Pitino dismisses rumors of leaving Louisville


by Mike Whitlow


Posted on February 11, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 12 at 1:14 AM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Is it true or not? Is Cards Coach Rick Pitino trying to leave Louisville for the NBA?

Pitino is reacting to reports that he's considering a job with the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

Reports first surfaced Thursday morning that Pitino is interested in the job near his hometown.

Some local fans WHAS11 News talked to say they feel pretty confident coach Pitino is staying put but some fans say if he is looking for a change, they think they know why.

He's a big time name in basketball and anytime there is any sort of speculation about Pitino it makes headlines.

The report surfaced and fans listened and then made their own opinions.

“I don't think he is interested in any job other than the University of Louisville, he's already come out and said it’s not an issue,  there is no truth to the story at all so I go with he said,” says Tommy Abell of the Cardinal Hall of Fame.

The New York Daily News published a report that said Coach Rick Pitino is interested in the head coaching job for the New Jersey Nets.

Some fans say, no way.

Sports talk radio host Drew Deener isn't convinced Pitino would leave.

 “I just don’t see, I’m not saying the guy would never leave.  It would be very surprising to me if it would be for the worst team maybe in the history of the NBA,” says Deener.

He says there could be another motivation for the report.

“The Nets, this puts them in the news for something other than being the worst team potentially in the NBA,” says Deener.

But for some fans this wouldn’t be a complete surprise.

 “I think coaches are always looking for the next big thing,” says Brittney Burress.

Brittney Burress admits it would be tough to understand Pitino returning to the NBA.

“I don’t see why he would want to; he didn’t have success in Boston.  I don’t see why he would have success with the Nets but maybe he can turn the Nets around because they are not all that good,” says Burress.

Others believe off court issues could prompt a move.

The controversy is the sex scandal involving Karen Sypher, who is now charged with extortion.

Her case has yet to go to trial.