If you missed yesterday's show or just have an unnatural aversion to podcasts, here's everything that Rick Pitino said during his segment in the final hour.
On his contract extension
When you're 62 and you've been coaching a long time, money doesn't become an issue with anything you do because people have overpaid you for a long period of time in life already. So money is not the issue. I'm lucky that, with Jamal Mashburn and Rick Avare, we've had a partnership for 30 some odd years with a lot of business, and we're all in a stage in our lives now where whatever we do is about the passion of it. Money is really secondary. If you have money, it's really not that important. If you don't have it, it's very important.
On Damion Lee and Trey Lewis
The two 5th-year seniors have not practiced. Trey Lewis has an adductor sprain, and Damion Lee has not enrolled in summer school yet. So they have not played.
Mangok just left for practice with the Australian National Team. Mangok is Mangok. He's a great leader, leads very positively. He's mechanical. He reminds me -- I've said all along, somebody said to me "is he going to become a Gorgui Dieng" and I said absolutely not -- he's Otis George. A great defender, gives you 100%, a winner, he's someone who will play overseas for 10 years, but he's not an NBA prospect. He's somebody who can be very successful in college and help you win games.
Let me give you the positives: Jaylen is a very hard worker, plays with terrific effort and intensity, rebounds, goes to the basket strong, will make a quantum leap from freshman to sophomore year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him start at the 4 spot. The negative is his body fat is too high, he's 9.7, he should be 7.7. That would let him not fatigue and allow him to play above the rim. So he's got to lose about 2% of his body fat and then I think we'll see his true potential, and that's the one area we're going to have to work on over the next 6 weeks.
Donovan Mitchell is a combination of T-Will athleticism and Peyton Siva attitude, and that's as good as it gets. Because T-Will was as good an athlete as I've coached, and Peyton Siva was as fine a young man as I've ever coached. The fans are going to fall in love with Donovan Mitchell because he's such an incredible person, he has great charisma like Peyton, and he's a terrific athlete, and so I think the fans are going to fall in love with him.
A lot of people think Quentin Snider really progressed because he had the opportunity to play, and it really wasn't. Everybody who gets an opportunity has to perform, and he did admirably. The key for Quentin Snider was losing eight pounds. Both of you know that if you put an 8 pound vest on you and you exercise and then you take it off ... 8 pounds is a lot. Once he took 8 pounds off his body he became much quicker, much better defensively, and he got up and down the court. He's probably one of the more dedicated guys when it comes to doing everything it takes to become a better basketball player.
On Anas Mahmoud and his recovery
He's already shooting. Very minor injury, and if you wanted a guy to be injured for the short duration of a month, you wanted it to be Anas because you don't want him to lose weight, you want him to build strength. So Anas is up to like 215 pounds now, up from 187 when he first came in. It's a very minor injury. He's already shooting and already riding the bike. We've got the best trainer in the business in Fred Hina, so in another 2 or 3 weeks he'll be back on the court and good as new.
Nanu came in and, I won't say immature is the right word but people didn't realize he was 17, so it looked like he didn't have a very good attitude, his body language wasn't the best, but he's a great kid. He's not a good kid, a great kid, and he's showing terrific leadership as a sophomore. You know Montrezl was a different type of leader, Montrezl felt that if you weren't tough, he was going to kick your ass every day until you got tough. He didn't give you a lot of love, he was a tough guy. Nanu needs a lot of love, a lot of affection, and he'll do anything for you. He's probably going to be the starting 5 this year. He was invited to try out for the US Team. I'm very impressed with his attitude, I'm very impressed with his growth and maturity, and I'm loving everything that I'm seeing in practice.
Matz has the furthest to go, but he's very athletic, he has good hands, runs well, plays above the rim. Matz with basketball is like picking up a second language for him, because in Norway there's not very good competition for basketball, so he's learning almost like a second language. It's going to take time. But he has good hands, he's 7-feet, he runs well, he just has to learn the game of basketball. I think he'll contribute this year, but I don't think he'll play a lot of time.
Deng Adel is probably the best defensive player on the team. Very good athlete, very hard worker. Deng Adel is going to contribute a lot to winning basketball games. I think he'll really take off his sophomore/junior year, but he'll help us win a lot of games as a freshman.
He's the most interesting person on the basketball team. He's got a Larry O'Bannon personality. He's an introvert -- doesn't speak a lot, very shy, very introverted. But I'll say this: This young man probably has more potential than any player on our basketball team. He runs better than any 6'9 player I've ever seen, he uses both hands better than any 6'9 player I've ever seen, he really can ball handle and pass as well as any 6'9 player I've ever seen. Our job is not to teach him basketball, because the Trinity coach is outstanding at that, our job is to get him to become an extrovert in between the lines. Once he learns how to become tougher and play every possession like a college basketball player, we think we're going to have something really special down the road. That being said, it takes time to develop that kind of personality. Once he develops it and becomes an extrovert between the lines -- we don't want him to become an extrovert away from the court -- but once he develops that, we're going to have something special.
He's not ready to play college basketball, but we knew that. Although he's gained 10 pounds, he's a defensive liability. We know he's a great scorer, we know he's very clever with the ball, there's nothing but outstanding potential with his game. But he's not ready to compete physically with the type of schedule we have to play. We knew that going in, so we actually recruited someone we didn't want to play right away, because we don't have room for him to play right away right now. So he's going to take his time. Right now I'd say he's a redshirt, but if something changes -- anything can change. Right now I'm looking at him as a redshirt -- everything I see in practice spells redshirt.
On adding a mystery walk-on
We picked up another walk-on today that we think can really play -- a very, very good walk-on, and we'll speak more about him once he gets admission into school. He's like a David Levitch type walk-on, he's a very good basketball player.
On the final scholarship
We've got three legitimate prospects right now. I think we have a legitimate shot at getting all three, but obviously we can only take one. One's a transfer, one's a high school player, and one's a 5th year player, but we can't mention names at this point.
On Matthew Dellavedova and the Finals
That's one of the reasons why they're up 2-1. I coached against Michael Jordan when he was very young and I was with the New York Knicks. We swept the Sixers with the Knicks, and then we ran into Michael and the Bulls. Although we beat the Bad Boys who went on to win the championship, we were 4-0 against the Bad Boys, but Michael beat us in the sixth game at the buzzer. The two best players I've ever witnessed -- and I was part of the Oscar era, I was part of the Kareem era, part of the Magic-Bird era -- I've seen four different decades of basketball, and Michael has always been the greatest to me, but I've gotta make LeBron 1A.
You've got Love out, you've got Irving out, and LeBron is still trying to carry this team to a championship. If you stand next to LeBron, he's such an imposing figure. His will, his love for the game, is so evident. He's taking guys like Dellavedova and JR Smith, who the Knicks were more than happy to get rid of, and he's molding them into this team that can win. Dellavedova is scoring and playing great defense on Curry, but it's LeBron's will that may will them to a championship, and that's how good he is. When it comes down to history, we're all going to say flip a coin between Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
On LeBron's leadership
Everyone jumped on LeBron when he made that "not 1, not 2, not 3 quote," and -- look, I'm the one who said "Larry Bird's not walking through that door" -- we all make mistakes with the media because any time you talk to the media 1,000 times you're going to make mistakes. But LeBron is someone -- he never got to play for Coach K, he never got to play for Roy Williams, he had to go right from high school, and it took time to evolve into the emotional and physical leader that he is today. I was really happy for him because he wanted to go back to Cleveland and win a championship. I'm rooting for Cleveland because Cleveland is the type of town -- I love the way the Warriors play, like San Antonio -- but Cleveland's a town that really needs a pick-me-up right now. Liek Detroit needs a pick-me-up, Cleveland needs a pick-me-up, and I hope they win it.
On the Puerto Rico trip
I'm not sure the fans or even you guys realize how important Puerto Rico is, and that's 1/3 of the reason I took the job because we lost 85% of our points and now we have to have these 5th year seniors and everybody come together. If we go to the Bahamas and beat people by 40 points, when you play Duke on the road, Notre Dame on the road, NC State on the road, Pittsburgh, North Carolina on the road, Kentucky on the road, Miami on the road, you may get killed in a rebuilding process. So it's much more important than you could ever imagine to get us ready for this schedule. I've been watching Puerto Rico play, and I'm not sure we'll win a game against Puerto Rico. But if we can compete with them on an equal level, we have a chance to become a good basketball team.
On the language barrier with the Puerto Rican team
"Puerto Rico Primero" -- "Puerto Rico First." That's why I hired Mike Balado, to interpret and speak Spanish. But I will say that 100% of the Puerto Ricans speak English much better than I speak Spanish. I think some of the slang words I use they'll understand quite well.
On his extension
My wife has an expression: "If you want to make God laugh, plan for a long time." So I'm trying to make God laugh right now and I hope he lets me get to 72.