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It's Been 18 Years And I Have To Admit, Rick Pitino Was Right

There are many famous press conference quotes in NBA history. You have everything from Lebron guaranteeing 7 titles to Allen Iverson talking about the importance of practice. Well for the Celtics, this is it. This is our moment. Hard to imagine but Rick Pitino went on this rant 18 years ago today. It’s wild to me that some of you reading this weren’t even alive for this, that’s shit my Dad and his friends say to me and that makes me feel depressed. Granted I was already depressed because watching that clip made me think back to the Rick Pitino Era where the Celtics were 102-146 and never finished above 5th in their division and the franchise was literally sent back decades. These were the Celtics I grew up on before Jim O’Brien came along and inserted some sort of life into this team so it will always have a special place in my heart.

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Now if you’re a Celtics fan you can hate Pitino for a lot of things. He essentially pushed Red out of his front office role so he could be the top dog which is practically breaking a 10 Commandment. You could get on him for trading Chauncey Billups after just 51 games in favor of Kenny Anderson (who wasn’t terrible). It’s not like Billups would go on to be a good player or anything and that the point guard position would always be sort of a liability until Rondo showed up. Maybe you hate him because he spit in the face of the city and everyone who loves this team. That always goes over well. Then finally when things got tough near the end, he quit. He couldn’t hack it and left the team when they were 12-22. Pretty interesting that O’Brien took over and went .500 and then won 49 games the next year with largely the same talent. Pitino never won more than 36.

But one thing you can’t do is call Rick Pitino a liar. At no point after that press conference did Larry Bird, Kevin McHale or even Robert Parish walk through that door. Not any time during that season or any of the 18 years that followed.  I don’t know how Pitino was so confident that it wouldn’t happen back then, but you gotta admit, he nailed it.

So while this is a fun memory to look back on because it’s an all time Celtics rant, I’ll still hate Pitino until my last breath for everything he did to this franchise. What a dick.

P.S.

The fun in writing this blog was being able to see this lineup again from 2000-01. What a list of guys holy shit

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