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Remembering the Friars of ’87

March 31, 2012

Former assistants and friends look back fondly at Rick Pitino’s days at the helm of Providence College basketball in this NYT article. They draw some interesting comparisons between Pitino’s Cinderella trip to the Final Four in 1987 and this year’s run with Louisville.

“I truly believe that Rick relishes the role of being the underdog,” said Stu Jackson, who was one of Pitino’s Providence assistants and is now the N.B.A.’s executive vice president for basketball operations. “But I think there is also another component to that. Rick’s greatest passion has been to be an innovator, to figure out a way to make teams that aren’t the most talented greater than the sum of their parts.”

Gordon Chiesa, also a former Pitino assistant in Providence, now works for the N.B.A. Development League. He speculates:

that his old boss might have been happiest the first time around, when he was “overworked and underpaid.”

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