Rick Pitino has taken a very interesting ride through life thanks to the various stops the famed basketball coach has made over the course of his career.
Pitino initially made a name for himself at the college level before making the leap to the NBA to coach the Knicks at the end of the 1980s. He eventually returned to the University of Kentucky prior to the fairly brief stint with the Celtics that preceded his time at Louisville.
While he technically led the Cardinals to a national championship, the program was forced to vacate a title it still can’t officially acknowledge in the wake of the series of high-profile scandals that ultimately led to Pitino getting kicked to the curb in 2017.
The skipper spent a few years overseas coaching a pro team in Greece before returning to the United States after accepting the head coaching job at Iona. His time with the Gaels was impressive enough to attract the interest of St. John’s, and he’ll be patrolling the sidelines for the Red Storm next season after inking the deal that returned him to a Power 5 conference.
Over the weekend, Pitino got to visit the venue where his team will play some of their home games when he watched the Knicks face off against the Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
He was among the list of notable attendees ESPN featured on the broadcast, but the network filmed him at a fairly inopportune time thanks to a clip that showed him sharing his phone number with someone else at the game.
The stars are out at MSG ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/DyGz2iSQi7
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 23, 2023
On Monday, Pitino acknowledged that was the case by revealing he received more than 300 texts (including a few recruiting leads) and stating he’d understandably decided to change his number.
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
At least he learned a valuable lesson.