The Cleveland Cavaliers have shot down the rumors of owner Dan Gilbert speaking to Rick Pitino about the franchise’s head coaching vacancy.
Peter Vecsey reported late on Saturday night that the Cavs’ owner had spoken with Pitino, 66, who’s currently coaching overseas.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 21, 2019
The Cavs say this isn’t true, unfortunately.
Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor reports that there is “zero truth” to the report linking Pitino to the NBA coaching job.
“False. We are, respectfully, not interested in him at all. No conversations with him by Dan (Gilbert) or anyone else,” a source told Cleveland.com.
Pitino has expressed interest in a couple of different jobs this offseason, but this is the first report that has linked him to an NBA job.
The former Louisville head coach, who was fired following the Adidas scandal, does have NBA experience. He was the Knicks’ head coach from 1987-89 and the Boston Celtics from 1997-2001.
The Cavs fired head coach Ty Lue near the beginning of the 2018-19 season and were then led by an interim head coach. Cleveland is a contender for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and is in the middle of a major rebuild.
Pitino remains interested in getting back into coaching in America, whether it’s at the NBA level or college basketball, though it doesn’t appear that it’s happening with the Cavs.