The University of Louisville’s deal with Adidas is only for apparel, not for new players, according to Rick Pitino at his press conference today. Rick and his Cardinals prefer Adidas’ clothing, uniforms and shoes, but have never relied on the brand to land a recruit.
The same can’t be said for Nike and Under Armour schools, he says. #ShotsFired?
“I will say this: Adidas has not one time gotten me a basketball player in my 15 years here. Nike or Under Armour they will–not doing anything wrong–when those players go to those camps, you know which schools are Nike schools and which schools are Under Armour schools and they go after… Adidas is just not like that. They don’t promote their schools to recruits. They just don’t do that… Adidas has not one time directed a player my way, and I never once asked them for my help.”
A couple of observations here:
— Rick does not honestly prefer Adidas, nor does anyone in that locker room. True story: I once saw a former U of L basketball player at a Foot Locker in Louisville about a month after graduation, and he was buying lots of new Nike shoes. He told an employee he and his teammates couldn’t wait to get out of their Adidas shoes and into Nikes, and they had been looking forward to it for years. (That being said, Adidas shoes have improved recently, although Yeezy has not jumped over Jumpman, as he claims.)
— There is no way Pitino likes these:
— If your shoe deal is hurting your recruiting, maybe it’s time for a new shoe deal. Rick can say he doesn’t need Adidas’ help, but in this day and age, shoes are everything in basketball.
— The dig at Nike and Under Armour was salty.
— He wants shoe companies completely out of basketball recruiting. Meanwhile, everyone else wants hookers completely out of basketball recruiting. Did Katina help him get a basketball player in his 15 years?