Last weekend when the Kentucky Wildcats hosted the Tennessee Volunteers for a regular-season sweep, UK honored the 1996, ‘97, and ‘98 squads at halftime. Arguably the greatest three-year run in college hoops history, and an overtime period away from a three-peat, all the stars from yesteryear were in attendance, aside from a spare few.
Tubby Smith, Jeff Sheppard, Derek Anderson, Cameron Mills, and many more were in attendance, but noticeably absent was Rick Pitino.
The former UK and UofL coach, now at Iona, was not in attendance and did not send in a video message.
However, according to Kentucky Sports Radio’s Ryan Lemond, the offer was on the table for Pitino to send in a video message but ultimately declined.
Tubby Smith, Derek Anderson, Jared Prickett and many more former players all agreed, however, that it’s time for Pitino to return to Rupp Arena.
“Obviously, I think he should be celebrated and honored,” Tubby said.
But, Rick followed up on Twitter Thursday morning acknowledging Smith’s and his former players’ comments:
I was sent some beautiful comments made by my KY players n Tubby Smith about bringing me back and celebrated. 100% not necessary, for 8 years I was given such special treatment there n that’s more than enough!— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) February 23, 2023
I am of the opinion that I would welcome Pitino back for a celebration in the future.
What about you?