|Rick Pitino at Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony: ‘I learned patience, humility’ from rough stint with Celtics||09.09.13 at 11:11 am ET|
The Basketball Hall of Fame inducted seven former players and four coaches on Sunday, including former Celtics coach Rick Pitino.
Pitino enters the Hall of Fame more for his work as a college coach than as a professional coach.
He has won national championships with Kentucky (1996) and Louisville (2013), appeared in seven Final Fours — including an improbable 1987 run with Providence that earned him NABC and John Wooden National Coach of the Year honors — and amassed 662 victories in 27 seasons.
“Coaches don’t just get into the Hall of Fame. Players put them into the Hall of Fame,” Pitino said at his induction ceremony in Springfield.
For all the success he enjoyed at the collegiate level — including his start at Boston University from 1978 until 1983 — his coaching resume will always have a blip because of his forgettable experience with the Celtics.
Pitino took over as coach of the C’s in 1997. His stint lasted 3½ years, and his teams posted a 102-146 record during that time.
When Pitino was hired in 1997, not only did he take over as coach, he also became the team’s general manager, CEO and president. This complete control caused intense scrutiny for the former UMass guard when the wheels fell off.
“You may wonder what I learned about the Boston Celtics. I am really, really grateful to them. I learned more than I gave,” Pitino said. “I didn’t give too much except leaving Jim O’Brien to master the helm. But I learned patience, humility, and a lot of people think it’s because of losing that you learn humility and it’s a major factor. I gained the humility because I had the greatest treat for four years.”