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Pitino wants Nets job. Or not.

Feb 11, 2010, 1:11 PM EDT

NBA_pitino_250.jpgUpdate 1:11 pm It is becoming clear through multiple reports that Pitino — through intermediaries — went straight to incoming owner Mikhail Prokhorov, bypassing the current Nets front office entirely. The pitch is he is a big name coach, has ties to New York and can help the team win and make a splash when it moves to Brooklyn. If Prokhorov wants a differing opinion on Pitino, he can stop any New Yorker on the street and ask.

Update 10:43 am Rick Pitino is now saying “Who? Me? Can’t be.” He told ESPN college hoops writer Pat Forde he has no interest in the job. That he never wants to coach in the NBA again. To which anybody who has followed Pitino’s opportunistic career says, “yea, right.” But this is why you have intermediaries do the outreach, so you can deny, deny, deny. Anyway, there you have the official line.

9:44 am And you thought nobody wanted to coach the New Jersey Nets. That things had gotten so bad they would just pluck a new coach out of a hat.

Never fear — Rick Pitino wants the job.

Sources close to Pitino said that the Louisville coach has reached out to Nets brass in recent days, making himself a candidate for the job now held by GM and interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe, and due to open after their woeful season is completed in April.

According to sources, Pitino had intermediaries recently contact Nets president Rod Thorn on his behalf. Thorn himself is in the final year of a contract, and is looking to get a new deal from incoming owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Another report has Pitino’s people reaching out to Prokhorov’s people directly. Ballsy.

The best part of this story — the Nets don’t want him. His reputation as, um, shady from his days coaching the Celtics precedes him. Pitino did take the Knicks to the playoffs both years he coached the team, but how he left and what he did in Boston damaged his NBA reputation.

The Nets have a short list of candidates, topped by current analyst (and another former Knicks coach) Jeff Van Gundy. Apparently Vandeweghe thinks the pace of play in the NBA is too fast. That or he can’t stand Van Gundy and Mark Jackson paired together, either.

  1. Anonymous - Feb 11, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Does that photo come in a 8 x 10, I would love to have
    one on my desk.How many people would kill to look at that.

  2. Bobby Townsend - Feb 11, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Let the buyer beware!!! Stay away from him. He is no good. Why else would he arrive in town a day early for the St. John’s game at the Garden. He can deny all he wants. Hopefully the Nets really do not want him

  3. F. J. S. - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Rick Pitino smelled money, reacted accordingly.
    It doesn’t take long for him to get tired of people who don’t respond to his version of reality.
    I gotta believe he is also attracted to a team that can’t get any worse.

  4. eugene - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Nothing to do with money, all ego. He no longer has the spotlight in KY. He has always been about ego, money is fine too, but ego is the driver.

  5. Anon - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Who is this Helin guy and why should anyone believe him with his unnamed “sources close to Pitino”. Obviously just wants to stir the pot.

  6. H25 - Feb 11, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Maybe he’s just tired of the broads who hang around restaurants, after hours, in Kentucky. (He’s looking to get his contract re-done at Louisville)

  7. jdm - Feb 11, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    His wife hates it in KY, always has. His legal troubles overshadow his performance and Calipari at KY has the stage. He needs to go.

  8. kevin - Feb 11, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Pitino had the best job in the basketball world,when he was at
    kentucky.Now he’s just another washed up ball coach.Louisville
    shouldn’t renew.It would be in the best intrest of the cards.
    kat fan

  9. Dave / NM - Feb 11, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    It’s time for Tricky Ricky to ditch that white suit and RETIRE.

  10. Richard - Feb 11, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    Pitino is no different then 90% of coaches. They are in it for the money… I have no problem with that except money talks and ego is the same for 90% of the coaches. Almost all college coaches make too much money. The same can be said for professional athletes. The smartest or the dumbest probably could not make what they are making in the real world outside of athletics. You know thinking about that, you could say the same thing about many politicians. In the Carolinas you have John Edwards and Governor Sanford who are total washouts. Maybe it is in the water in Carolina?

  11. larry278 - Feb 11, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    You got to hand it to Rick or he’ll grab it from you. After rebuilding Ky, Rick jumped to the pros (Knick & Celts), then jumped to Louisville & now is fixing to jump to the NJ soon to be Brooklyn Nets. Each time Rick jumps he gets more pay & power.
    The Basketball Hall of Fame is thinking of establishing a new award for coaches: the Nixon/Clinton award, named for Tricky Dick & Slick Willie. These 2 former Presidents spent the latter part of their carrers trying to hang on as POTUS by the skin of their teeth. Rick Pitano has had a checkered career in other enterprises. The Pitanos have known personal tragedy too.
    Rick is in line to be the 1st winner of the Basketball Hall of Fames Nixon/Clinton Award if the Nets hire him.
    There is a catch for Rick, he might not be welcome in Lexington, Louisville or any part of Kentucky after jumping to the Nets.
    If the Nets don’t hire Rick, Rick will have some explaining to do.
    The Courier-Journal of Louisville & Herald-Leader of Lexington will be interested in Rick’s story-regardless of how things go for Rick. NYC’s 2 tabloids, the Post & Daily News & the NYT may also mention Rick.
    In NC, they have something called a pig picking. Rick could end up as the roast suckling pig sooner or later. Rick does have get up & go.

  12. KY KID - Feb 11, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    Only reason Ricky boy wants to leave KY is because no one in KY wants him here. He had THE college coaching job and let his ego get in the way. So glad he left. Too bad Louisville brought him back. If his wife hates KY so bad, she should have left his ass here when the waitress scandal broke.

  13. Madalyn Sacramed - Feb 20, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    Very nice post. Do you accept guest writers?

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