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Kornheiser and Wojciechowski talk Pitino

While Louisville’s 31-point loss to Providence last night may have been the “point blank period” on Rick Pitino’s fall from grace, the national media had already started to pick up on Rick’s rotting scent. On Tony Kornheiser’s radio show on Monday, Tony interviewed Gene Wojciechowski about his new book about the ’92 Kentucky/Duke game (which is apparently the best book ever written), and the two discussed the Rick Pitino of old vs. the sad Rick Pitino of now. Eric Crawford transcribed the discussion on his tumblr page, and I’ve included my favorite portions below:

TONY KORNHEISER: Rick Pitino was, in my mind, a heroic figure when he went to Kentucky, given all the sanctions against Kentucky and all of that, and he won so quickly, and as conceited as he is and was – I always really liked him, he’s a Long Island boy and I was used to all that stuff – I don’t think he’s anywhere near that now. It almost looks like this second act at Louisville, it’s almost, not sad, because he wins a lot, but he doesn’t win championships, there’s something deflating about it, and now almost deflating about him. He’s already announced, and God knows why, that he’s going to retire in four or five years. What do you make of, I would guess that you like Pitino, what do you make of him now?

GENE WOJCIECHOWSKI: Well …

KORNHEISER: That was long-winded, wasn’t it Gene?

WOJCIECHOWSKI: No, no, it wasn’t long-winded at all and it’s a valid point because, simply because Louisville isn’t Kentucky. No place is Kentucky. And so anything that Rick Pitino chose after Kentucky, at least in the context of the college landscape, was never going to equal what the Big Blue Nation is. I mean, people used to drive by his house in the cul-de-sac outside Lexington just to look at his house. I mean, they didn’t do that when he was coach of the Knicks. I don’t think they do that when he’s the coach of Louisville.

KORNHEISER: Will he ever win again?

WOJCIECHOWSKI: You know it as well as I do, Tony. If you get the players, you’ll win. And Kentucky gets the players. I don’t know if Kentucky’s ever going to win a national championship, based on this formula of one-and-dones, but if you get the players you’ve always got a chance to win it.

KORNHEISER: But Krzyzewski continues to win, you know, I mean, give Krzyzewski this, over an extended period of time he challenges for the title all the time, and just won one a couple of years ago, and no one is going to be surprised if he wins another. Right? No one’s going to be surprised?

WOJCIECHOWSKI: No. But Louisville is not Duke. And Louisville is a semi-commuter campus. I’m not saying it’s not a fine school in its own right, but it’s not Duke. And while it has a great basketball legacy, it’s not Kentucky either. And, you know, they sort of rolled the bones on Pitino, and he’s done very well, and he could end up winning a championship there, but it’s going to take a lot for him to pull that off at Louisville.

You can listen to the podcast of interview here. They start talking Pitino around the 26:38 mark.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

15 Comments for Kornheiser and Wojciechowski talk Pitino



  1. Tomas
    3:17 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Can I get a podcast of today’s show? You guys are slacking.



  2. Space between John Hoods jersey and chest
    3:21 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    ESPN bringing up Duke…NO WAY!!!



  3. Shabazz
    3:26 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Think I’ll tweet my boy Chane B in the Ville. That undefeated thang was a bad dream bro. Da Cats offered you dawg. Coulda been prepping fo da draft wif AD, MKG, TJ, and Doron by now. Big Time was way to go man. Luck to ya tho.



  4. Sherlock
    3:39 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville is not UK or Duke?

    To think I come here to find out something I didn’t already know….



  5. Bubba Earl
    3:53 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    What house to drive by? His wifey has kicked him out so many times he was probably a roomate of Moammar Q before his sudden passing!



  6. Boy Named Sue
    4:02 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Remember this?…when Pitino seemed to be considered an elite enough coach to include in a commercial.? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0TPodgomLs&feature=player

    This commercial also came out right around the time that Cal took the UK job. My, how things have changed.



  7. uktrackgeezer
    4:07 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I can never get enough of that photograph. Never.



  8. Cristoforouk
    4:09 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I have to disagree with them. I don’t think Pitino has done all that great at UofL. I think he has entirely underachieved. Was he better than Crum at the end of his career? Of course, but that was not hard to surpass. Based on what the fanbase and school thought they were getting with Pitino, he has not met expectations. Not that they should be a top 10 team every year, but they should be top 25 and not flaming out in the first round of the tournament.



  9. WELLLL
    4:16 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Denny Crum won a championship at Louisville… there are only a couple of schools who consistently compete for the National Title on a regular basis… so Louisville has as much chance to win as any school outside of UK, DUKE, Michigan State, and UNC… all other programs are extremely incosistent over a 20-30 year period… however some shine brightly for a brief period of time… I think the best years of basketball were during the Crum Era… downhill since then…



  10. Apathetic Andy
    4:21 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    It’s gotta suck for Tards fans when people outside the UK-Louisville feud see what Pitino and the Tards have become.



  11. Laker Cat 18
    4:35 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    UK fans used to drive by his house when he was at UK. Louisville fans go nuts while driving by Porcini’s now. “That’s where it happened!”



  12. Pura Vida Cat
    4:59 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    I think Pitino poked himself in the eye while attempting to Tebow.



  13. Dane Brammage
    5:53 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville = semi-commuter campus. Ouch. Truth….hurts.



  14. QuickRick
    6:20 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Rick killed his future recruiting IMO by announcing his retirement PREMATURELY. It will be interesting to see who loseville goes after to coach a program that will compete in a depleted big east and follow a good coach that could not turn Louisville into a championship program. Anyone else heard rumors of billy d taking the lil bro job?



  15. CAUKFAN
    9:21 pm January 11, 2012 Permalink

    Little Brother’s chances of winning it all are about is good as my chances of having a million dollars in the bank.

    But hey, we got to have dreams……..