By now, you’ve likely read the New York Daily News report published this morning linking Louisville coach Rick Pitino to the New Jersey Nets coaching job. If you haven’t, here are the pertinent details:
Sources close to Pitino said that the Louisville coach has reached out to Nets brass in recent days, making himself a candidate for the job now held by GM and interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe, and due to open after their woeful season is completed in April.
According to sources, Pitino had intermediaries recently contact Nets president Rod Thorn on his behalf. Thorn himself is in the final year of a contract, and is looking to get a new deal from incoming owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
Pitino, unsurprisingly, has denied any interest in the job to ESPN.com’s Pat Forde:
“There’s not an ounce of truth to it. I have no interest, period. I’m done with coaching professional basketball. I’ve put the professional ranks behind me.”
So, why, you ask, is this pertinent information for this here blog? Two words: Marquis Teague.
Louisville has long been recognized as the leader to land Teague. This rumor, regardless of its validity, only aids Tom Crean and other schools in the pursuit of Teague, no? The wildcard in all of this is Kentucky, where Teague will visit Saturday for a game against Tennessee. Also still reportedly in the mix: Cincinnati, Purdue, Ohio State and Wake Forest.