By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Talking about his decision to take over Panathinaikos OPAP and the offers made by one other team, Rick Pitino overlapped into the scandal that ended his Louisville tenure, the accusations against him, the decision to strip him of his 2013 NCAA Championship and much more during his interview on the Greek TV show PICK N ROLL. He emphasized that he was proven innocent and explained why he is devoted to Panathinaikos.
“I was offered two jobs last year. I was accused of things while totally innocent. It went to trial and it was proven that I was totally innocent. Nobody came after me because they thought I’m guilty of something even though I was innocent. Only Panathinaikos and a team from New Zealand” he mentioned and added: “I’m loyal to Panathinaikos because the other teams didn’t come after me even though I was innocent. Italians are very loyal people. I’m very loyal and very thankful to Panathinaikos for giving me the opportunity to coach such great tradition”.
Looking back on the ruling for Louisville to take down the NCAA Championship banner he mentioned: “It was a terrible shot. They take down a banner. They can never take away a championship. You can’t take away history. You can take a sign down, you can take a banner down but you can’t take a championship down. We won the championship fair and square. Players did the wrong things. They had women in the dormitory that shouldn’t have been there. But those women didn’t help the players run faster, jump higher, score points”.
On what will determine if he’ll continue with the Greens next season: “I’ve talked with my wife about this already. I said that I’m really enjoying it. I like the owner, I like the president. I like the guys on the team. With me, it’s all about winning. Not about whether it’s Greece, whether it’s about Italy, whether it’s about USA. If I win, I’m a happy man, I love Greece. If I lose, I want to kill myself. So with me, it’s putting together a team that has a chance to be no. 1. That’s more important than anything else in my life”.