Should Magic Call on Donovan Mentor Pitino?
There is one coach, however, who could wipe away most of the Donovan discord: His mentor, Rick Pitino.
Ironically, Pitino counseled Donovan over the wacky weekend, either encouraging him to remain the Magic's coach --- or just acting as a big-brother sounding board.
Pitino is apparently very happy back in Kentucky, only as the coach at Louisville.
But don't the Magic have to at least try to call on Pitino or another "big name."
Pitino has pizazz. He's just 54. He is Billy Donovan all grown up --- and with better hair. He has been there on the NBA front lines, having coached the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics. He had a decent run with the Knicks, but bombed in Boston, and that apparently was a harsh reminder for him to say he belonged in the colllege game.
But who knows what Pitino might say now?
In Boston, Pitino had a lot of bad luck, missing out on Tim Duncan in the lottery, despite all the Celtics' losses. If he gets Duncan, we are talking about Pitino with reverance as he shows off his rings.
He might not be Duncan, but Dwight Howard could give Pitino a head start in Orlando.
Nothing against Stan Van Gundy, rumored to be Donovan's replacement. Fine coach, terrific guy.
But his arrival, especially after Orlando fans were run over by the Donovan emotional rollercoaster, doesn't quite excite the masses.
So don't the Magic have to go trolling again for that big fish --- even if it's back in the college ranks? Tom Izzo, anyone?
An aside: Pitino, frustrated after a Celtics' loss in 2000, addressed the media with a diatribe that has become lore and legend:
"Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they're going to be gray and old. What we are is young, exciting, hard-working, and we're going to improve. People don't realize that, and as soon as they realize those three guys are not coming through that door, the better this town will be for all of us because there are young guys in that (locker) room playing their asses off. I wish we had $90 million under the salary cap. I wish we could buy the world. We can't; the only thing we can do is work hard, and all the negativity that's in this town sucks. I've been around when Jim Rice was booed. I've been around when Yastrzemski was booed. And it stinks. It makes the greatest town, greatest city in the world, lousy. The only thing that will turn this around is being upbeat and positive like we are in that locker room... and if you think I'm going to succumb to negativity, you're wrong. You've got the wrong guy leading this team."