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Chicago Tribune columnist says Pitino is losing his mind


Just when the dust was settling on Rick Pitino’s meltdown from last week (because it was a meltdown!), here comes someone else to bring it back to the surface. No, not me, Chicago Tribune columnist Teddy Greenstein, who wrote yesterday that Rick Pitino’s press conference on New Year’s Day proves he’s “living in an alternate reality”:

So this is what it looks like when a coach loses his mind.

He transitions from drunk on power – blowing off postgame interviews after a loss to his team’s biggest rival – to life in an alternate reality. And he does it before our very eyes.

Greenstein breaks down Rick’s handling of the sex scandal — including his refusal to resign — and his hypocritical and bizarre comments about what he should and should not be held responsible for as a head coach, including his odd reference to Joe Paterno.

If you’d like some Pitino takedown with your toast this morning, click on over to the Chicago Tribune for more.

[Louisville’s Rick Pitino is living in an alternate reality]

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.

46 Comments for Chicago Tribune columnist says Pitino is losing his mind

  1. somerset bill
    10:08 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    will you make me a meltdown?

  2. Cat House
    10:11 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    Seriously people. I would love to read this but I am not going to register with the freaking Chicago Tribune.

  3. ukjaybrat
    10:16 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    i still love the analogy that what’s-his-nuts got suspended for a game for flopping but pitino thinks he is above morals when he flips off a stadium of fans.

    apparently flopping > flipping

  4. inside info2
    10:31 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    Mrs. TT, I don’t disagree with you much, but it was NOT a meltdown. He was pretty cool and collected during the press conference. I agree that he is living in an alternative reality, but it is a pretty calm alternative reality, not one that included a meltdown.

    It looks like the heat is continuing to build at UL instead of dissipating. He may yet have to resign, along with the president of the university.

    • chimichanga
      10:46 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Calm and collected? He looked like a complete nutbag and made a fool out of himself many times over with ludicrous statements.

    • TheNewOriginal
      10:59 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      chimichanga and Mrs TT. If that is a meltdown, what would you call this?

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:04 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Mrs. TT is backed up by the Tribune.

    • inside info2
      11:16 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      noun melt·down \ˈmelt-ËŒdau̇n\
      Definition of meltdown

      : an accident in which the core of a nuclear reactor melts and releases radiation
      : a very fast collapse or failure
      : a very fast loss of emotional self-control

      Rick is not a nuclear reactor, so the first definition does not fit. There was no very fast collapse or failure in the press conference, so that does not fit. There was no very fast loss of emotional self-control. Like I said, he was pretty calm, did not yell and scream, and made no excited emotional statements punctuated by yelling, “THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!” ala Dennis Green. So no, this was not a meltdown. You can call it ridiculous, which I might agree with, but it was not a meltdown.

    • Booby Petrino
      11:54 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Lol at inside busting out his dictionary. Hey let’s look and see what Urban Dictionary has to say: Meltdown – Describes what happens when a person freaks out, cracks, loses control of themselves. Life – reality at large- becomes overwhelming. They just can’t deal with it all. The person may act out, withdraw, become emotional, run, etc…

      Well he definitely fits the Urban Dictionary definition, as he is overwhelmed and can’t deal with it all. So, you may not feel he had a meltdown bc it does not fit the traditional definition, but others disagree…and that’s okay…that’s the beauty of the US…we can all have our opinion. Now stop arguing over a stupid word!

    • chimichanga
      12:27 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      I’ve seen a lot of dudes on here trying to call out the writer for the use of the word “meltdown”, calling her “girl” and other stupid condescending bullshit. The point stands that Pitino seems edgy, desperate even.

      I thought it was telling that the reporter apologized to Pitino BEFORE he even asked the question. Goes to show you the kind of kid gloves treatment U of L gets from the local media, and even then Rick still overreacts.

    • inside info2
      1:32 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      chimi, for the record I have never been condescending to Mrs. TT because she is a girl. Maybe for other reasons but not because she is a girl.

      It is amazing how Pitino and UL get treated by the local media. I really wish we could trade Jerry Tipton to them and see if he changes the coverage or if it changes him.

  5. Bluebloodtoo
    10:33 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah, not paying for a “day pass”, When are Newspapers going realize that the pay to read concept is failing? How are those paper subscriptions doing? They might have more success if you won something at the end of reading the article. Make it a game that you need to constantly buy things in just to get past a few certain levels. That works well for the pay to play gaming apps.

  6. Long Dong Silver
    10:46 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    That was a colossal waste of time.

  7. Chopper
    11:00 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    I love KSR. I am Not a UofL troll. This anti-Rick bullshit is juvenile and a huge turn off. Sure the people whose lives revolve around KSR (the 40 and up generation that have low basketball IQ’s) love it. Anyone that is a true UK fan loves Rick. He brought the program back from the dead. There would be no Coach Cal and titles 6, 7, and 8, were it not for Rick. He won with 3 eastern Kentucky boys. I know hundreds of fans that dislike it when KSR talks shit bout Rick. I hope the day never comes, but if UK ever screws up in any way whatsoever, BBN will pay for all the shit stirred up by KSR. I know Matt, Drew, and TT won’t stop. I’m just saying it’s a turn off for me. I guarantee you that over 3/4 of the KSR anti-Rick crowd couldn’t watch a game and tell you what type of defense the opposition is playing or explain how UK defense ball screens and pick and roll. I love Matt, Drew, and TT. Huge supporters, but they couldn’t watch a game and tell you either. It’s fine to hate your rival, but some day in our lifetime, I’m afraid that karma will catch us. What did Rick do? Who wouldn’t take a job with the pay raise Rick got to leave UK for the Boston Celtics?

    • ClutchCargo
      11:09 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Let me break it down for you: we’re way past caring that he left UK for the Celtics. Good for him that he was chasing his dream. We appreciated what he did at UK when he was probably the only coach out there that could have done it. Now he is a braying, attention-seeking jackass who is coaching our most bitter rival. A lot of people like to make fun of this jackass, and some even pity him at least a little. None of that has anything to do with basketball knowledge, by the way.

    • ukkatzfan
      11:14 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      This site is not the place for basketball mensa. This site is basketball maxim hooters. So I think 90% of your complaints are due to the fact that you are just too darn smart for this site. So, maybe some site run by a coaches organization would appeal to someone of your basketball intellect. So TT can you post some Bama cheerleader pics for me while I grab a beer and some chew?

    • BluKudzu
      11:35 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Slow news day, for everybody. The Chicago Tribune hammering on Rick is far better than them hammering on Cal.

      A wise person told me years ago, “Rick Pitino will build another college basketball program, and Rick Pitino will bring that same college basketball program down to its knees.” This was told to me immediately after his departure from the Celtics. At the time, I did not see how something like this could ever happen. He told me it would be his ego. He told me that Rick will land someplace that will give him the biggest splash. He told me, Rick lives in a fantasy world, and his heightened sense of himself will make his world crumble, and those around him would suffer most.

      I had no idea what this was talking about, I couldn’t see it because at the time, I was still a Pitino fan.
      Then he landed in Louisville. Then the lies. Then the misconduct at Porcini’s. Then the other stuff with hookers and lying about the finger. It is falling right into line.

      The guy that shared this with me, has since passed. He was closely connected to the program, and after a few bourbons, he spoke of what he knew, with no filter. That was a long time ago.

      I don’t care about Louisville Basketball. Heck, I am not a huge fan of basketball anymore. But I do find it fascinating to watch an icon, self destruct. It is sad to witness, but, ego, like when compared to any dependency habit, is very dangerous when it gets out of control. It absolutely hurts everyone around them, and the sad part, is they do not care because they can not see it.

    • J-Dub421
      11:45 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      UK will get crushed if we ever screw up regardless because fans of other teams hate our success and are jealous. Poking fun at Pitino will have zero bearing on that in any way.

      If you don’t want to read the Pitino articles, then don’t read them. But get off your moral high horse and stop assuming that you’re so much smarter than other fans on this site, or go find another site for your UK news.

      Why do you feel the need to continue to give your loyalty to a man who flipped off our fan base in the very building where a jersey was retired for him?? Rick has a U of L tatoo now. He’s gone all in with U of L and they can have him. I am grateful for what Pitino once did for our program, but Pitino left UK almost 20 years ago. Stop living in the past.

    • Basteballer
      11:58 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      @Chopper: Rick was great when he’s here. He’s degenerated into a terrible person since then. No one cares that he went to the NBA. Good for him. Still, it’s legitimate to acknowledge that he’s become a colossal liar, publicly humiliated his family with the whole Sypher affair, and is well known to be the worst loser in coaching (according to his friends). He’s in complete denial about what’s happening to his program and the quality of players they’ve had through there (how many have they had to release?).

      What I like about Rick is that he did great things here, is directly responsible for 16 UL losses to UK, and is taking them straight to probation. But to expect us to not mock him when the rest of the country is doing the same…? Well, you’ve got a weird perspective, friend.

    • Long Dong Silver
      12:15 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Chopper gets the Fool Of The Day Post award! I think you are an uneducated rube that wouldn’t know zone from man.

    11:15 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    I used to love my ex wife. I don’t hate her now and appreciate the growth that we both experienced together. If she had left me for some random guy i would be ok ( it was a mutual split) If she left me to shack up with my brother, I would despise her.

    I played hockey, baseball and soccer , am over 40 and could discuss basketball at a reasonable level with all but the most ridiculous basketball nerds.

    Pitino posts get hits. Period. Not morally sound but financially decent for KSR.
    As a Celts fan since 1972, I was beyond excited when Rick was to revive my once storied franchise.
    Sitting at a bar in Logan airport with a UK windbreaker on, I was approached by a local. ” Hey, Kentucky guy, you like Rick? ” Well yeah, I replied.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:17 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      …” well please take him back to KYwith you when you get on the plane.”

    • ukkatzfan
      11:44 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      You like Pitino and your ex. I don’t like Pitino, my ex or your ex and 2 of the 3 are trash. Good luck on your reconciliation with your ex. But leave reconciling with Pitino out of the remotest of scenarios. Bobby Petrino is mother teresa compared to sick rick.

  9. NCB
    11:17 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    Couldnt agree with CHOPPER more! The hatred for Pitino has to stop! Its making this site awful. Pitino is the best thing thats ever happened to UK and if you dont believe that then you are one of the morons that CHOPPER is talking about. 98% of #BBN cant tell the diffence between a “pick-n-roll” and a “give-n-go.” The KSR writers are just getting annoying with the Pitino hatred. You same people hating non stop on Pitino are the same ones tweeting and ridiculing Cal after each loss or when they dont play well. Cal is going to go to the NBA for the sole reason of our idiotic fans driving him crazy after a loss or a bump in the road. I am embarassed to be a UK for once every two years. Thats when Pitino walks into Rupp Arena, where his name hangs in the rafters might I add, and our IDIOTIC fans boo him. It’s a disgrace to the true fans of #BBN. All you’re doing is making us look terrible. Matt, Drew, and TT just dont know any better. They are writers and would have no clue what to do if they ever had to suit up, or sit on a basketball bench. Good day!

    • Basteballer
      11:50 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      @NCB: Your quote “Pitino is the best thing thats ever happened to UK and if you dont believe that then you are one of the morons that CHOPPER is talking about.” is asinine. It is objectively false. John Calipari has won more and elevated the program even higher than Rick did. Yeah, Rick did it after probation. Still not as good for the program as Calipari is now. And that was coming on the heels of the Gillispie debacle when no other good coach was interested.

      Here’s the thing… if you don’t like KSR talking about Rick Pitino and the UL Hookergate, don’t read KSR. It’s that simple. Go get your Kentucky news elsewhere.

      Rick was great when he was at UK. He’s ridiculous at UL.

    • chimichanga
      12:35 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      If you really look at sports fandom objectively, I think its fair to say the whole thing is pretty dumb. “Sports hate” and all that. But I think most of us are aware that it’s all kind of an illusion we participate in for fun. When you start calling our fans idiotic for booing our rival’s coach and going on long negative rants, that’s a good sign you’re probably taking it too seriously.

  10. Delk for 3
    11:27 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    UKKatsFan — You think Chopper is too smart for this site? I think the opposite. Someone who writes such foolishness is an a$$clown like Rick himself — just full of crap.
    Chopper suggests that people who support Rick know more about basketball than those who don’t support him. Lost all credibility right there. Case closed, a$$clown.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:29 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      ^^^^+ 1,000^^^^

    • TheNewOriginal
      11:49 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      So now Chopper is an a$$clown? The problem with truly ignorant people is that they are too ignorant to realize that they are ignorant. Chopper does not appear to be in that category. But, then again, maybe some of us a$$clowns are too ignorant to recognize that…? Continue with your hating on other coaches, it will make you feel better about yourself.

    • ukkatzfan
      11:57 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      I guess you were talkin to me even tho you put caps in my name. I was acknowledging the fact that he thinks he is too smart for this site. This site is for crazy people. Cal says”You people are crazy”. I am a crazy a$$clown. Speaking of that, TT, you got the cheerleader pics yet? tic

    • Booby Petrino
      12:13 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      lol are the high schoolers on break? You’re ignorant! No you’re ignorant! No, you’re an a$$clown! I know you are but what am I?

  11. Tej
    11:34 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    It’s a sad ending to a Hall of Fame career. Pitino was a great coach at UK and he resurrected our program. The animosity toward him is uncalled for. I want Lou and him to lose but I have no personal hatred like some fans. His personal failings are well-known but I judge him as a coach not as a friend or relative. I take no delight in his embarrassments.

    • 2thepoint
      12:07 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      I do take offense. He never cared for UK while he was here, because he was flirting with any NBA program he could find to get his money. He finally took the Celtics job when they were desperate for a coach to bring the program back, but he destroyed it and left it like he did at the Knicks. Players told him where he could park his ego. He is unforgiving toward Winston Bennett and many times hypocritical towards Winston. He then takes the ul job knowing full well what would happen. Mr. Bill begged him not to do it, but he did anyway. Then he kept inserting his ideas into the UK program. He thought he could dictate to UK who to hire to replace Billy. He knew full well what would happen when they hired Cal. The record is now Rick 1 and Cal 8 so how should we judge him as a coach? Besides that UK would have 1 more banner if he had played Anderson in ’97 and stopped pressing when Edwards was hobbling up the court.

      Keep writing KSR and yes it was a meltdown and a planned one at that.

  12. BobKYCats
    12:00 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

    For those who don’t want to register, View Source is a wonderful thing.

    Pitino sort of answered, but not really, saying: “I did not. It wasn’t fans, per se. I was in the tunnel, and it’s really not important.”

    It was a precursor of things to come.

    Pitino’s program has been rocked by a sex scandal. The book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” alleges the school’s former director of basketball operations Andre McGee hired strippers and prostitutes for Louisville players and recruits.

    He didn’t do this once. He did this 22 times, according to author and escort ringleader Katina Powell. (Five players confirmed the allegations to ESPN.)

    The parties raged over a four-year span. Some took place on campus; in Billy Minardi Hall, a dormitory named after Pitino’s late brother-in-law, who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It’s the dormitory Pitino had constructed to “segregate his players from the general student population,” as columnist Rick Bozich put it on

    And yet Pitino won’t resign.

    He said “none of it makes sense to me” as if we’re all naive to how recruiting works.

    He alleged that McGee was a rogue employee who “wronged” the program: “Did one person do some scurrilous things? I believe so. What I don’t know is why he did it. For the life of me, I can’t figure out. He knew better. He was taught better by his parents and me.”

    The $6 million-a-year coach used several euphemisms for “cheating” and contradicted himself within the same sentence: “Let’s understand this: Back in the old days when a coach was making $17,000-$19,000, he may have turned his eyes a little bit to things that may have been going on. When someone is making the incomes that we are making today, you are not risking one single thing.

    “Now some people may still be on the fence and take risks, but you’re not going to find people like that, taking those risks anymore. You think they’re going to risk bringing people into strip? Are you crazy?”

    I interned one fall at the newspaper in Lexington, Ky., and came away with one good Pitino story. A pizza guy stops at his house to drop off the pies. Pitino takes them and simply walks inside.

    What, you expect him to actually pay for his food?

    Pitino is like so many high-level coaches who vacillate between knowing everything about their program and knowing nothing at all.

    “I guarantee if a chair breaks in Minardi Hall and I find out about it, there’s going to be a problem,” he said. “You can bet I’d be the last guy to find out about it – because the moment it happened, all hell would pay.”

    Even if Pitino did not know about the sex parties (an incredible stretch given their location and frequency) he should be familiar with the concept of responsibility. If someone cheated this blatantly on his watch, he should step down. Period.

    His odd ramblings even included this: “The one person I would never question is Joe Paterno. He would be the one guy I would hold above reproach. What did they do? They took a statue away. They probably killed him. (I don’t think I’ve ever met a man with more integrity. He didn’t know about the Jerry Sandusky scandal). It was scurrilous what that assistant coach was doing. I believe in Joe Paterno. The way he went out, it breaks your heart.”

  13. NCB
    12:04 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

    BASTEBALLER- Do you think Cal would be at UK if Pitino didnt turn the program around?

    • J-Dub421
      12:15 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Yes, because Cal said he’d always wanted to coach at UK. We have 8 titles under 5 different coaches. Stop acting like our entire program centers around Pitino like Duke’s does with Coach K. UK was great before Pitino, and we’re great without him now. He is not the be all, end all for UK basketball.

      Do you still like Bill Cosby because the Cosby Show was great back in the day now that you know he’s probably a rapist??? People’s perceptions change when new information is introduced.

    • 2thepoint
      12:20 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Do you think fliptino would have taken the UK job when Billy got fired? No, but Cal did!

  14. secrick
    12:21 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

    I agree chopper is a clown and full of it. He does have the ok to think what he wants . He is not a UK fan no matter what he claims.Rick sucks and i am over 40 and chopper might be right about me. I may have a low IQ but the old chopper sounds like a cry baby to me. RICK SUCKS. THE CARDS SUCK.

  15. Tej
    1:03 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

    2the point-Surely, you are not saying because he is 1-8 against Cal, Pitino is not a good coach. His record speaks otherwise. I suspect that you, like most UK fans including me, loved the championship years when he coached here. I don’t have any real knowledge of his relationship with players but most seem loyal to him. If he has turned on Winston Bennett as you say, there certainly is some hypocrisy there. I just think to end his career on these controversial and embarrassing notes is sad. I realize that there are fans who will never forgive Pitino for going to Lou. But, maybe a few appreciate his years here no matter what he has done since.

  16. BluKudzu
    2:46 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

    I think it rather obvious, the smartest people that post in here are University of Louisville Cardinals, men’s basketball, head coach Rick Pitino fans. The University of Louisville has their own sports blog called the Cardinal Chronicle. I think it is there, the University of Louisville Cardinals, men’s basketball, head coach Rick Pitino fans can find reports that present him in a more forgiving light, and will remain less critical of him as well. I wonder why the smartest fans keep coming here to defend a degenerate such as University of Louisville Cardinals, men’s basketball, head coach Rick Pitino, who left UK for other opportunities, almost 2 decades ago. It seems, the worlds smartest fans of University of Louisville Cardinals, men’s basketball, head coach Rick Pitino do not realize that the stupid people of this sight think it is acceptable to voice their opinion about University of Louisville Cardinals, men’s basketball, head coach Rick Pitino and their fans.
    To the super intelligent University of Louisville Cardinals, men’s basketball, head coach Rick Pitino fans, you should read what is written about our program on their sight, I bet it is not nearly as nice to the fans or the UK sports program.
    So go there University of Louisville Cardinals, men’s basketball, head coach Rick Pitino fans. your feelings will be less hurt.

    • TheNewOriginal
      3:02 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      So if you disagree with anything KSR writes, you’re definitely a UL Cardinal? I have been a UK fan my entire life. That said, I don’t hate U of L. When you get the hell out of Kentucky and live/work in any non-southern state, you begin to realize how prevalent the feeling is that Kentucky consists entirely of inbred hillbillies. So,would I be for Louisville over Michigan State? (spent a couple of years in East Lansing) or Indiana (ditto the years in Indianapolis.) Hell yes, I will be for any in state school any day. A booster (major contributor to UK sports) told me that the only people that hate Matt Jones/KSR more than UL people are the true UK fans. But, he’s probably a UL Cardinal that just enjoys giving major money to UK sports.

    • UK Big Board Update
      3:23 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      ^^ Your arguments are just sad. You should just quit.

      “A booster (major contributor to UK sports) told me that the only people that hate Matt Jones/KSR more than UL people are the true UK fans.”

      That must be why Matt, his site, and the radio show are so popular. It must be from all the haters of Matt listening, reading, etc.


    • TheNewOriginal
      10:22 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Very strange how when you talk to a major booster that they have never looked at KSR. But then again, maybe you should GTFOH – YCS.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:25 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

      Then how do they know who the hell Matt Jones is?