In an interview with the Greek TV show “Pick n Roll”, Panathinaikos head coach Rick Pitino referred to his decision to sign with the “Greens”.
Here is what the Hall of Famer coach said:
On taking over Panathinaikos: “I was offered two jobs last year. I was accused of things while totally innocent. It went to trial and it was proven that I was totally innocent. Nobody came after me because they thought I’m guilty of something even though I was innocent. Only Panathinaikos and a team from New Zealand.
I’m loyal to Panathinaikos, because the other teams didn’t come after me, even though I was innocent. The Italians are very loyal people. I’m very loyal and very thankful to Panathinaikos for giving me the opportunity to coach such a great tradition.”
On the Louisville scandal and the decision to take down an NCAA Championship banner: “It was a terrible shot. They take down a banner. They can never take away a championship. You can’t take away history. You can take a sign down, you can take a banner down, but you can’t take a championship down.
We won the championship fair and square. Players did the wrong things. They had women in the dormitory that shouldn’t have been there. But, those women didn’t help the players run faster, jump higher, score points.”
On whether he will be the club’s head coach next season: “I’ve talked with my wife about this already. I said that I’m really enjoying it. I like the owner, I like the president. I like the guys on the team. With me, it’s all about winning. Not about whether it’s Greece, whether it’s about Italy, whether it’s about USA.
If I win, I’m a happy man, I love Greece. If I lose, I want to kill myself. So with me, it’s putting together a team that has a chance to be no. 1. That’s more important than anything else in my life.”