Rick Pitino’s return to college basketball might never come into fruition, but that isn’t stopping him from making a huge decision this late in his coaching career.
Pitino spent last season coaching Panathinaikos in the EuroLeague, and he actually led them to a victory in the Greek Basketball Cup.
Earlier this month Panathinaikos’ owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos expressed his desire to retain Pitino. Unfortunately that won’t be an option for the historic Greek franchise.
After spending the past year coaching in the EuroLeague, Pitino has decided it’s time to pursue another opportunity. He released his future plans in a statement on Twitter.
“Lastly, thanks to the great people of Greece for your over the top kindness and hospitality. Such an awesome country that will always hold a place in my heart,” Pitino said. “I will miss you all greatly but I am returning home and looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”
Here is the full statement from Pitino:
— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) June 21, 2019
According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Pitino wants to return to a full-time pursuit of a job in the NBA. Wojnarowski is reporting that Pitino wouldn’t mind taking a personnel or advisory role.
Losing Pitino so soon is obviously a devastating blow for the EuroLeague. As for the NBA, it’s still unclear if any team is willing to take a chance on him.