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Full Court French-Press

Chittering monkey;

In the spring he climbs treetops

and thinks himself tall.


So, after Louisville’s absolute shellacking last night by none other than the formidable Friars (0-4 in the Big East before the game), I figured today is a pretty good time to talk about Rick Pitino.  Actually, I had planned to write about him today anyway, and this loss just happened to come at exactly the right time, through what can only be divine intervention.  Call it providence, I guess (for those of you trying to keep up at home, that was a play on words).


As I said on Monday, I’m relatively new around here.  And reading a new writer is like dating a new girl (those of you who don’t have anything to compare, just take my word for it): there are things that you need to know about her before it gets serious. Does she have a good, supportive family? Any crazy ex-boyfriends to be wary of? Is that condition contagious, and if so, is there medicine available for it? Similarly, a UK writer’s opinion on Rick Pitino is an important fundamental to the writer/reader relationship. So I want to be completely honest with you, and I hope that this can work out between us.


I don’t hate Rick Pitino. I don’t even dislike Rick Pitino. I’m sorry if that upsets you, but it’s true. See, to me, hating Rick Pitino means forgetting about the dominant ’96 team (featuring my all-time favorite player: Tony Delk’s arms), and valiant ’97 team that fell in the title game to Arizona (“I bet the Wildcats are gonna win this game!” -My worst, and most often used, joke that year). I love those teams. I was 10 and 11 in those years (which hopefully excuses the above awful joke), and that’s when I first started garnering a love for UK basketball. Hard not to love them when they’re winning so easily, right? And Rick Pitino is absolutely, one hundred percent the man responsible for those wins.


But, Rick left for the Celtics. I wouldn’t’ve (double contraction = totally legit), but I don’t blame him for doing so. Then, infamously, he took the post as Chief Cardinal (redundant?), and we all feel like we have to hate him for leaving us and, apparently, loving little brother more.


And that’s where the animosity begins to rise, but that animosity is really just a defense mechanism which I aim to rid you of. If that’s the case for you, it may help you to look at Rick Pitino like I do: as used coffee grounds. See, coffee grounds are great when you first put them in the percolator. You get a great, flavorful, aromatic cup (or twelve) of black, sludgy goodness. It’s fantastic. Even if you don’t drink coffee, you like the smell of it (I know you do). Your morning now becomes bearable, and those coffee grounds are absolutely, one hundred percent responsible for that pick-me-up. But when you drink your coffee, and you clean up the kitchen, you don’t keep the grounds in the filter. You toss them in the compost. The last thing I want to do is make a pot of coffee using yesterday’s Folger’s (or a good Costa Rican tarrazu, if you find Folger’s too Plebeian).


In exactly the same way, we got many good years out of Rick Pitino. He was good to us, and I’d like to think that we were good to him. But, like coffee grounds, I think it’s safe to say that that goodness was used up. What’s left is not fit to be used any more, and we have to move forward to the next filter. To do otherwise would be unseemly. So I don’t hate Rick Pitino, and I don’t think you should either. He deserves a sort of nostalgic adulation that’s closer to pity than loathing, and in many ways worse. He’s a “remember when?” man at a “remember winning?” school, and nothing more.  I think last night’s game went a long way in exposing that.


Meanwhile, the University of Louisville brags about “stealing” Rick Pitino from us (well, they did before last night). That’s like going through my garbage and “stealing” yesterday’s grounds. You’re welcome to them, if you think you can get anything good out of it. We already got what we wanted (a championship), and both fanbases know you won’t be able to get that again. Personally, we’re much happier with what we have: a fresh coach that still has his best years ahead of him.


Peripheral Scribblings:

-Don’t forget UK Hoops plays Tennessee in Memorial tomorrow at seven.  I plan on being there; you should, too.

-I have a tweetster account that you’re welcome to follow (@coreynicholsKSR). I retain the right to counter-heckle, so antagonize at your own risk.

Article written by Corey Nichols

70 Comments for Full Court French-Press

  1. mocha
    9:02 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    ricky 3 stacks is turrible. even though you may not hate him, i do, and feel every other UK fan should as well.

  2. bigcat013
    9:07 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    while you are spot on, I still hate his ass.

  3. Hoss
    9:09 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    50 points for the double contraction.

    Heard the best call last night on Lachlan’s show. Dude said, “Remember the shirts UL fans were wearing when they first hired Pitino that said ‘Got Pitino?’ UK has a new T-shirt that says, ‘Keep Pitino.'”

  4. ForRealz
    9:11 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not sure if anyone’s told you but parentheses are not required in every sentence (for realz)

  5. GoCatsGo
    9:11 am January 11, 2012 Permalink


  6. Hoss
    9:13 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I happen to like that writing style, For Realz. Easier to read when separate thoughts are, well, clearly separated.

  7. wilDCat
    9:15 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t hate Pitino, there is indeed animosity there that began when he left for the Celtics, but no hate. I do think he’s a douche though, a la Porcinis

  8. bluebiscuit
    9:16 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I notice you said you toss your coffee grounds in the compost, rather than in the garbage. Very good. The old coffee grounds help grow great tomatoes — which are usually red and sometimes get black spots on them, and then rot, which brings us back around to U of L.

  9. R K Oates
    9:16 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Well written and you hit the nail right on the head! It’s really a sad case. Facts are facts and Louisville will never be in the same class as Kentucky. Even Pitino said when he was at Kentucky that it is the Roman empire of college basketball. His best years are behind him.

  10. Tobias Funke
    9:17 am January 11, 2012 Permalink


  11. Red-Headed Chicken
    9:18 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Perfect analogy, Ricky is used coffee grounds

  12. why, oh, why....
    9:20 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    nice post, and Rick is a bit sad to me. He was such a fool to take the Louisville job!! He knew better- he knew the parameters- he knew the fan bases- he knew that UK owned the state… what possible reason could he have for coming back except that he imagined (in his arrogance warped mind) that he could usurp UK? And, if you want to usurp UK- you should expect that fanbase will bring the loathing, especially if you fail. The sad part is tht Rick could have taken the Michigan job- he would have been successful, but not a threat, and UK fans would have embraced him!! He could have had it all…instead, he is washed up- and playing on “Denny Crum” court- he will never replicate the Denny Crum success, this part of his career will always be a bitter disappointment in his mind (especially now with Cal at UK).

  13. Mr Schwump
    9:21 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    The valiant ’97 team fell short because they couldn’t hit FTs. Kinda like another UK team I know.

  14. Hoss
    9:22 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    5- you disagree? Folger’s breakfast blend is hardly Lapsang souchong.

  15. JoeMoney333
    9:24 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    13. That is an excuse that is rather poor. There are 100 plays a game that if gone differently could effect the outcome of a game. The FT’s are just the easiest to play bc they are a visible stat that equates to points. Please don’t sink to that level.

  16. Hoss
    9:24 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Schwump, Zona beat all 4 #1 seeds that year. Sure did.

  17. Coach Jamin
    9:24 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    You sir, are quite possibly my new favorite blogger on KSR. While I disagree with you, I hate Rick Pitino, I like your style. Good job! Oh, and to hell with the 50 points for the double contraction. I’m giving you 100 and I’m an English major!

  18. Hoss
    9:25 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry, 3

  19. Golfer
    9:26 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Is it me, or does anyone else think the monkey comment below the pic can be construed as racist? LOL

  20. barn
    9:28 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    kansas, n car & UK

  21. Chris Thomas
    9:30 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    <3 Corey Nichols

  22. Uglymuffin
    9:33 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Good post and great analogy. I hate Pitino because he thought he could recreate his UK success at a dump like Louisville. Thought it was all him, and alot of the success was him, but clearly not all or he’d be dominating right now. He slapped us in the face when he took that job, so I hate him. I enjoy that he is now out of his mind.

  23. UKBlueBlood81
    9:33 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Well done, Corey! One of the best analogies yet on Little Ricky. Awfully glad he saved his mid-life crisis and abominable behavior for his years at Louisville, rather than bring shame to the Roman Empire.

  24. CPKIII
    9:40 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Let him retire in peace at UL and UK will be happy!!!

  25. saki7
    9:40 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I love a haiku in the morning. Especially when it’s a possible ATL reference.
    Good post this morning.
    Pitino isn’t evil.
    He just makes bad decisions.

  26. bluesince66
    9:41 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Never really have hated Rick, and now am about to the point of feeling pity for him. I think when he took the UL job it was the best one available, and with his ego surely thought he could overcome UK tough lesson learned I guess.

  27. saki7
    9:42 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    not quite a haiku, but close enough for me.

  28. Al's IndiCats
    9:42 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Nice article Cory. And you are correct in that we shouldn’t hate Pitino, just dislike WHAT he did by agreeing to coach the dirty birds, and lying to us and all the recruits he had coming in that year. For it WAS he that promised them that he would be there when they either graduated, or went pro. He also did something he told all his players not to do…..he read his own press clippings, listened to all the talking heads, then thought he could do better than Camelot of the Bluegrass….Well that backfired on him, sending him strait back to where other college coaches derailed their egos. Back to their humble beginings.
    In Lexington he could have done no wrong, even sleeping with the devil (sorry Karen) we as the BBN would have sheilded him against all attackers. nay sayers, and opposing fans. In the eyes (including my own) we would have swore the man walked on water, turned water into wine, and probably parted Cumberland lake had he wanted. NOW…..he’d have a hard time having anyone believe he could even take a shower because now even water evades him. He’s turning wine into vinagar, and it looks like he’s having a hard time parting his last few hairs on his head.
    You know Cory, forget about the first sentence of this comment, he deserves every bad thing happening to him, and I hope UofL gives him a ten year contract extension……..GO CATS!!!!!!!!

  29. ktmiln2
    9:43 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    You are , by far, my favorite writer; though I hate Rick Pitino.

  30. CDC_UKY
    9:44 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Great post and congrats on garnering praise from KSR folks…quite the feat. I do however disagree. Rick leaving for Boston was a bad decision but no reason to hate him. Rick taking the Louisville job shows he has no class or loyalty. He continues to expose himself over and over. I am glad I did not see this side of him until he was gone. Sad.

  31. Colonel Supporter
    9:46 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I think you are dead on with what you say. While he brought UK from the lowest point to the pinnacle again people are to quick to hate just because he went to a hated rival. Why not be proud that the state of Kentucky made such an impression on him that he wanted to return even if it was the Dirty Birds. Just because we still had Tubby and couldn’t get him back. If you would have done that you would have traded at the moment, question is would you be satisfied right now?? Don’t hate, enjoy and relish what he did for the BBN and let the past be the past.

  32. trublu22
    9:51 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Great post…keep up the good work!

  33. Cliver
    10:02 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    So the first half of your post is a crappy rehash of the Pitino timeline that – surprise! – we’re all familiar with, and the second makes use of a weak, unimaginative analogy. Glad this site’s free.

  34. Monstermash
    10:02 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Amazing. Corey made it through a post without mentioning that freaking Ex-Florida QB.

  35. Matt D
    10:04 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Enjoi’d the post. #27 gave me an idea. Daily poetic posts. Mid morning Haiku’s, late night canzones, eight o’clock epigrams, Sunday sestinas and sonnets. Can it get more ridiculous than this? I think not! Get on it KSR krew.

  36. Eloy
    10:05 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I know that parenthesis allow for more jokes (especially self-depricating humor [and the classic ‘obvious carification to make the original joke funnier’ snide remark]) but humor doesn’t always require curvy punctuation.

    Also it hurts my eyes and makes reading an interesting piece feel like riding in one of those jerky county fair rides with rust on every other bolt.

  37. Don
    10:06 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Hashed posted, rehased etc…Personally, I would like to see him never mentioned again unless he bangs another saggy hooker on a table or retires.

  38. eloy
    10:09 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    “So I don’t hate Rick Pitino, and I don’t think you should either. He deserves a sort of nostalgic adulation that’s closer to pity than loathing, and in many ways worse. He’s a “remember when?” man at a “remember winning?” school, and nothing more. I think last night’s game went a long way in exposing that.”

    See, this is what I’m talking about. Wonderful prose with poignent meaning, like movies of old; substance was more important than style or flashy pazazz. No lazy use of punctuation needed.

    Keep it up. (That’s what she said.) (See?! It’s easy but lazy.)

  39. Participant
    10:12 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I submit that Pitino thought he was loved by the people of Ky because of who he was, not where he coached. Some people did swith their loyalty or had dual loyalty.

    But factually, little brother will always be little brother, and we are the UNIVERSITY of Ky.

  40. Don
    10:13 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    #25, that is not Haiku – lol (5-7-5)

    Quickly the Cards fall
    Their fifteen seconds of fame
    Just like Sypher sex

  41. Corey Nichols Agent
    10:18 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    *Blank stare* ok… we started great, Core. Basketball topic. Good start. Pitino and UL losing. This has potential! and then… Was your use of the word “don’t” a typo that that two-bit editor missed? Because she can be replaced, I don’t care how big her funbags are. But we’ll work on it. And great idea recruiting your pals to post postive comments! Way to think on your feet, kiddo! (Don’t post that last part about the comments, my lips are sealed!)

  42. Will
    10:20 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    There is a wonderful God in heaven… I can’t think of anything better than UK playing in the “The Bucket” while those dirty birds play in Freedom Hall on our floor…

  43. Corey Nichols
    10:21 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    “Corey Nichols Agent” doesn’t know how to use apostrophes. Must be why he’s relegated to posting on comment threads, instead of on front pages.

  44. Will
    10:22 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I think “Momma He’s Crazy” should be Slick Rick’s theme song!

  45. saki7
    10:24 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I know, Don. That’s why I said ‘not quite a haiku’. But good eye…
    nice haiku!

  46. Adolph Hitler
    10:29 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I completely agree! Its just like what I’ve told the German people for centuries, appreciate the time we had, the times we were on top of the world. Sure I laid wasted to millions of people but come on, doesn’t that also forget about our dominance and prosperous time on a Global stage. Sure Pitino snatched little Rick 3 from the proverbial oven a bit too soon. But is that any reason to hold hate and malicious in your heart for the man? Haven’t I taught you anything?

  47. whatZ??
    10:33 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    @ @ 15! WTF?? you have got to be kidding me! Those 100’s of other plays that you allude to have other people that have something to say about it. Free throws are “free points” without the defense involved…. get it…. free throws. The defense is punished for fouls which allows the offense free throws. You have to make….free throws…..because when it’s over, the defense is back in your face contesting shots. Hence when you have the chance to score points without defense in your face……hit them!!! If you can’t hit them and you lose by a couple points…guess what? It’s the easiest thing to pick on…….because it’s freeeee!

  48. ChicagoCat
    10:34 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Haikus, double contractions, “plebian”, and tangential parenthesis?!? Corey is everything BTI was not: intelligent, witty, and humorous in a not-trying-too-hard sort of way. KSR gold.

    Great stuff keep it up.

  49. Another Perspective
    10:34 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    One would be inclined to think that a person who makes an issue of whether he is correctly using grammar would never end a sentence with a preposition. But that “one” would be wrong.

    “… defense mechanism which I aim to rid you of.”

  50. bluecat
    10:34 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Great post! And I must admit, I agree with you. I don’t HATE Pitino. I enjoyed the 90s run too much and I refuse to let Pitino hate ruin that for me. But I do thoroughly enjoy watching the demise of him and UL. It is hilarious, sad, but hilarious.

  51. kyfan32
    10:45 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Here is the scoop new guy. When I see Ricky Pitino and U L mentioned as main focal point of an article I refuse to read it. If I wanted to read about U of L or Rick Pitino, like I care, I would go to a U OF L SITE. I for one am sick of hearing about Ricky and U of L. I refuse to waste my time. I don’t know what the point of the article was, or who your audience is, but I honestly don’t care. I wish the writers for this site would write about something other than Rick Pitino or U of L and stop wasting precious time on something as lowly as Ricky and U of L. Why make them news when they need to be non existent?

  52. The Realist
    10:54 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    whatZ??, Very well said.

  53. World's Greatest AD
    10:58 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Rick looks like he could have sired “Rosemary’s Baby”


  54. Will
    11:00 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville Sux …. “Because They Can’t Make It” unlike that stupid paint commercial..

  55. ChicagoCat
    11:07 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    51 – In the time it took you to write that griping complaint you probably could have at least scan-read the post and seen that it was fairly relevant to BBN. Try considering something first before you disregard it wholesale. Judging by the comments, most seem to have enjoyed the article or at least thought it contributed in some way. Maybe you would have too.

  56. Kent
    11:11 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I think you are trying way to hard to make us like you in ur post….still better than BTI tho

  57. transydeltasig
    11:16 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Did anyone see the ESPN article yesterday that provided a list of coaches that deserved a raise if the season ended today? RICKY THREE STACKS??? Really???? Obviously that article came out before the Providence game, but still…….

  58. Cristoforouk
    11:23 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t hate Pitino. But I do dislike him. Not because he coaches at UofL now, but because he is a very dislikeable person. There’s really not much to like about him personally. I know we shouldn’t throw stones, and I am not judging him, but I don’t have to like the man, no matter what he did for UK.

  59. SoCalCat
    11:53 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    19. Agree, I would not have put that caption on the picture. I do find it Politically Incorrect. I know this site touts its absurdity, but I agree that went past the line 🙁

  60. 96cats
    11:54 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t hate Pitino either. I always liked the crazy uniforms he allowed. I think the team was like Oregon is now days, but the best was the long white shorts with the triangles coming up from the bottom.

  61. SoInCatfan
    11:58 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I grew up with Pitino back in the early 90’s and hating him to me personally would be like almost forgetting my past. I went to basketball camp, bought two books went to my fair share of games, open practice that use to be held at Freedom Hall, games of course, and certanily Big Blue Madness. I guess if anything I feel sorry for Ricky, to see him now and to have met him more times than I can recall, and remember the good days back when he came to Lexington. All the great times I had with my friends, my grandparents and my dad going to all the events togather and watching all the games with each other back then. I’ll always have a tender spot for him and that era, because that was my childhood and that was a great time in my life that in reflection I’ll always remember with warm feelings and a time of true happiness for me and my family.

  62. landon Sloan
    11:59 am January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Nice post! Almost feel sorry for him too. However karma’s a Bi!ch!

  63. Bulldawg
    12:34 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    anyone that says the caption is racist is a retard with their mind in the gutter. Get a life, this ain’t the 60’s. everyone is not out to trash african americans. get over yourselves and move on. the rest of the world has. yes their is still hate but in todays world it comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The monkey they are referring to is a white guy for crying out loud. grow up.

  64. como el chico nuevo Nichols
    12:39 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    It is fun to have a villain, and it just happens to be the coach of my youth. Great post though. Keep your writing style the same and the subtle humor. Those of us intelligent enough to get it, like it.

  65. VandyCat
    1:07 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Glad UK had him during his peak. Douche bag, though. How does Karen Sypher’s name not come up? Pretty easy guy to hate. Ask his ex-wife. How does any parent send their 17, 18-year old to learn from this guy, who’s going to be their new role model in life? Douche bag. Easy to hate.

  66. john4uk
    1:19 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t hat Rick Pitino,i just don’t like him.And his act at UK (looking to leave every year)was getting old.Anyway,i am thankful for his years at Uk and the way he turned the program around.He chose Louisville fully knowing how UK fans about that school,so let him be and move on.

    The analogy using coffee grounds was excellent ,never thought of Pitino that way,but it is very fitting.

  67. Truth
    1:34 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Oh boy! One of the new guys is here to talk down to us!

  68. russianblue
    1:34 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    hate haikus, love Corey.

  69. kyfan32
    4:39 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    55….There is nothing relevant about Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville, I don’t need another blog writer giving me their take on the Coach at U of L. I don’t need a blog writer telling me they don’t hate Pitino. I don’t need another blog writer telling me their love. There is nothing relevant about Pitino or U of L that I need to know. Why do the blog writers keep giving this non coach and non existent team any headlines. There must be U of L Card fans here with as much writing is done about Pitino and U of L…. wow

    Seems any more, this site writes as much about U of L and Pitino as they do U of K. Case in point is just now. 1st head line is where Teague get’s his shoes. Second story is you guessed it, what someone says about Pitino.

  70. David from San Diego
    12:20 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Agree with your article. I feel the same way. Pitino will always be respected in my mind for what he did here in the 90s. It was so painful enduring to Tubby for the 10 years I moved to the west coast. Thank goodness we are back where we belong as a program.