In 1997, Pitino left the University of Kentucky to take the head coaching position at the Boston Celtics. One of the most storied programs in NBA history. 12 Championships (now). More stars came out of Boston than the Milky Way. Russell and Bird to name the greatest.
Almost ten years later, Tubby Smith, Pitinos successor, leaves UK for…Minnesota. Yes, Minnesota. The Golden Gophers. HUH?
Most UK fans didn’t mind that Pitino left for the Celtics. He was going to a storied program. He was being paid handsomely. HUGELY. He was off to his next challenge. AND…people were a little put off by his constant flirtations with the NBA. Some suspected that these flirtations were hurting recruiting. There is probably some truth here as his final recruiting class had one commit. J.P. Blevins who had committed when he was in 8th grade.
Pitino left. Smith stepped in.
Ten years later. Smith leaves for the Golden Gophers. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Why did he leave? Because he couldn’t handle the pressure? Because he could not meet the expectations of running an elite program? He could not get to the Final Four on his own. 16 or 17 years of Coaching and his championship team was created by another coach. The man can not recruit a complete team. He can’t coach talent. Tubby Smith takes talent and clamps it to the floor. He can take decent talent and put together decent teams. But when those decent teams ran into real talent, the inevitable occurred. They lost.
So Tubby took his sorry act to Minnesota who paid handsomely for his services.
And now, Kentucky has these damned Smith fans, who constantly make stupid comments like this:
Here’s a link to the entire article. One thing that may bring some interest is that Minnesota will play Louisville in Phoenix this season. I wonder who UK fans will be rooting for in this one?
post by JayB: Minnesota….True fans will anyways
Louisville will play Minnesota in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m hoping that the Gophers and Smith are humiliated. Smith is the greater traitor in UK history. The man spent the better part of the his last season planning his escape to Minnesota.
I won’t go into all of the old Tubby arguments or the reasons that Smith is a loser when it comes to his final dealings with UK and his former players (December contacts, no contact with his guys at UK after he left even after they had attempted to contact him). It’s well documented even if some refuse to acknowledge.
As a Kentucky fan there will never come a day that I will cheer for a “Ten Loss Tubby” coached team. For a UK fan to hold Orlando “TLT” Smith in great esteem is a slap in the face to the University of Kentucky. Let these fools go root for the Gophers and leave UK fans in peace.
So, here’s to the Gophers being crushed and Pitino tripping and falling on his face on the way to the postgame handshake. lol