It seems like Rick Pitino has been a little restless since he was fired from his job coaching the Louisville men’s basketball team. Despite the pay-for-play accusations that got him terminated, he says he wants to coach basketball again. He just needs a chance.
Pitino’s ship may have come in. He reportedly has a job offer on the table, and from an unlikely place.
The New Zealand Breakers, I’m told, have offered their vacant head coaching position to former Louisville coach Rick Pitino. The @NZBreakers play in Australia’s @NBL and their new American ownership has been pitching Pitino’s representative on the post this week.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 30, 2018
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League of Australia decided to shoot their shot and try to convince Pitino to take their head coaching position.
The Breakers’ new American owners include a number of former NBA players, so they’re definitely familiar with Pitino and his past. Since he’s not currently doing anything, they probably figured why not ask him? The worst he could say is no.
As you’d expect, there are pros and cons of Pitino taking this job. On the downside, New Zealand is on the other side of the world from Louisville, or really from most places Pitino is likely to be. The style of basketball in the NBL could be significantly different than he’s used to. And even though the league is one of the best outside of the NBA, Pitino might see it as a step back.
On the upside, it’s a professional league. No one has to worry about Pitino getting into another pay-for-play scandal.
It may not be the NBA, but if Pitino is looking for a chance to coach again, he could do a lot worse than New Zealand.
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