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Monday / May 20.
  • Rick Pitino Meeting With Family to Discuss Coaching in EuroLeague

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Rick Pitino will meet with his family on Friday to discuss whether he will coach in the EuroLeague, a source with direct knowledge told ZAGSBLOG.

    Pitino, 66, would like to coach EuroLeague power Panathinaikos of Greece for the rest of the season, but he needs his family’s approval to do so, the source said.

    According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who broke the story, Pitino would coach his first game Dec. 27 if all goes well.

    Pitino, who was fired at Louisville in October 2017 in the wake of the Brian Bowen/Adidas scandal, will become at least the second high-profile American coach to coach in Europe. Larry Brown, who hadn’t coached since resigning from SMU in 2016, is the coach of Italian club Auxilium Torino although he has dealt with issues that have kept him away from the team.

    Pitino, who won NCAA titles at Kentucky and Louisville and also coached with the Knicks and Celtics, has been anxious to get back into coaching ever since leaving Louisville, and his name was linked to various college programs. He then told ESPN he wanted to coach at the NBA level.

    “I’m not looking for any of that [power/control] at this stage of my life,” Pitino told ESPN recently. “I want to develop teams and develop players and build a winner. I value analytics. I want to fit into an organization. At this stage, that’s all I’m interested in.”

    This fall, Pitino has visited several college programs to teach and impart wisdom. Among his stops were visits to Syracuse, Cincinnati and Manhattan.

    “I know from being with the Olympic team and around Mike D’Antoni and Coach K and Monty Williams and Tom Thibodeau, I’ve learned some really valuable things in those situations,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said in September.  “And this was really valuable. We were interested in some things that Louisville did, and I think Rick is one of the best technical coaches that we have.”

    Boeheim added: “I don’t know exactly wht’s he’s going to do. Obviously, he’s got a lot of things under way. I still think he has a lot of energy for the game of basketball. What will happen with that, I’m really not sure.”

    Panathinaikos is 6-7 and its roster includes  Nick Calathes, Georgios Papagiannis, Keith Langford, Deshaun Thomas, James Gist and the older brother of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis, as ESPN reported.

     

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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.