Coaches know to cover their mouths when talking to their team to keep others from figuring out their plays, but Hall of Famer Rick Pitino just learned that you can't let your guard down even when you're off the clock.
The newest St. John's coach was chatting on the sidelines before the Knicks' Game 4 first-round playoff win against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. Pitino was giving the guy next to him his contact information when the camera showing celebrities landed on him. It stayed on him for a while, and the clip was shared online.
This, unfortunately for Pitino's inbox, led to lip readers figuring out his phone number.
Pitino tweeted about the incident on Monday. He kept a positive attitude and even joked about how it might have even helped him with recruiting.
"So yesterday I was enjoying the Knicks game n someone read my lips on TV giving out my phone number. Over 300 plus messages came in - here's the bizarre news, 95% were nice n positive. I got a lead on 7 new recruits. My new cell is….." Pitino wrote.
So yesterday I was enjoying the Knicks game n someone read my lips on TV giving out my phone number. Over 300 plus messages came in - here’s the bizarre news, 95% were nice n positive. I got a lead on 7 new recruits. My new cell is…..😜— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) April 24, 2023
Pitino has coached seven NCAA Final four teams, and won two national titles with Kentucky (1996) and Louisville (2013). He was fresh off three seasons with Iona -- two in which he took the Gaels dancing -- when he accepted the St. John's job in March.
St. John's is in need of a rebuild with only three scholarships from last season still in the roster. The program has only made the NCAA Tournament three times in the past two decades, and the Red Storm have not won a game in the Big Dance since 2000. Pitino,, has an impressive resume and is a New York native, so it's probably safe to say giving him a six-year contract to help the program was the right call.