It sounds like Rick Pitino’s time coaching pro basketball in Greece was absolutely wild.
Pitino coached Panathinaikos B.C. after leaving Louisville and prior to being hired at Iona. It sounds like the atmospheres across the pond were absolutely wild. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
“Greek basketball makes the Final Four look like church”
— Super Greek (@TheSuperGreek_) April 9, 2019
Pitino said the following on the World of Basketball podcast, according to BroBible:
First and foremost. your bench is shielded with bulletproof glass. And then you have a net around the court so the hooligans can’t throw things. You have certain sections at Olympiacos as well as Panathinaikos. And this year, my owner had to leave at halftime because he was threatened with a guy holding a hand grenade. The guy had a hand grenade if he didn’t leave. You are walked in with a 100 policemen with shields, as you are walked in the arena.
For those of you who don’t know, Europe has some incredibly good basketball leagues. Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and Germany all have great leagues that feature American players.
The atmospheres over there are also absolutely insane. It’s pure chaos. I’ve had some friends play in Europe, and it sounds like a war zone at times.
It’s just different. You have crowds that are legitimately violent overseas. It’s nothing like a rowdy college basketball or NBA crowd.
It’s actual carnage. I’m not surprised at all Pitino didn’t stick around for long. Now, a grenade is taking things to the next level, but bulletproof glass is just a starting point.
Now, Pitino is coaching Iona and it should be a lot more relaxed! It’s good to see him back in college basketball where he belongs.