We were in Louisville last weekend, watching the Cardinals haphazardly stumble past Rutgers at Freedom Hall, and we couldn’t but notice how disinterested Rick Pitino looked. This is one of the epic coaches of the last 25 years, and he looked defeated, tired, and ready to peddle his wares somewhere other than on the Southern Indiana border. His team is underachieving on the NCAA tournament bubble, he’s feeling the pressure of John Calipari
setting up another program for probation in five years revitalizing Kentucky, and he is still feeling the aftereffects of that ugly scandal during the off-season. He looked like a man searching for an exit plan. Enter the Nets!
Pitino, it appears, has been batting his eyes at Nets president Rod Thorn, according to Yahoo Sports. Thorn has denied that a conversation ever happened, either because it didn’t or because he has his own problems. Thorn is meeting with the awesome/scary Russian dude who’s about to own the team this weekend, and he has his one job to hang on to. There is always a possibility that Thorn will be replaced by Dolph Lundgren, who has been keeping himself busy. (Seriously, please watch that video.)
Multiple sources have said Pitino isn’t a candidate — they’re wanting Jeff Van Gundy, though we’d be sad to lose him on NBA telecasts — but that isn’t going to stop Pitino from lobbying for the job anyway. Add Louisville — a very nice city, we have to say — to East Rutherford on the lists of places people are desperate to escape to Newark from.