Could the folks out in Westwood make a deal with the devil?
There have been differeing reports regarding where support for the former Louisville coach is coming from, but it seems pretty clear that someone at UCLA is endorsing Rick Pitino for the job once held by the considerably more honorable John Wooden.
Forbes’ Adam Zagoria reported Friday that Casey Wasserman and John Branca, two top UCLA boosters, both want Pitino for the job. Bruins Nation has since published a conflicting story stating Wasserman isn’t actually interested in a coach who once oversaw a hooker-hiring program.
Pitino’s own words in the Courier Journal would indicate that he has interest in the position. While at first he seemed pretty content to stay in Greece, when the 11-time national championship winning program was brought up, his mood shifted:
Pitino, now coaching in Greece for the EuroLeague’s Panathinaikos OPAP, initially scoffed at the scenario.
“Not going to happen,” he said via text message on Wednesday. “When Louisville fired me without waiting, my fate was sealed.”
Yet later that same day, the possibility of being contacted about the UCLA position plainly piqued Pitino’s interest.
“Hope so,” he wrote. “It’s a great job.”
At this point, it’s still safe to call the odds of UCLA picking Pitino slim to none. But the Bruins weren’t exactly afraid to court controversy with the Ball family in recent years, so I guess anything is possible.
New rivalry, anyone?