Louisville's 82-76 win over Michigan on Monday night made Rick Pitino an NCAA basketball champion for the second time -- which might normally be something to celebrate in Massachusetts, considering he began his head coaching career with five seasons at Boston University, and played collegiately at UMass.
But in these parts, Pitino is far more a punchline than a source of pride thanks to his infamous tenure as coach and president of the Celtics. It began with Boston losing the lottery that would've landed Tim Duncan, then ended with a midseason resignation after the team lost for the 146th time in his 248 games on the bench and drifted farther away from contention than they were when he took over.
At that time, Pitino said the organization had treated him well, telling the Herald, "I love the Boston Celtics and I’ll always be a fan." But the feeling certainly doesn't appear to be mutual, as Amalie Benjamin explored this weekend, and as was evident in the Tweets coming from Celtics fans (including one rather famous rooter) during the national title tilt and in the hour that followed Louisville's coronation. Here's a sampling:
Pitino scared to death that bitter Celtics fans are shooting at him after NCAA championship win celticslife.com/2013/04/pitino…— CelticsLife.com (@CelticsLife) April 9, 2013
Pitino still screwed the celtics franchise over #PeopleDontForget— Mike Fay (@YungFay24) April 9, 2013
Anyone from Boston who wanted Pitino to win obviously forgot about how bad he was with the Celtics— Patrick Flynn (@THEPatFlynn) April 9, 2013
If anyone in Boston is even remotely happy for Louisville and that lowlife Pitino leave. Just leave.— Colin Monahan (@Hashtag_Colin) April 9, 2013
@the_el_maff Pitino drove the celtics into the ground, disrespected Red Auerbach, and left halfway through a season...— Colin Monahan (@Hashtag_Colin) April 9, 2013
I guess we'll all just forget Rick Pitino destroyed the Celtics and set them the back 10 years. Good times.— Branden Mello (@Branden_Mello) April 9, 2013
Only if Pitino could be that successful in his time on the Celtics...— Omer Levy (@OmerLevy9) April 9, 2013
Maybe if Pitino had Siva he could have won a few more games wit the #Celtics— Tim Morel (@TimMorel) April 9, 2013
In 1997, Rick Pitino stole Red Auerbach's Celtics presidency away. It's true. Look it up. COME ON MICHIGAN!!!!!— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 9, 2013
Rick Pitino I still hate u for screwing up the celtics #fu— David Desmarais (@rangerdave47) April 9, 2013
Rooting for Michigan tonight. I hate Rick Pitino. He should be arrested for what he did to my Celtics. #MarchMadness— Lamont Price (@LPizzle) April 9, 2013
Pitino deserves his #HOF induction for his work as a college coach, though I'd argue his work with the Celtics should be worth -1M votes— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) April 8, 2013
If you're a Celtics fan, each time you see Rick Pitino you think, "Larry Bird isn't walking through that door..."— Jon Acuff (@JonAcuff) April 9, 2013
There's at least one fan who wouldn't mind seeing Pitino walk back through that door himself, though:
Rick Pitino should come back to the NBA and coach the @celtics again once Doc retires..remember once a Celtic always a Celtic—MaseratiMaine (@jjdamage) April 9, 2013
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