Former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino could be in the mix to be the next head man for the Milwaukee Bucks, according to a report on Forbes.com.
Citing unnamed league sources, Forbes contributing columnist Mitch Lawrence listed Pitino among the candidates for the Bucks, who fired Jason Kidd on Monday.
Pitino, who hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2001 when he resigned in the middle of a fourth consecutive disappointing season with the Boston Celtics, was fired by the University of Louisville before this season amid the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. Pitino has not been charged in that case, but Louisville’s reported involvement in some of the allegations led to his dismissal.
In a text message to the Courier Journal on Monday, Pitino did not address the Bucks’ speculation.
“In all honesty, (I) haven’t had a winter off in 41 years,” Pitino texted to the CJ. “Staying in great shape to get ready for whatever my next calling may be. Just reading a lot (and) hoping the truth comes out with this mess soon.”
Since the Forbes story’s publication, other NBA writers have weighed in on the top candidates to replace Kidd in Milwaukee, including Jordan Greer of Sporting News and Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype.com. Neither listed Pitino.
In addition to the Celtics, Pitino coached the Knicks for two seasons, leading them to 52-30 record in 1988-89 and the Eastern Conference semifinals. He took the head coaching job at Kentucky the following year.