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Rick Pitino lands head coaching position overseas

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According to reports, former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino is set to be the head coach of one of the EuroLeague’s top teams, Panathinaikos of Greece.

Drew Rosenhaus, Pitino’s agent, has been working with Panathinaikos ownership on a contract that would make Pitino head coach the rest of the team’s season. He plans to go to Athens shortly after Christmas to take over an underachieving squad that has a lot of talent which includes many former NBA players. One of which being Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s older brother, Thanasis, who played for the New York Knicks.

Panathinkaikos is currently 6-7 in the EuroLeague, and are in 10th place.

Pitino, 66, was probably best known for his college coaching career.  During his time in college, he won two national championships in 1996 and 2013 and reached five Final Fours. He coached at five different colleges and has an overall 770-271 record as a college head coach.

He last was the head coach at the University of Louisville from 2001-2017. He was fired in 2017 after an FBI probe into college basketball alleged that he was involved in a pay-for-play scandal that ultimately landed him a five-star recruit in Brian Bowen. Pitino stated that he had no knowledge that payments were made to Bowen.

The Naismith Hall of Famer’s goal is to return to the NBA as a head coach. In addition, Pitino hopes that coaching in Europe can be used as a stepping stone in ultimately returning to the NBA coaching ranks.

Pitino coached both the Knicks and the Boston Celtics during his time in the NBA. Before becoming head coach with New York, he was an assistant with the Knicks who were at the time coached by Hubie Brown. As head coach he won the Atlantic Division crown, went to the playoffs twice and led New York to the Eastern Conference semifinals.  In Boston, he was named head coach and president. He only spent four years with the team and finished with an  102-146 record before stepping down in 2001.

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