This morning, Rick Pitino told Dan Patrick that John Calipari called him yesterday to congratulate him on the Iona job. On his radio show, Calipari confirmed that he spoke with Pitino and wished him well, but denied that the two talked about scheduling a game between Kentucky and Iona.
“I did reach out to him. You know, of all the stuff — Tom, you probably know me fairly well. You look at people in different situations and you have a heart to say, ‘Wow.’ And you try to put yourself in those shoes and say, ‘What if it were me and I was going through that?’ You don’t know if my response would be reciprocated. You don’t know that. But I do know if I were in those shoes and having to go through that, I would want some people to reach out to me to say, ‘Hey, I wish you well.’ And that’s what I did. I just said, ‘Look. You’ve proven yourself as a coach, and you’re back in New York City and I wish you well.'”
In his interview with Dan Patrick, Pitino said he would love for Iona to play Kentucky in the Jimmy V. Classic at Madison Square Garden. Calipari seemed to throw some cold water on playing in New York City, but didn’t rule out Iona coming to Rupp Arena.
“Neither one of us talked — he didn’t talk schedule. I didn’t talk schedule. I saw Dickie V go crazy about it, having us play there. I would imagine having Iona come to Rupp would be something that would be considered and I would expect our fans to be positive as they always are. They were even positive when we got beat by Evansville, so if we did that — and I’m not saying we will. Going to New York, our schedule is so wacky. We have one of the toughest schedules and the crazy thing is, it’s not enough.”
We talked about this on the radio show just a few weeks ago, but are fans ready for Rick Pitino to return to Rupp? Would you boo or cheer?