Rick Pitino returns back to Greece to join forces with his ex-club Panathianikos. So, after the Greek National Team the experienced Italian-American Head Coach took over the Green permanent champions of the country! He discussed his return to Panathinaikos OPAP and connecting his new job with the Greek national team ahead of the Olympic Qualifying tournament this summer.
Rick Pitino stated that “Dimitris (the president of Panathinaikos) gives me a lot more than money,” he said commenting on making his way back to Panathinaikos and his relationship with team owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos, “He gives me respect and control. At my age that is much more important than a few dollars more.”
Talking to reporters at Athens’ airport, Pitino also hinted towards a longer tenure in his second term, “I am hoping to stay for two years.”
This time around Pitino meets Panathinaikos at 6-4 record in EuroLeague and 8-0 in Greece’s Basket League, but without having the chance to win another Cup as the elimination was the major reason of the reality we are living…
Pitino will coach the team at the very first time, on the game this coming Thursday (28.11.2019) versus KIROLBET Baskonia in Athens. The experience Head Coach said “Offensively they are doing an outstanding job. Now we have to pick up the defense, If the defense matches the offense, good things will happen.” “I don’t think any moves have to be made” he added referring to the squad.
The 67-year-old Italian-American will attempt to lead the Greek national team to success as well. The Greek basketball federation did not hold him to a clause that would prevent him from working at the club level as well.
“I could be here watching Maccabi play, watching Olympiacos, watching where our players are playing right now,” he mentioned on the national team, “I could watch all the players play and put together a good team.”