Pitino spurns Greek team, focused on National Basketball Association job

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino

The Hall of Fame coach announced on Twitter that he will not return to Panathinaikos after leading the team to a Greek League championship.

He led Panathinaikos to a Greek Cup title, completing a 15-0 season.

He told ESPN on Friday he wants pursue a full-time job in the National Basketball Association - whether that be a coaching position, a player personnel job or an advisory role. "I want to develop teams and develop players and build a victor".

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With the Celtics, Pitino also was handed personnel control and the title of team president. The ex-Louisville bench boss took to social media Friday to thank his players and staff. Thank you to our passionate owner and GM. "I will miss you all greatly but I am returning home and looking forward to the next chapter in my life".

Pitino, 66, was sacked after a long run at Louisville following an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into college basketball recruiting. Testimony and recordings of government-taped calls suggested that Pitino was unaware of the payments made to a former Louisville recruit's family.

Pitino, who also coached at Hawaii, Boston University, Providence and Kentucky, has 770 career college victories over 1,041 games, winning an NCAA title in 1996 with Kentucky and 2013 with Louisville. He compiled a 192-220 record as head coach of the New York Knicks (1987-89) and Boston Celtics (1997-2001). At the time of his hiring, Pitino signed the biggest pro sports coaching contract to date - 10 years, $70 million - but left Boston with almost $30 million left on the deal and a 102-146 record. Pitino spent a total of 31 seasons coaching four schools. He brought them to the playoffs both years in charge before leaving for Kentucky.

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