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It is Time for Rick Pitino to be in the Hall of Fame, Right?

Louisville Basketball Rick Pitino

Christopher Hanewinckel-US Presswire

The Louisville Cardinals‘ head coach, Rick Pitino, was selected as a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for the second year in a row. Some believed he got snubbed last year, so this has to be the year that Pitino will make it right?

Pitino has been in a coach at the collegiate level for 28 years, as well as six in the NBA, and is considered to be one of the greatest minds in basketball history. He has coaches many great college players, like Jamal Mashburn, and has also done an amazing job of raising up assistant coaches to become great head coaches, like Cincinnati‘s Mick Cronin and his son Richard Pitino who coaches at Florida International.

The Louisville coach has a career record of 649-239 as a college coach, he has a chance for his 650th win against the South Florida Bulls Sunday.  He is the first coach in history to lead three different schools to the Final Four (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville). Surely this is a record that has earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Others who are up for the Hall of Fame this year are former players Maurice Cheeks, Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Gary Payton and Mitch Richmond; coaches and coaches Tom Heinsohn, Guy Lewis and Jerry Tarkanian.

Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors, said of this years finalists:

We are proud to share an incredible group of finalists for the Class of 2013 – a distinct list of coaches and players who excelled at many levels of basketball. It will be a difficult decision for the Honors Committee to select the final class members from this prestigious group of individuals, each of whom has given so much to the game.

There isn’t a person on this year’s list who has succeeded on both levels like Rick Pitino has and there isn’t anyone who has given more to the sport of basketball than him.The amazing thing is he has the potential to achieve more with Louisville in the next couple year before he retires, building onto his already iconic career numbers.

When you think great college basketball coaches, Rick Pitino has to be on your top-10 list or you are kidding yourself. It is time for him to get the honor he deserves, don’t you think?

 

Follow Jon Hancock on Twitter @JonKYSportsco.