Coach Rick Pitino has come out in the past against a pro basketball team moving to Louisville, and today was more of the same. In his daily press conference, Pitino began a discussion regarding the NBA by asking the press about the latest news on the issue. At first the reporters took it as a joke, but Pitino persisted and received the low down from one writer.
Pitino then outlined a couple of obstacles the NBA would face in Louisville, including scheduling conflicts with both the Men’s and Women’s Cardinal basketball teams, Freedom Hall not being an appropriate venue, and most interestingly whether “the people of Louisville can afford it.”
The Louisville coach explained by talking about how expensive NBA tickets were and how he didn’t believe the average basketball fan could afford both UofL basketball and football tickets, as well as NBA tickets. Pitino even went on to say that Kentucky “is a poor state,” and that families wouldn’t be able to afford 50 games a year for an NBA season.
Pitino did have some positive feedback on the team. He noted that socially an NBA franchise would be a great thing for the team and the city. It was a small positive point in a clout of doubt and skepticism. Still, it was the first time that Pitino wasn’t all negative regarding the NBA in Louisville.
It has always been obvious that when it comes to the NBA in Louisville, Pitino is most concerned with how its going to affect his wallet. He admitted it himself, he said that it would potentially take away from the university. He also noted that Louisville has the most profitable basketball program in the nation for seven years straight. Fact is Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich will never openly endorse an NBA team, because it would jeopardize their product.
With or without the support of Rick Pitino the ball keeps rolling on the Louisville’s quest to lure a NBA franchise to the Derby City. Just expect Pitino, Jurich, and other UofL officials to continue to be critics along the way. As the Mar 1 deadline for a relocation request approaches, more and more of the local decision makers will come out and give their opinions.
Louisville Swimming and Diving Dominate the Big East
The Cardinal Swimmers and Divers continued to push their program in the right direction in last week’s Big East Championships at the Ralph Wright Natatorium. With 22 overall wins, both the Men and Women’s teams took the league crown. The men repeated their championship from last year and the women broke a 14 year win streak held by Notre Dame. Both teams will now be looking forward to next month’s NCAA Championships.
Remembering Former Cardinal Troy Jackson
Troy Jackson passed away this weekend, he is rememberd for being the 300 pound backup center that played for Louisville in 1996-98. He achieved more fame as “Escalade” in the And1 Mixtape tour. If you haven’t seen the And1 Mixtape Tour, its the Harlem Globetrotters with a Lil Wayne flair. Jackson grew to be a huge draw and traveled the world entertaining through basketball. In his presser today, Pitino had nothing but great things to say and his nephew Chris Jackson is currently playing for the Cards.