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Blog Entry

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:03 pm
 

By Jeff Goodman

Rick Pitino was nominated for the Hall of Fame on Friday afternoon. 

He's the only college basketball coach in history to have officially taken three programs to the Final Four, has a national title to his credit and has 618 career victories despite three different stints in the NBA.

"I'm extremely honored and grateful to be a finalist for the Hall of Fame," Pitino told CBSSports.com shortly after learning he was one of a dozen finalists.

I covered much of Pitino's forgettable tenure with the Boston Celtics, one that was a complete train wreck. The bottom line is that Pitino is one of the best college basketball coaches in my generation. However, he was far more suited to the college game than the pro ranks. 

Just imagine how many wins he'd have in the college ranks right now if not for his eight years in the NBA. Probably somewhere in the vicinity of 825 and he's still not yet 60 years old. 

The 59-year-old Pitino began his head coaching career in 1978 at Boston University, spent a couple years as an assistant with the Knicks before taking over a dismal Providence team. Two years later, the Friars were in the Final Four. Pitino then left for the head gig with the Knicks, where he was 90-74 in two seasons, before taking the job at Kentucky -- where he rebuilt a program that was on probation. 

The Wildcats went to the Final Four in 1993 and won the national title in 1996 with a loaded group that featured Antoine Walker and Tony Delk. 

Pitino took another shot in the NBA, this time asked to bring the storied Boston Celtics franchise back from the ruins. Pitino flopped in his three-plus years in Boston and made some ill-advised personnel decisions. 

Pitino is in his 11th season at Louisville. He took the Cardinals to the Final Four in 2005 and has led the Cards to Elite Eight appearances in 2008 and 2009. Louisville is 21-7 this season and a lock to make its sixth consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. 

The other finalists: first-timers Reggie Miller, Bill Fitch and Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain. Previous finalists include Mo Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Don Nelson, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and Red Heads. 

The Class of 2012 will be announced on Mon., April 2 in New Orleans prior to the NCAA national title game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The enshrinement ceremony is Fri., Sept 7 in Springfield, Mass. 

Comments

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: February 25, 2012 4:25 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

The guy took UMass, Kentucky and Louisville to the Final 4.

He coached Providence, not UMass. That was Calipari. Which raises an interesting question for future Hall of Fame voting. Does Calipari deserve to get in? Excellent recruiter, does an amazing job of getting young kids to play together even though his turnover rate is high because of the NBA draft. However, two of this final four teams (UMass and Memphis) had their records vacated because of NCAA violations.



Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: February 25, 2012 4:24 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

As another diehard UK fan I absolutely agree, and even though I'll boo him during the UK/UL game I have no problem wishing him and the Cards all the best when they're up against the likes of G'town, UConn and Syracuse. The man's a brilliant college coach. He came to UK in a very dark time and almost overnight, working with a lot of non-scholarship players, gave us a team we could be proud to cheer for.  I'll never forget that, no matter what's happened in his personal life or where he happens to be coaching now. 






Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2012 1:02 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

Rick Pitino is a great college coach. He even won 50 games with the Knicks before the media ran him out of town. The guy took UMass, Kentucky and Louisville to the Final 4. He won his title @ Kentucky the 2nd most decorated college program in history. You can even make a strong argument they are overall the best, taking away Wooden's UCLA run. That was their first title in 18 years.

If you disqualified coaches or players from the HOF based on off-field behavior, it would be an extremely select group. Unless they broke the rules of the sport or committed a violent crime, they should just be judged on their record(or stats).

Rick certainly is one the top 10 coaches around today. Izzo, Coach K, Pitino, Roy Williams, Donovan,Calhoun,Boeheim and Self, come to mind. Those coaches have 15 national titles. Coaches like Brey, Thompson, Romar, Buzz Williams, Few and Drew are making their marks this year and in past years as well.

Rick is most deserving of this honor as a coach. I wouldn't be shocked to see his team make an NCAA run this year. He's rebuilt that Louisville program like he rebuilt UMass and Kentucky. He builds perennial winners. Congratulations to Coach Pitino.



Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 7:49 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

its for Hall of Fame coach.............not husband.  



Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 7:17 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

C-A-R-D-S........cards cards cards.

Yes, Ricky 3 slaps has done his best work at Louisville. Undecided



Since: Mar 14, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 7:14 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

well deserved



Since: Feb 14, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 6:15 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

Coach Pitino is a GREAT coach and although I will always be disappointed in him that he left Kentucky (and then rebounded to U of L, of all places), I would never deny his ability to accomplish great things with his teams.  He definitely deserves to go into the HOF and I'm sure most all UK fans share my feelings, even those that are pissed at him for coaching at U of L now.



Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 5:59 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

HALL OF SHAME MAYBE, ASK HIS WIFE HOW PROUD SHE IS OF HER CHEATING OLD MAN!!!!!



Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 4:52 pm
 

Pitino nets deserving Hall of Fame nomination

C-A-R-D-S........cards cards cards.



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:50 pm
 

** RICK IS THE MAN !!!!!!

*** GO RICK --YOU DA MAN !!!   WE LOVE YOU !!!   CONGRATS !!!!


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