Rick Pitino is stepping down from the role of the Greek national team coach
Coach Rick Pitino introduced a new style of play in the Greek national team, but the future of the team will not include him.
“There’s no future for me”, as he said in the press conference after the final of the Victoria Olympic Qualifying tournament. “I am here as the ex-coach and friend of PG (ed. note: Greek center George Papagiannis). Ι am no longer the national coach of Greece. This is a one-stint for me. It’s something that takes a lot of my time. It took six weeks and I still have a team back home”,explained Pitino, speaking about the Iona college.
“This is a one-shot deal”, elaborated the Hall of Fame coach. “In Greece, they don’t even know who is in charge of the federation yet, but they are a lot of terrific Greek coaches that can carry on what we are trying to build this week and certainly I am there to help them in any way. I love Greece, I love the players I am coaching, but this is a one-shot deal for me”.
There’s a troubled relationship between coach Pitino and the Greek basketball federation and the collaboration between him and the Greek national team will not continue past this summer. After all, Pitino was a volunteer for the job, didn’t have a contract, and was not getting paid.
Still Pitino has only good things to say about Greek basketball and he added about the future of the national team the following: “We accomplished a lot in this run and a lot has to improve in Greece in the developement stages of young players. So they become a Papagiannis or a Spanoulis down the road. There a lot who has to be developed”
He later added on Twitter: “It was a fabulous run coaching the players of Greece. They have great passion and I’ll always be rooting for them from afar. Principles and style were learned and the future is bright!”