Rick Pitino’s efficacious employment of the three-pointer along with his oft-demonstrated game-time coaching brilliance made his college fivesomes rootin,’ tootin’ fearsome squads with teeth. Hands down, he’s a great coach.
Through a University of Kentucky fan’s lenses, when he wouldn’t come back to us I was dejected and defaulted to petty, spiteful, Trumpian name-calling. In my mind, he was “Traitor Rick.”
I think of the great Paul Newman in “The Hustler.” As Fast Eddie Felson, Newman is treated to Bert’s assessment of his problem: “Eddie, you’re a born loser.” Bert could’ve added with flawed character to boot. Fast Eddie’s movie destiny is to seriously grapple with this criticism while wooing Sarah and being open to her kind and smart support. And in the end, with a much better mastery of his former loser character traits, he conquers his nemesis, Minnesota Fats.
Thanks for John Clay’s front-page commentary, especially his last six paragraphs. They prompted this reader to see a more charitable and well-informed version of Pitino, a more human story.
B. Crane Williams