According to Thursday’s out of left field reports, Rick Pitino, the father of the Gophers men’s basketball coach, has landed himself an interesting overseas position:
Per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski’s article, Drew Rosenhaus, Pitino’s shark of an agent, informed the four letter network that his client “has agreed to a deal to coach EuroLeague power Panathinaikos of Greece for the rest of the season.”
It’s expected that the 66 year-old will officially assume his duties with the European squad on December 27th.
In regards to Rick Pitino’s new team, players for Panathinaikos include Nick Calathes (former NBA), Georgios Papagiannis (former NBA), and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (older brother of current NBA superstar, Giannis).
In regards to Rick Pitino’s new boss, meet Mr. Dimitrios Giannakopoulos:
Sidebar: For real. That’s the owner. Official Instagram accounts don’t lie.
Unlike smoking darts, it seems that the individual about to be responsible for cutting coach Pitino’s checks isn’t a fan of officiating.
As detailed by ESPN’s Pablo Torre, in the aftermath of a 2015 game, one in which Panathinaikos won, Giannakopoulos stormed into the referees room, “accompanied by two body guards, and he threatened to kill the officials and their families.”
While that outrageous outburst may be enough to deter
some most, as you can see, Papa Pitino isn’t concerned:
14 months after from being fired amid an FBI probe at Louisville, and more than 15 years removed from his stint with the Celtics, it’s no secret that Rick Pitino wants another crack at coaching in the NBA.
With that being said, as wild as his upcoming situation sounds, taking over the reigns of a EuroLeague powerhouse may be just the approach needed for him to break back into basketball’s best league.