Highly regarded basketball coach Rick Pitino has announced on Twitter that he will be taking over Greece’s Panathinaikos Basketball Club until the end of the season, news that the club’s fans received as an early Christmas present.
“Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! I want to thank Dimitris Giannakopoulos for the unique opportunity to coach Panathinaikos — great tradition. I’m fired up to help!” Pitino, who will be replacing Xavi Pascual tweeted.
Pascual had been at the helm of the team since 2016, however, an array of bad performances and ever worse calls by the coach did not sit well with Panathinaikos fans who have long demanded a change.
Pitino has seen his name grace the Hall of Fame, while he has also served as head coach for numerous teams in the NBA and NCAA Division I. Some of the clubs he has coached include the New York Knicks (1987–1989), the University of Kentucky (1989–1997), the Boston Celtics (1997–2001) and the University of Louisville (2001–2017); Boston University (1978–1983), Providence College (1985–1987).
Kentucky made it to the NCAA championship in 1996 under his lead while he is also the only coach to have pushed three different schools (Providence, Kentucky, and Louisville) to a Final Four.