So did we.
Well, Travis burned the nets at 6.5 PPG during his one season with Boston and was promptly (there's another one) traded back to LA. I need a break, so here is what SI's Jeremy Woo had to say about Pitino's firing- or is it dismissal?
Officially, Pitino has been placed on unpaid administrative leave and Jurich is on paid leave, moves that appear to be a mere technicality before they are officially dismissed.
His on court resume—a career record of 416–141 and two NCAA titles, one with Louisville in 2013—has been outstanding, but the background of his coaching career continues to grow murkier.
Things were also murky in Boston during Pitino's time here. The murkiness I am talking about is why the hell he was brought here in the first place. I'm going to look it up. Be right back.
As recently as April 18, Pitino said he would stay at Kentucky for the coming season. "I'll be back at my ol' Kentucky home trying to win another championship," he told the Bloomberg Forum. "There's no monetary amount that can get me to leave."
Well, 19 days after making that utterance, Rick left his "ol' Kentucky home" and headed for the pot of gold the Boston leprechaun promised. I can almost visualize him signing the song as he drove to his destination. The rest is bad history. He came close to ruining a terrific franchise. He ridiculed the Boston fans. He made horrible transactions. And he took away Red's title! Here are a few other blunders by Pitino via the Minnesota Star Tribune's Steve Aschburner:
Destroying any chance for continuity by making a reported 102 player transactions during his time in Boston.
Paying Antoine Walker $71 million over six years and making him a captain.
Leaving with the team about $16 million over the salary cap.
This article is not long enough to list all the idiotic moves that Pitino made, and you have probably suffered enough with the painful memories. Actually, I feel better. Thanks for listening. I supplied you with ammunition. Give me some of your own.