Rick Pitino can’t stop, and won’t stop. And now the vindictive former Louisville head coach is turning his attention to adidas demolition.
“The way they phrased it, it was whoever [shoe company] was going to pay the dad’s AAU program the most money, gets it,” said Pitino in a recent phone interview. A few days later, Adidas’s league added a new team: Twenty Two Vision, featuring Romeo Langford on the court and Tim Langford as team director. Shoe company sponsorships can reach $100,000 to $150,000, and team directors who limit expenses can pay themselves salaries from those amounts.
“That’s the way that world works,” Pitino said. “Which is completely legal, by the way.”
Grab your (Christian Watford) popcorn boxes, UK fans. Pitino going after adidas and subsequently Indiana? Adidas making an AAU team just for Romeo Langford and naming it after his favorite number? Yes, please.
Remember, Louisville was considered the leader for Langford for the majority of his recruitment until Pitino was fired by UofL. Then when the news broke that UofL, with adidas’ help, began paying players and the FBI scandal became public the New Albany native dropped the Cards.
What makes this story even more wacky is that Langford’s dad, Tim Langford, said that Kansas lost ground because of their own FBI scandal. Now Langford and the Hoosiers could be mentioned as more people start to talk.
“Kansas, it pushed it out for me (talking about the scandal”, Tim Langford said. “Just having the name on your school. I didn’t take them out of the three verbally, but in my mind we just didn’t want him going there and anybody asking him that type of question. So, we don’t want him going to school there, we don’t care how good the basketball is.”
Well, if Langford is looking for bad basketball he will be comfortable in Bloomington, but the scandal may follow him, too.
In the article Pitino later mentions Kentucky.
“(Adidas) knew that Nike and Under Armour were going to make a run for him,” Pitino said. “I didn’t want him going to Nike or Under Armour .?.?. because then, he would’ve gone to Kentucky or somewhere else. .?.?. I would’ve had no chance.”
Pitino goes on to say that adidas never mentioned payments to him because they knew if they did that Pitino would be furious and drop adidas from the University of Louisville. Sure.
Strangely enough the team created specifically for Langford won’t compete on the adidas circuit this spring and summer. Funny how that worked.
Folks in Bloomington have to be nervous after today’s news.