If Rick Pitino wants to get back to coaching basketball, he has his opportunity.
According to long-time NBA reporter Marc Stein, Rick Pitino has an offer on the table from the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League. The Breakers recently took on new U.S.-based ownership, and there is serious interest in Pitino as the organization’s head coach.
The New Zealand Breakers, I’m told, have offered their vacant head coaching position to former Louisville coach Rick Pitino. The @NZBreakers play in Australia’s @NBL and their new American ownership has been pitching Pitino’s representative on the post this week.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 30, 2018
The Breakers’ new American ownership includes our dear friends Big Cat and PFT Commenter of the “Pardon My Take” podcast (seriously), as well as former NBA players Shawn Marion and Matt Walsh. Yes, that is the same Big Cat and PFT Commenter who make fun of Pitino almost as much as we do.
I wish I were clever enough to make this up, but it’s legit.
It may help that New Zealand is led in scoring by Edgar Sosa, one of Pitino’s favorite point guards at Louisville.
Help me hate Chris Mack.
Because now that Chris Mack is the head coach at Louisville, I need to hate Chris Mack.
So what do we know about him? I’ll admit: I know very little. I know he coached at Xavier and did pretty well there. I know he also played at Xavier. I know he doesn’t like Mick Cronin and neither do I. I know he’s bald.
Other than that, my Mack knowledge is limited. His Wikipedia page tells me he played tuba in the University of Evansville band before transferring to Xavier, but that’s pretty funny. I can’t hate him for playing tuba in college. I know one of his assistants is Bill Murray’s son, which means Bill Murray will now be a Louisville fan — I can definitely hate him for that.
What else, though? Who can give me a really good reason to hate Mack, other than the fact he’s at Louisville? Rick Pitino was easy to hate and poke fun of. Almost too easy, really. But Mack, this is going to take some work.
The pimp jokes write themselves, so that’s fun:
But I still need more than Louisville hiring another pimp on its coaching staff.
Any ideas? Or should I just wait and let nature work its course?
After several days (weeks?) of speculation, Louisville finally has its man. According to Jeff Goodman, Louisville and Xavier’s Chris Mack have agreed to a seven-year deal worth roughly $4 million per season. An official announcement is expected tomorrow.
Mack is Xavier’s all-time winningest coach, with a 212-96 record, three Sweet 16 appearances, and one Elite Eight appearance. This year, the Musketeers won the Big East regular season title and were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Mack will replace interim coach David Padgett, who took over when Rick Pitino was dismissed in September amid the FBI’s investigation into college hoops.
This is a great hire for Louisville and I’m a little bitter because it appears Mack’s bringing his assistant Luke Murray, son of Bill Murray, with him, which means we’ve got several years of seeing Bill cheer for Louisville ahead of us. Dangit.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2018 @ 11:32am
Need further proof that Xavier’s Chris Mack will be the next coach at the University of Louisville?
Here ya go:
Kent Taylor of WAVE-TV fame tweeted that the family of an unnamed recruit says Mack called them to say he is now recruiting for Louisville, not Xavier.
The family of a recruit says that a Xavier coach or assistant coach has called and informed them that they are now actually recruiting for UofL
— Kent Taylor (@KentTaylorWAVE) March 26, 2018
There was already plenty scuttlebutt suggesting Mack is all set to be the Cardinals’ next head coach, and this only adds more evidence to the discussion.
Vince Tyra will be formally named the full-time athletic director at UofL later today. Mack should be introduced as coach not long after that.
By Nick Roush on ©March 22nd, 2018 @ 3:00pm
Almost two years after UofL police concluded their criminal investigation into Katina Powell and Andre McGee, we have the results.
In records obtained by Jason Riley of WDRB, UofL police urged the Commonwealth’s Attorney to charge Powell and McGee for multiple felonies, including prostitution, promoting prostitution, unlawful transaction with a minor and engaging in organized crime from 2010 through 2014. Police listed Powell, her three daughters and McGee as the three organized crime suspects and said the syndicate would have continued if McGee did not leave the university for another job.
Upon receipt of the report, Jefferson County prosecutors chose not to press charges. There was not enough credible, corroborating evidence to make a case.
“Simply because they (U of L police) say it, doesn’t make it so, with all due respect to their police department,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said today.
Even though nothing came of the UofL police report, it’s still quite a fascinating read that you can check out at WDRB.
By Nick Roush on ©March 21st, 2018 @ 1:42pm
Since Rick Pitino lost his job at the University of Louisville, he’s proclaimed innocence. As FBI investigators connected Coach-2 to the pay-for-play college basketball scandal, he admitted no fault.
Unable to shut his mouth, the more Pitino has talked, the more defiant he has become. The last we heard from Slick Rick, he told Jeff Goodman he’s ready to coach again, and he’s prepared to reveal any and all documents to prove his innocence. The Washington Post took him up on that offer.
Will Hobson met with Pitino for more than two hours in Miami after Pitino allowed a reporter to comb through transcripts of his text messages to different parties in the scandal. The immense report paints a much clearer picture of the scandal as we know it. Most importantly, it provides hilarious quotes like this:
“I wish I was on a wiretap, because that would declare my innocence, 100 percent,” Pitino said.
The timing of the story is impeccable. Last night Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Pitino is a candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks’ head coaching vacancy. Pitino once again reiterated his desire to return to coaching, but the greatest revelation from the WaPo story is what Rick has been doing since he was fired.
He spends his days in the gym and on the golf course. He’s been doing more reading; concerned friends have sent along self-help books. When he wants solitude, Pitino takes his boat, The Floating Cardinal — “I know, I’m going to change the name,” he said — on a short trek over to Shuckers, a dockside bar attached to the back of a Best Western where the locals tend to leave him be as he sits at the bar, orders a salad and watches a game.
Rick Pitino is reading self-help books at the Best Western bar. How the mighty have fallen.
By Nick Roush on ©March 16th, 2018 @ 4:00pm
Louisville fans are taking extreme(ly stupid) measures to keep their beloved 2013 National Championship banner.
Fans created a group, the University of Louisville Protection and Advocacy Coalition (Louisville PAC), and hired attorney Robert Florio to file a lawsuit against the NCAA. Florio told the Courier-Journal he plans to charge the NCAA with breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and arbitrary and capricious treatment of a member school. The Louisville PAC hopes this suit will reverse the NCAA’s decision and remove all penalties.
Rick Pitino said last month the University of Louisville Board of Trustees should sue the NCAA for vacating UofL’s wins. When the board did not take action, fans did, even though I don’t think that’s how the law works.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 11th, 2018 @ 8:45pm
Louisville fans had their hearts torn out when they officially missed out on the NCAA Tournament this afternoon.
Soon thereafter, news broke that not only did their tournament dreams burst, they weren’t even considered one of the First Four Out.
Just now, the Cards reached a new low, as they will not only miss out on the Big Dance, they will be the TWO-seed in the NIT against Northern Kentucky in the first round.
On the bright side, Louisville has been looking for something to replace the 2013 National Championship banner in the Yum! Center. An NIT title banner would look pretty good in the rafters as a replacement if you ask me.
After news broke that Georgia fired head coach Mark Fox, Mrs. Tyler Thompson wrote:
Both the Ole Miss and Georgia jobs are now open. Hopefully neither of the schools are dumb enough to hire Rick Pitino.
Georgia might just be dumb enough to do it.
Now that the dust has settled, people are talking. Jay Williams is listening and he’s heard that Slick Rick’s name is hot in the streets. The ESPN analyst’s exact words were:
Been hearing Rick Pitino’s name a lot from trusted sources regarding the Georgia job.
Pitino did say yesterday that he’s hired an agent and he plans on a return to coaching. If Pitino doesn’t want to keep losing to Calipari every year, another former rivaled foe might. Mike Decourcy reports former Indiana coach Tom Crean is interested in Georgia’s head coaching vacancy. This coaching search is gonna be…something.