Re: Kentucky vs. Louisville Basketball Game Thread....
I have no hatred for Pitino whatsoever. In fact, I love his ability to speak candidly with the media. While on the court yesterday, he could have spit fire he was so mad at the referee. But during his press conference last night, he admitted that the ref made the correct call (on the charge) and that the refs were not the problem in the game, his team's effort was to blame. He also said that the Rupp fans were correct when they chanted "over-rated" because--at a # 4 ranking--that is exactly what they were. For weeks, Pitino has been stating publicly that their lofty ranking was more of a product of last year's team making the Final Four, than it was due to this year's team accomplishments.
My real beef with Pitino is that he is terribly flawed in one crucial character quality: He would rather climb a tree and lie to you, than stand there and tell you the truth.
Some of the near-miss UK recruits (and their parents) during the mid-late 90's had nothing nice to say about Rick and some of his "promises" during the recruiting process. Promises about playing time and which players would /would not be redshirted all factor into a recruit's decision. Not to mention the fact of whether or not Rick actually planned on staying at UK for the duration of his contract.
While he coached UK, fans had to endure his regular dalliances with NBA teams (Nets, Lakers, Knicks and Celtics) all of which occurred during PRIME recruiting seasons. He promised that UK was his dream job, then when Boston broke the bank--he claimed he meant that he meant it was only his college dream job. After he failed with the Celtics, he even came close to taking the UNLV job, but eventually settled in Louisville.
All fine and well. I could never fault someone for trying to better himself. But if he stated that UK was truly the best college basketball program (and job) in the country when he coached here, why then did he try to demean it after taking the Louisville job? When asked basically a "fill-in-the-blank" question about the same matter a few years ago, he intentionally slighted the UK Nation and mentioned Carolina, Duke, Kansas and even UCLA before he cited Kentucky. Rick is still Rick. God love him, he's a company man to the end.
As far as Rick's family being treated poorly when he returned to Rupp Arena, I can only recall one instance when somebody in the upper level held up a sign that said,
"Hey Rick, we didn't like JoAnne either!"
Not exactly scathing. If you were familiar with some of the comments that Rick's wife said about the city of Lexington (both while he coached here and subsequent to that), you would think that she got off easy with that sign.
"Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY