In Rick Pitino's first press conference following the news about his restaurant tryst, he invoked 9/11. In his latest press conference, he tried to shame the media for focusing on his story "on the day Ted Kennedy died" and said the media coverage of his dalliance and subsequent "health insurance" payment has made life "pure hell" for his wife.
A new SportsPickle play examines what Pitino's press conferences might look like this season.
Scene: Early January 2010. Louisville has just lost a close game at home to UConn. Rick Pitino sits down in front of the mic to begin his post-game press conference.
Reporter 1: "Rick, talk a little bit about why you continued to press down the stretch. It seemed their guards didn't have much problem with the pressure and it led to several easy baskets."
Pitino: "I find it interesting that you would ask that question."
Reporter 1: "Umm why?"
Pitino: "In the time it took you to ask me that, 13 children died in the world. Thirteen! That's a fact. Some of AIDS, some of hunger one at the end of your question got hit by a train. A train! While you were asking me about pressing, a kid got hit by a train. And it wasn't quick either. The kid was in severe pain before the good Lord finally took him to heaven. Now what do you think? Is your question important still?"
Reporter 1: "Umm. I'll put 'no comment.'"
Reporter 2: "Rick, your team continues to have trouble hitting free throws down the stretch. Is that something you can address with them or do you think there's a risk of talking too much about it and then making them even more tight at the line?"
Pitino: "Do you know what today is?"
Reporter 2: "Thursday? It's Thursday."
Pitino: "I wish it was just any Thursday. Today is the day that Frederick Douglass died. Frederick Douglass! An American hero. Yet all you want to talk about is free throws? It's sad. It's a sad statement on our society really."
Reporter 2: "I- I, uh, actually think Frederick Douglass died in February for some reason. Let me pull it up on my iPhone "
Pitino: "See, that's just the thing. You don't know for sure. You don't know when for sure. You have no idea when a great American died. Yet you sit here and have the audacity to ask me questions about free throws? As far as I'm concerned, Frederick Douglass' blood is on your hands."
Reporter 2: " Yep, I was right. It was February. And it says he died of old age, so there's no reason there would be blood on my hands."
Reporter 3: "Rick, back to the free throws for a second, if I may. In the last five minutes, you shot 5-for-13."
Reporter 3: "No, 5-for-13."
Pitino: "I heard what you said. It's just that when you throw out numbers like that, it makes me think of the most tragic number of all: 9/11. Why would you bring up the deaths of 3,000 Americans in press conference about basketball? Are you sick? Do you hate America?"
Reporter 3: "I didn't. I didn't bring up 9/11. I was talking about free throws."
Pitino: "And when you bring up 9/11, it makes me think of more numbers. Numbers like 34-26-34. And now I'm hard. Look what you've done. (Pitino stands up and points at his pants.) You've given me a full-on erection. Who else has a question?"
Reporter 4: "Coach, talk a little bit about the upcoming conference schedule. It's a pretty tough haul."
Pitino: "Aren't you the reporter for the student newspaper?"
Reporter 4: "Yes, sir, I am."
Pitino: "Don't you think you have better things to focus on right now, in light of the fact that I banged your mom last night on the very table you're sitting at?"
Reporter 4: "Oh ohmigod! Mom! No!" (He runs out crying.)
Pitino: "Now, if no one else has any questions, I'd just like to end with this statement." (He picks up a paper and reads from it.) "9/11, the Challenger explosion, Darfur. Thank you."