Boy, you win a national title and head to a few Final Fours and nothing touches ya.
Teflon Rick’s tinkerbells are at it again, spreading the pixie buzz that the Louisville head coach could be looking at another jump to the NBA.
With the Cardinals coming to the Dome tomorrow in the midst of a disappointing campaign, maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising the “Pitino-on-the-move” rumors once again have life.
Once upon a time, Slick Rick was just a pup at the heel of The Per’fesser, donning garish disco-era leisure suits and tweed jackets, an assistant on the bench of this Syracuse Orange program.
But Rick grew up – took the Providence Friars to the ’87 Final Four (during the Big East’s first heyday), got his money with the Knicks, brought Kentucky back to prominence, got more money with the Celtics and finally revived Louisville.
There’s no question Pitino knows his stuff. He’s taken three different programs to the final weekend of the college basketball season. Recruited and churned out NBAers at every stop along the way.
But with his dismal performances in both New York and Boston, one has to wonder why the reported interest in the Nets would pop up?
Sure, New Jersey is an abject failure – just hiring a warm body on the sidelines is a start. But he left the Knicks when the players began tuning him out (which wasn’t long) and disappeared from the Celtics after turning them into a freakish sideshow (paging Ron Mercer).
It’s probably much ado about nothing. Pitino would be crazy to leave the security (and success) of the college game for another miserable foray into the pros (and a Titanic-like franchise in the Nets).
But maybe after the infidelity soap opera that played out this summer and athletic department support that only runs so deep for public philanderers that go .500 in conference play, Pitino’s feeling that squirming sensation once again.
Then again, maybe Teflon Rick just never sticks.