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Rick Pitino: “Nick Calathes is the best passer I have seen in my lifetime,” better than Magic Johnson and Larry Bird

Everyone’s favorite Greek basketball coach is back in the headlines. Is anyone really surprised?

This time, it’s for a pretty bold statement. In a post-game interview, Pitino said one of his players, Nick Calathes, is the best passer he’s seen in his lifetime. He specifically says Calathes is better than two of the best basketball players of all time: Magic Johnson Larry Bird.

Calathes played basketball at the University of Florida, where he scored the most points of his collegiate career (33 points) against, who else, the University of Kentucky in 2009. After a brief stint with the Grizzlies, Calathes is currently playing for Pitino in Greece.

Calathes flirted with the triple-double after finishing with 20 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds. He’s currently No. 8 on the EuroLeague’s all-time assist leaders list. But does that make him better than the best to ever play the game? Or even the seven people who are ahead of him on the EuroLeague’s list?

Pitino gonna Pitino.

If you need a good laugh, check out the replies to this tweet.

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

24 Comments for Rick Pitino: “Nick Calathes is the best passer I have seen in my lifetime,” better than Magic Johnson and Larry Bird



  1. StuckinLville
    9:21 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    If he was that great he’d still be in the league.



    • unbridled
      10:50 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Ezzactly!! Call us back when this matters.



  2. az1006
    9:30 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Well, according to Pitino, Jared Prickett was the next Larry Bird, so…



    • magimae
      10:03 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Who listens to Pitino anymore, what an embarrassing individual he has become.



    • jimmer
      9:45 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

      This kind of constant BS is exactly why he shouldn’t be welcome back to Rupp.



    • catsarerunnin
      12:47 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      I guess you were before he came to UK when the program was on probation and folks were predicting it would be 10 years or more before Kentucky would be relevant in college basketball. I hated he went to UL and enjoyed watching him destroy our mortal enemy but I will always respect and appreciate what he did here including winning a national championship.



  3. ukkatzfan
    10:36 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    With Mark Jackson and Travis Ford right off top of my head, i bet he don’t hit top 3 that coach 2 has had play for him.



    • plumloopy
      11:00 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

      Er… I can guess your age based on that statement (which is similar to mine, I bet).



    • ukkatzfan
      1:29 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      I see no other comment or reply by you. Feel free to guess the age. Wanted to guess it, you should have.



    • ukkatzfan
      1:30 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      I can guess that your love for coach2 is greater than mine. I am right



  4. Smyrna_Cat
    10:49 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Pitino it the biggest pile of dog poo in the history of dog poo. Probably in the history of all parallel worlds that ever existed. His dog-pooness has no bounds. He is the King of Dog Poo!



  5. unbridled
    10:51 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Fake news.



  6. IndianaSucks
    11:04 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Been following basketball s long time, never heard that bird was a great passer. Not that he wasn’t, just that he’s never mentioned in that same breath as the greatest.



  7. ukcamel
    11:53 pm February 1, 2019 Permalink

    Pitino is so starved for attention that he is spitting hot takes that would make Stephen A Smith blush.



  8. bigbluebg
    12:09 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t think Nick C is the best passer in the history of basketball. But I remember watching him at UF and we was a very good passer. The only reason he played at the D-1 level was because of his high bball IQ, passing, and shooting abilities. Undersized and average athlete. Rick always uses ridiculous superlatives and outrageous comparisons. I take what he says as….NC is a very good passer. Rick is a crazy old hoot.



  9. Matt10
    6:32 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

    You’re missing the point. The statement achieved press exposure. Even I was suckered into taking a peek. Lol



  10. Racerr11
    8:27 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Pitino cannot talk without shit coming out his mouth. To say you never heard Larry Bird mentioned as a great passer u must of been in a coma for a long time. But I wouldn’t expect anymore than that from a Hoosier.



    • IndianaSucks
      11:05 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

      I’m no Hoosier my friend. Just like you’re no racer with two r’s.



  11. mcp157
    9:15 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Pitino is the biggest bullshitter on the face of the planet. I can still hear his pregame chatter about the next opponent being his team’s greatest challenge ever. Please let him go off into the sunset like the Clinton’s.



  12. BBaxterUK
    10:32 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Hahaha



  13. J. Did
    10:42 am February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Pitino is a carnival barker.