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“Sorry Rick Pitino, Kentucky’s John Calipari is now King in Kentucky”

Caption me!

The grandfather of college basketball writers, Dick Weiss, has a nice piece on the relationship between Rick Pitino and John Calipari. Weiss recounts the history between the two coaches, which infamously started with Pitino recommending Calipari for the UMass job in 1998 and donating $5,000 from his own pocket to cover part of Cal’s first-year salary. Weiss says that over the years, the friendship morphed into a personal rivalry during Cal’s days at Memphis, and now with Cal at Kentucky and Rick at Louisville, they have formed “an uneasy truce”:

Pitino used to play with a stacked deck when he was at UK.

He coached the ’Cats to one national title and three Final Fours from 1993 through 1996 and his 1996 title team had nine pros on the roster. But Pitino has never been able to duplciate the success he had at Kentucky and has found himself chasing the 52-year-old Calipari, who has coached the ’Cats to an Elite Eight and a Final Four. The assembly line is in place and it shouldn’t be long before Calipari starts hanging national championship banners at Rupp.

Pitino will watch from a distance as the program he helped rebuild from the ashes marches on.

That almost makes me feel sorry for him.

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.

38 Comments for “Sorry Rick Pitino, Kentucky’s John Calipari is now King in Kentucky”

  1. yep
    1:05 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink


  2. HackRichards
    1:06 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Karen is waitin;’ for ya in the lockerroom….

  3. rh3toric
    1:09 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    yet another story idea from rupp rafters, but everyone already knew that

  4. Ms. Tyler Thompson
    1:10 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    3 – Actually, I saw the story on Dick Weiss’ Twitter feed, but thanks for commenting!

  5. nolablue
    1:12 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    I will never feel sorry for Rick Pitino because of what he did to Karen Sypher.
    As a woman, whether a UK or UL fan, I could never support a team with
    that man at the helm. “Forgiveness” is one thing; doing nothing while
    men like Pitino devastate other peoples’ lives is how schools get into
    a Sandusky situation. Karen Sypher was a grown woman and didn’t
    handle the situation “well” from a legal standpoint, but in the “olden”
    days if a man like Pitino had come to town and done what he did…
    he’s be coaching Daisy roots right now. His smug face sickens me.
    May God have mercy on his soul, and UK have no mercy on his teams.

  6. saki7
    1:13 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    I actually do feel sorry for him. ..despite his stupid choices.

  7. LeaveLousyvilleInTheRearviewMirror
    1:15 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t feel sorry for Pitino. He had it all here and chose to leave. Everybody with a lick of sense told him he was making a huge mistake but all he could see was $$$$$$$$$$. He would already be in the HOF if he stayed. Now the UK program has moved on and still prospers while he is stuck in the mudpit of Lousyville. They deserve each other.

  8. NotTheSlickistRick
    1:16 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    4 Go Tyler smack down the trolls!

  9. DaveUK
    1:18 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Cal announced there will be no open practice at Freedom Hall for Tuesday’s game against Arkansas-Little Rock, but the team will stay 30 minutes after the game for autograph signing.

  10. DaviswiththeFlush
    1:19 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    So, which player dropped out of the breakfast club? My guess is Teague. I saw Teague play in HS six or seven times. He was a good player was way overhyped. I think his bro’s success led to the hype. He was a better AAU player than HS player, which means he’s not as good playing structured basketball. Cal should have taken Tony Wroten. That choice could cost this team in the end. Teague is not a one and done, no way. Russ Smith is better than him and I do not see Russ on any draft boards. Also, rumblings in Teague’s hometown are that he and Cal hate each other.

  11. cosmoj
    1:22 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino made his choices, gotta live with them.

  12. Sammydog
    1:25 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Pitino’s mistake was to ever take the Louisville job considering how woven he was into the fabric of UK basketball tradition. There are many who believe a coach is free to take any job he wants and in the cold hard light of money and ambition, that is a true statement. There were other coaching opportunities for Pitino and I often wonder what arguments Jurich used to persuade Pitino to stick a finger in the eye of the UK Administration and the fan base.When I heard he accepted the job, I was dumbfounded. As a previous fan wrote, he was given the keys to the kingdom at UK and was well treated. The administration trusted him enough to allow him to pick our next coach, Tubby Smith. Then he does this? He has surely paid the price for this poor decision and many others as we all do. Perhaps there will be a time following the Calipari era when both coaches will return to Rupp and bask in the glory of the banners they produced hanging in the rafters above them but we are a long way from that now.

  13. markp
    1:26 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    And he acted like a little b—- by not showing up for the post game interview like all other coaches would. He is a spurned Prima Dona and just doesn’t know how to act since he is no longer the prettiest face in town.

    I logically can see someone leaving us to coach the Celtics, but going to U of L afterwards speaks loudly of his character and the Sypher thing just confirms it. He is an egotistical loser.

  14. strange brew
    1:27 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino will be a hall of famer. He should already be in. It was UK that made him one. Now he’s an old guy trying to hang on for whatever reasons. He turned his back on the greatest coaching job in all of basketball, besides maybe the Los Angles Lakers coaching job. He got what he deserves.

  15. Sammydog
    1:27 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    It was Lamb who dropped out. I am not sure Teague ever joined.

  16. MacGruber
    1:35 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    I think it was Judd Nelson that dropped out. Kid had an attitude problem.

  17. cosmoj
    1:37 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    The two keys to this team are Terrance Jones getting back into form and Teague improving as much as brandon knight did from november-march last season. It’s way too soon to give up on either of them as there is a lot of basketball to be played and lots of opportunity to improve.

  18. TylerFan
    1:37 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    10: it was Lamb. Cal said so in one of the articles Tyler linked to in a prior post.

  19. starchief5
    1:40 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino would be the coach at UK today if he had gone any place other than UL. We would have gladly taken him back after Tubby had he gone somewhere else and behaved himself professionally.

  20. tsblakecpa
    1:45 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Rick: “Thanks John for the Orange Leaf coupons in my stocking.”

    John: “Rick you have to eat it fast or it will melt. Oh yeah, you do everything fast.”

    Rick: “Good one John.”

  21. The Voice of Reason
    1:56 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    #10, You are terrible. Get out of here with that BS.

  22. Oracle at Delphi
    2:21 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino’s golden touch was nurtured and fed by the energy
    and faith of the Kentucky faithful. It hypnotized him into
    illusions of majesty.He treated it like a love sick puppy teasing
    It with hints of love. Then every year rumors of infidelity
    with the program, recruits,( Michael Bradley example ) and even
    his family. The Celtic Gorgon would not accept getting what
    It paid for. Money talks and Bullshit walks in Boston. Tails of
    heroes past , Bird and company, do not divert from the facts.
    Midas had little touch without UK.
    Still deluded, pitino may have thought the UK faithful might flock
    To him or at least embrace the prodigal son. Nope, instead of
    working in humility, Pitino has let sarcastic slurs, in-between softer
    lines, about what was when he was here the greatest fanbase
    In the world and contradict his former feelings about U of L
    Comments such as never saying anything about other schools
    Open jobs, never engaged in or respond to negative remarks
    That says to me pitino still thinks everyone in the state is stupid
    Enough to believe him to include UofL fans. I just lost all the good
    energy and love that was this mornings Mass

  23. Paducahfan
    2:29 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    If Rick had stayed put no one would ever have heard of Cal but he didn’t and the rest is history

  24. JRA
    2:34 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    key word, almost! We all have choices to make in life, some are definitely better than others. I feel sure Pitino suffers every time he thinks about his terrible decision. Money isn’t everything, at least to most people.

  25. bung
    2:51 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    10 ways to only score 2 fastbreak baskets on 37 defensive rebounds:
    10. go the wrong way
    9. dont go at all
    8. throw rebound at looavul bench
    7. have only 10 assists in the game
    6. kick ball to closest guy
    5. kick ball to closest girl
    4. slow outlet pass
    5. coach said don’t run
    4. it makes you tired
    3. I hate to pass
    2. it is easier to chase them after turnovers

  26. bung
    2:51 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    1. I forgot

  27. serdi
    2:51 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Agree with Weiss. Had he stayed and not made the “biggest mistake of my life,” he would have at least 3 banners to his coaching name. It would be Pitino not Krysentgaqtjhqwoijuski people would talk about.

  28. Mark Liptak
    2:58 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    From S.L. Price’s Sports Illustrated story on Cal:

    “And Nathan, the Minutemen’s booster, and others have told Calipari for years that Pitino’s story of helping him get the UMass job and contributing to his salary is a myth. Instead, Nathan says, the search committee narrowed the pool to Shyatt and Calipari, voted and then threw the final decision to David Bischoff, dean of the school of physical education. “The vote was, I believe, three to two in favor of Larry Shyatt,” Nathan says. “And I can tell you that Rick Pitino was not one of the two people who voted for John Calipari.”

    Wong says of Pitino’s version, “That’s not my recollection.” Bischoff says that he never heard of a budget shortfall. McInerney died last May. Told of the search committee’s comments, Pitino says he remembers no such vote and insists, “I didn’t care who they hired, Calipari or Shyatt. The guy I would’ve loved to see was Stu Jackson.”

    Mark Liptak

  29. Perchjerker
    4:10 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    I think it’s all about ego. Rick was afraid some may think the history and tradition at Kentucky was in part responsible for his success he enjoyed there, and just to prove otherwise set out to show it had all to do with him and nothing else. Just another victim of narcissism.

  30. KD
    4:43 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Yall can have him back anytime you want

  31. We R UK
    5:56 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    I’m glad he left Kentucky. His disgusting behavior and lack of character are things that I don’t want associated with UK. I wish his name would be erased from our rafters, as well as from our history. To all the Pitino-lovers out there that love what he did while at UK, just remember…it was the players who did it, under his direction. Without UK he would be just another decent coach.

  32. Lovelease
    6:06 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Cal: uh is your hand clean?
    Rick: hehe me love u long time
    Cal: right

  33. bluegrassjimmy
    8:03 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    I think Rickie made a calculated but bad mistake! I believe he thought when Tubbie moved on U of K would hire him back, he took the louisville job to bide his time, critical mistake!

  34. brad
    8:14 pm January 1, 2012 Permalink

    Cal: It will be a pleasure kicking your guys’ butts.
    Rick: I don’t think that it will be that easy.
    Cal: Oh crap, I need hand sanitizer, god knows where that hand has been?
    Rick: Whatever.
    Cal: You know any good restaurants in town where two can dine?

  35. caption
    12:42 am January 2, 2012 Permalink

    John: I just farted to express my true feelings for you!
    Rick: Smells Cat-tastic!

  36. Go Cats!
    12:32 pm January 2, 2012 Permalink

    Actually only 2 final fours and 1 title between ’93-’96. The 3rd final four was in ’97.

  37. Jack
    3:29 pm January 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal:”Let’s do lunch sometime.”
    Rick:”Sure I know this great little restaurant…”

  38. Jack
    3:31 pm January 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal:”Let’s do lunch sometime.”
    Rick:”Sure I know this great little restaurant….”