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Report: Rick Pitino to coach in Greece, but goal remains to return to NBA

Rick Pitino

Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino has apparently found his next coaching gig. According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 66-year-old has agreed to a deal with Panathinaikos — a EuroLeague powerhouse located in Greece.

Pitino, who still says he’d like to coach in the NBA, will make his debut in Athens shortly after Christmas, according to Wojnarowski. His contract is expected to run through the end of this season:

In October, Pitino said that he was hoping to become a candidate for openings in the NBA. The former Lousiville coach noted that he missed coaching terribly:

“I just want to be a part of an organization,” Pitino told ESPN in October. “I want to develop young players. I want to be part of a team. I miss it terribly. I’m using this time to really study the NBA. If something opens up with a young basketball team, I’d have deep interest in it.

“I think the league is going to get younger and player development will become even more important to every organization. That’s my forte. I believe I can help an organization find a pathway to success.”

Rick Pitino was fired as head coach at Louisville last year after an FBI probe suggested players were paid to attend the university. Now, however, he’ll have the opportunity to develop players once more, albeit in another country. Whether or not his desire to coach in the NBA comes to fruition remains to be seen, but this is the next step in his coaching journey.