And-Ones: Pitino, Free Agents, Team Canada

A return to the NBA doesn’t appear to be in the cards for Rick Pitino, who coached the Celtics from 1997 to 2001 before spending most of the last two decades with Louisville. Having been dismissed from Louisville after the program was investigated by federal prosecutors for potential recruiting violations, Pitino writes in his new book, “Pitino: My Story,” that no NBA doors have opened lately.

“Since leaving Louisville, my agent has reached out when NBA openings have surfaced,” Pitino wrote, per Jeff Greer of The Louisville Courier Journal. “We couldn’t even get an interview. I can’t blame the general managers who turned me down. Louisville fired me so abruptly, it instantly created the impression that I must be guilty of something.”

Asked today on Good Morning America if he wants to coach again, Pitino replied, “I don’t. It’s over for me, I know that” (video link).

Here are a few more items from around the basketball universe:

  • Veterans like Dwyane Wade, Rodney Hood, and Jamal Crawford may be the most notable free agents still available, but they’re hardly the only ones capable of helping an NBA team. Mark Deeks of GiveMeSport examines 30 unsigned players who are candidates to land on NBA rosters.
  • In an entertaining column for The Advocate, Scott Kushner makes his case for why the NBA season should start its season on Christmas Day, pushing the playoffs deeper into the summer.
  • Team Canada’s training camp roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers features a handful of NBA players, including Kelly Olynyk (Heat), Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers), Dillon Brooks (Grizzlies), Cory Joseph (Pacers), and Khem Birch (Magic).
  • In a reversal of roles, Damian Lillard broke some news regarding Chris Haynes today, tweeting that the veteran reporter will be leaving ESPN for Yahoo, where he’ll become the Senior NBA Insider and will help build the site’s NBA team. Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania, and Bobby Marks have left Yahoo within the last year and a half.
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6 thoughts on “And-Ones: Pitino, Free Agents, Team Canada

  1. all in ad

    Pitino better coach than 80% of NBA coaches. The sport needs coaches…..not shrinks and baby sitters. Some owner will wake up.

  2. Boston2AZ

    It probably isn’t his troubles at Louisville that is keeping NBA GMs away. It’s more likely the horrendous job he did with the Celtics.

    • Itrainsontuesday

      Some guys are meant for college, others for the pros. A major aspect of college ball is recruiting guys to fit your system, which even with free agency just isn’t the same in the NBA.

  3. I always liked Pitino’s teams for Boston, they were full of energy, hustling, it was entertaining if not successful.

  4. stug14

    Easy to say your done when you can’t get a job. I guess, if we’re using that measuring stick, I’m done with College Basketball too

  5. x%sure

    Deeks’ article is informative, with entertaining profiles on JJack, CBrewer, QAcy, EMoreland, even Spencer Hawes, & many more.

    He says the Chinese and Euro leagues have mostly filled out their rosters also. Tough times for the marginals.

    Although Deandre Liggins “tends to sneak into the NBA at the back end of seasons as a defensive specialist role player picked up by teams for single-possession turns on the court.” That sounds like a role in a Kevin Hart or Will Ferrell movie.

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