Ex-NBA coach Rick Pitino to guide Greek club Panathinaikos
Former NBA coach Rick Pitino, fired last year by the University of Louisville after a pay for play recruiting scandal, has agreed to coach Greek club Panathinaikos, according to his agent.
Drew Rosenhaus, Pitino’s agent, told ESPN and the New York Times that Pitino, a 66-year-old New York native who guided Louisville from 2001 to 2017, would coach the Athens-based team.
Pitino was fired in October 2017 after allegations he was aware of payments to a top prospect unveiled by federal prosecutors, claims involving an Adidas executive giving a player money to play at Louisville, which has an apparel deal with Adidas, and represent the shoemaker after turning professional.
After two seasons coaching the New York Knicks from 1987-1989, Pitino took over a scandal-hit University of Kentucky program and delivered a 1996 national US college crown, a 1997 loss in the finals and three other runs to the last eight or deeper.
In 1997, Pitino returned to the NBA with the Boston Celtics as team president and coach but could only guide the historic club to one winning season before resigning and taking over at Louisville.
The Cardinals won a US college crown in 2013, the same year Pitino was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, but Louisville later vacated the title due to recruiting violations.