Cleveland Cavaliers: Dan Gilbert Better Not Hire Rick Pitino As Next Head Coach

Why would the Cleveland Cavaliers waste their time on hiring Rick Pitino? There’s a strong rumor going around that Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, is interested in bringing the former Louisville Cardinal coach to The Land. This could be the stupidest decision of Gilbert’s tenure. Yes, even stupider than writing the damn letter.

Pitino is an excellent college coach. However, we’ve seen that very few college coaches work out in the NBA. For every Brad Stevens, there’s a Fred Hoiberg and John Calipari. In fact, Pitino has had an NBA head coaching gig before.


He failed miserably.

Pitino was in the NBA for 8 seasons. He coached both the New York Knicks ( 1983-85) as an assistant coach before becoming the team’s head coach (1987-89). In 1997, he came back to the NBA to coach the Celtics. In 4 seasons, Pitino never produced a .500 team. His best finish was 10 games under.

Why does the Cavaliers front office think Rick Pitino is a good choice? He’s not a young, innovative mind that NBA teams look for in a head coach. That’s the style the league has been going. Pitino is 66-years-old with his best years behind him. He’s a college coach, not an NBA mind.

I suppose the real motivating factor behind Pitino is his ability to motivate younger players. The Cavs want to get their young, inexperienced stars the coaching they need. Pitino, who has produced many NBA talents, knows how to get the best out of the young talent. Of course, that will only last so long.

Players such as Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman, they’ll only be young for so long. The Cavaliers need a coach who can develop, but win at the same time. Pitino doesn’t have the ability to do the latter. What has he shown since his Celtics days that he’s ready to coach in the NBA again? Nothing.

There are plenty of young, or not as seasoned, college minds that the Cavs can opt to hire from the college ranks. I’d take guys such as Eric Musselman (Univ. of Arkansas), Bryce Drew (Vanderbilt), Bobby Hurley (Arizona State Univ) or Nate Oats (Univ. of Alabama) over Rick Pitino. In actuality, hiring a college coach isn’t what Cleveland needs anyway. However, these coaches make more sense than a past his prime Pitino.

The Cleveland Cavaliers can’t get cute with this coaching search. Hire one of the top NBA assistant coaches, let him bring his NBA knowledge to the team. Therefore, you don’t want to make the same mistake the Celtics made all those years ago by hiring Pitino. In fact, the Cavs need to get off on the right foot this season. Thus, hiring Rick Pitino sets them back.

How do you feel about the Cleveland Cavaliers coaching search? Leave a comment below.

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