Rick Pitino jokes that he’d like his new Greek team to sign Giannis Antetokounmpo
After being forced out of the University of Louisville in disgrace, Rick Pitino is coaching again, but this time he’s coaching overseas with Panathinaikos of Greece. Pitino is easing into his role as coach, but he’s already looking to add talent to his roster. He joked with reporters about the possibility of Giannis Antetokounmpo returning to his home country and playing for Pitino.
“I’ll speak with the GM and the owner about that. But I’m here just one day. I would like Giannis [Antetokoumpo] to come back and play for us instead of Milwaukee,” Rick Pitino joked to Kostas Giataganos of Euro Hoops.
Obviously, Antetokounmpo isn’t returning to Greece to play basketball anytime soon. The Greek Freak is currently tearing up the NBA and helping cement the Milwaukee Bucks as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. At 23-10, the Bucks are only 1.5 games back of the first place Toronto Raptors.
Antetetokounmpo is in the early MVP conversation and he’s contributing in a variety of ways. He’s scoring in bunches, rebounding, and setting up his teammates. Sure, he still doesn’t have a consistent jumper to rely on, but his physicality makes up for what he lacks as a shooter.
It’s no surprise that Pitino would welcome Antetokounmpo with open arms, but of course, it’s wishful thinking to expect Antetokounmpo to make a return to Greece. But Pitino knows that and he’s focusing on figuring out how he can be the best coach for Panathinaikos.