Former Celtics’ Coach Rick Pitino Takes over Greece’s National Team

Rick Pitino with Louisville in 2017. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

As he continues to look for a job in the NBA, former Boston Celtics’ head coach Rick Pitino decided to take another challenge. Pitino confirmed on social media on Friday that he has taken over the head coaching position with Greece national basketball team.

Pitino will try to help the Greek team, which has reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and several other talented players, qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“Obviously, it’s a great honor for me to accept this position, and I’m looking forward to it,” Pitino told reporters. “I’ll spend most of the winter, once the brackets are announced, studying the film and we’ll go to work.”

Greece’s national basketball team is scheduled to take part in the Olympic qualifying tournament in the summer. Twenty-four national teams will play at the tournament, with four Olympic spots being up for grabs. 

Rick Pitino spent the previous season coaching Panathinaikos of the Greece Basketball League, winning the Greek Basketball Cup. He had an offer to return this season as both president and coach but decided to turn it down in order to focus on the pursuit of a job in the NBA.

Pitino previously coached New York Knicks and Celtics in NBA. He also coached at college, leading Kentucky and Louisville to NCAA championships.