Rick Pitino reportedly agreed to coach Panathinaikos B.C. of the EuroLeague in December.

By Khadrice Rollins
January 24, 2019

Rick Pitino has no plans of coaching Panathinaikos B.C. of the EuroLeague for long and said so following the team's 12th loss of the season Thursday.

"I looked at the schedule when I took over, I knew it was going to be difficult," Pitino said according to EuroHoops.net. "My goal is to help all the young guys improve and get better. But, I'm only here for a short sabbatical, so I'm trying to get them the best they can possibly be. Going into next year, I'll say to the owner and the general manager, this is what you need, to win the EuroLeague and to compete for the triple crown."

Pitino agreed to take over the squad in December after starting a dialogue with the team just hours after it fired old coach Xavi Pascual. He initially said he was "finished with coaching" back in September, about a year after he was fired following a federal investigation into bribery and corruption in college basketball. Pitino had been linked to an investigation through Adidas, which allegedly paid $100,000 to the family of former recruit Brian Bowen to convince him to attend Louisville.

He was fired right before the start o the 2017-18 season.

When Pitino initially took the Panathinaikos, it was after he said he wanted to return to the NBA as a coach. Although Pitino was one of the greatest college coaches ever, going 770-221 over his 32-season career, he went just 192-220 during five-plus seasons as an NBA coach for the Knicks (1987-1989) and Celtics (1997-2001).

He compared the NBA to the EuroLeague after the loss.

"I don't think there's any adjustment at all," Pitino said about coaching in the two leagues. "The only difference is when you get to the basket. You get to the rim, you get hit to the body, you have to take the punishment, while in the NBA, every touch is a foul. Other than that, there’s no difference. More isolations in the NBA."

Panathinaikos's final game of the EuroLeague regular season is April 4.

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