Rick Pitino hopes to return to coaching — in NBA

Rick Pitino is hoping to get back into the coaching game.

The former Louisville coach said that he misses being part of a team “terribly” and that he’s hoping an NBA team will give him a chance.

“I just want to be a part of an organization,” Pitino told ESPN. “I want to develop young players. I want to be part of a team. I miss it terribly. I’m using this time to really study the NBA. If something opens up with a young basketball team, I’d have deep interest in it.

“I think the league is going to get younger and player development will become even more important to every organization. That’s my forte. I believe I can help an organization find a pathway to success.”

Pitino has even hired agent Drew Rosenhaus to represent him. Rosenhaus is primarily an NFL agent, but his company does represent NBA players Anfernee Simons Montrezl Harrell.

Pitino does have head coaching experience — he was president and coach of the Celtics from 1997 to 2001. He signed a massive 10-year, $70 million contract with Boston, but resigned with more than $30 million left on his contract due to being overwhelmed by all his responsibilities.

“I’m not looking for any of that [power/control] at this stage of my life,” Pitino said. “I want to develop teams and develop players and build a winner. I value analytics. I want to fit into an organization. At this stage, that’s all I’m interested in.”

It’s a change of heart from the last time Pitino spoke out about coaching, when he said in September he was not interested in returning to the sidelines.

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Pitino’s name has been marred with scandal from his time with Louisville, when the team was investigated by the FBI for payments made to recruit Brian Bowen’s family. He was also investigated after it was discovered one of his assistants paid escorts to come to recruiting parties.

Eventually, Pitino was fired by the school.

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