Pitino: Arena open to Cal, Lady Gaga, etc.

He says he doesn't care who uses Yum Center

August 4, 2011 

LOUISVILLE — Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino said he doesn't care if a team of former Kentucky players currently in the NBA and Wildcats Coach John Calipari borrow his team's homecourt for one night.

But his tone suggested otherwise Wednesday during a press conference to discuss his team's upcoming trip to the Bahamas.

"That's a public facility; it's our homecourt during the season but, obviously, anybody can go in there," Pitino said. "Lady Gaga can go in there, or the Dominican team can go in there.

"None of that is any of my business. We're just concerned with Louisville first, we're not concerned with anything any of our competitors do. We don't pay any attention to our competitors except when it's time to play them, and I really mean that sincerely."

On Tuesday, Ticketmaster.com listed sales of tickets for an exhibition game pitting a team of pro players and former standouts from Kentucky versus the Dominican Republic national team — which Calipari is coaching — in the KFC Yum Center in downtown Louisville on Aug. 16. The two teams play a game on Aug. 15 in Lexington's Rupp Arena.

The team of former UK standouts will include Rajon Rondo, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Nazr Mohammad, among others.

"I know nothing about that," Pitino said. "I haven't followed it; somebody just asked me about it for the first time this morning. I know nothing about it."

But "it's no different than Villanova or West Virginia or anybody else playing there. It's a free country, and the KFC, last time I checked, was part of this country."

When an obviously irritated Pitino was asked why the exhibition game isn't being played in Freedom Hall, he said: "Why don't you ask them that?"

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