Rick Pitino sent Red Auerbach into temporary obscurity, time for him to go there

Please allow me to correct a grave error in my CelticsLife article of October 18, 2017. Rick Pitino had just been fired from his coaching position in Louisville, and I foolishly wrote that he would be "gone from basketball altogether." It appears I may have been wrong.

Rick titled his book, Success is a Choice. Well, so is failure. I have a level of bias against the man mainly for the fact he came close to destroying my beloved Celtics. I openly admit Pitino had some fine successes at the college level, and some at the pro level, but his degradation of Red Auerbach and the team that Red coached and managed is too much for me to tolerate.

Rick now tells the world that he misses basketball and wants to re-enter the world of the NBA. The vampire has risen from the grave. Where are the stakes when you need them - I write that figuratively. When Pitino came to the Celtics in 1997, he had total control over all basketball operations and pushed Auerbach into the cellar.

While his teams amassed losing records, Rick chose to attack the unhappy Boston fans, including his famous "Larry Bird is not walking through that door." speech. Well, I hope Pitino won't be walking through any NBA teams' doors at any point. Louisville retained Rick after an incident of sexual indiscretion, which, per Wikipedia, Pitino stressed lasted "no more than 15 seconds" - I fully expect readers comments here, but they fired him after allegations of pay-for-play for recruits at Louisville.

Red Auerbach, the Celtics organization and fans put up with Pitino for four losing years, and I was convinced he was gone from the sport forever. Foolish me! It appears he waited one whole year for the dust to settle, and here he comes again. I fully understand that the NBA is a big business, and so, it appears, is college basketball. But there are still lines that should not be crossed. Rick has crossed too many.

He came very close to turning a storied sports franchise into a joke - and sending one of its revered founders into obscurity. That is unforgivable. Success is a choice, and Pitino has found a lot of that as a college coach. But failure is a choice also, and he has chosen that path as a human being. Time for him to return to the same obscurity that he imposed on Red..

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Photo via SportsThat.Blogspot.com
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