Can Rick Pitino's "greatest mistake ever" aid Kentucky's basketball recruiting?

Let’s face it … Louisville Cardinal basketball coach Rick Pitino has made some mistakes in his lifetime.  No one is perfect, and I will be the first to admit that I too have made mistakes in my life.  But lately, no one seems to blunder like Pitino, who has made unfortunate personal choices….

head scratching recruiting decisions …

and some truly horrendous wardrobe decisions …

but if you ask Pitino what his biggest mistake in his life is, he has been pretty consistent on this answer for say, the last fourteen years or so.  It was leaving Kentucky.  And Pitino waxed nostalgically once again the other day on the UK job when he was discussing UConn leaving the Big East. 

“With that being said, how can you want to leave? Why would you want to leave? My biggest mistake I made in my life is when I left Camelot [Kentucky]” to lead the Boston Celtics in 1997. “They’re leaving Camelot. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
Let’s not focus on the fact that Pitino is trying to compare the Big East to Camelot (the blunders continue), but the fact that with Kentucky and Louisville both vying for several top recruits in 2012 and 2013, that Pitino is saying out loud what everyone knows:  that Kentucky is a better basketball school than Louisville. 
How will that play with recruits like TJ Warren, Gary Harris, or DaJuan Coleman that both Kentucky and Louisville are both pursuing.
Pitino:  So basically, yea.  That is why you should come to Louisville and be a Cardinal?
Coleman:  Sounds pretty good coach, and I do like those line beards but I’m also looking at Kentucky too. 
Pitino:  Oh, they are great.  For sure.  Geezzzz I wish I still coached there (goes into a daydream like trance)
Coleman:  Coach, coach (snaps fingers to wake Pitino up)
Pitino:  Oh yes, well  Louisville is still pretty good too.  Defending champion UConn plays in the Big East so, yea.  We’re almost as good as Kentucky.
Coleman:  Isn’t UConn going to the ACC?  And Pitt?
Pitino:  Well maybe.  But we’re gonna replace them with the Temple Owls.
Coleman:  Ok Thanks coach.  I think Calipari’s on the phone
Pitino:  I LOVE that guy!
OK, I made the last part up.  But still such a statement by a coach lamenting that he left his biggest rival has to hurt recruiting, right? If we did not know this, this will further put Louisville as adistann unfortunate consolation prize for recruits you want to go to Kentucky but don’t get the offer.  It’s kind of like applying for Harvard and then getting accepting by just the University of Pikeville?.  Fun fact, they accept everyone. 
Seriously.  How do you think John Calipari will bring this up with the same recruits?
Coleman:  Well, Rick Pitino is starting to recruit me pretty hard too.  He keeps saying the Yum! Center is better than Rupp Arena.
Calipari:  Son, Rupp Arena has had three national championship teams grace it’s floors.  Do you realize that teams that play at the chicken bucket have won exactly zero NCAA games?  Here, why don’t you call Rick and ask him what the biggest mistake he has ever made in his life was.  Use my phone.  I have Pitino stored in my speed dial under “L”
We all knew that Kentucky was going to further express their dominance as Big Brother when John Calipari came to town two and a half years ago. That was a given.  No one really saw Rick Pitino waving the white flag and surrendering so early however. 

Tags: John Calipari Vs Rick Pitino Kentucky Louisville Rivalry Kentucky Wildcat Basketball Recruiting

  • James Streble

    >Well done sir. There really is no decision when comparing the two.