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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / April 24.
  • Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino being linked to NBA jobs

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    While the Coaching Carousel turns in the college ranks, former Louisville coach Rick Pitino is being linked to various NBA openings.

    The former Louisville coach was mentioned as a potential candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks job by Marc Stein of the New York Times, as were Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin McHale, Monty Williams and David Fizdale. That prompted Bucks VP Alex Lasry to respond on Twitter.

    Meantime, league sources say Pitino could be in the mix for various other NBA openings in Memphis or potentially Chicago or Los Angeles.

    One league source said Pitino would be discussed by “every NBA team looking for a head coach.”

    Said a second league source: “Owners get mesmerized by him and his success as a coach.”

    Pitino, 65, recently told ESPN he’s looking to get back into coaching.

    “The level doesn’t matter to me,” he told ESPN. “I just need it to be someone who believes in me.”

    Pitino went 646-392 (.622) at the college level, becoming the only man to win NCAA titles at two schools (Kentucky and Louisville).

    He also coached both the Knicks and Celtics in the NBA with less success. He went 192-220 (.466) in five-plus seasons in the NBA.

    Pitino hired agent Jordan Bazant, who also handles Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley and Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard, among others. Both of those coaches have been linked to the openings at UConn and/or Pitt.

    Of course, Pitino does not come without baggage. He was linked to three separate scandals at Louisville. The 2013 championship banner was recently vacated in the wake of the stripper/prostitute scandal, while Pitino was fired last fall in the wake of the FBI’s investigation into college basketball in which Adidas allegedly offered to pay Brian Bowen’s father $100,000 in exchange for him attending Louisville and then signing with Adidas on the back end.

    “I’ve never offered any player $5,” he told ESPN. “I’ve been assassinated by the Southern District of N.Y. without any wiretap or shred of evidence, and the University of Louisville. That being said, I love teaching basketball and am more passionate than ever.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.