Richard Pitino likes the Yankees, but does he like the NBA?

by Jace Frederick

Richard Pitino found it fitting to give his thoughts on Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and his decision to retire following the 2014 season at Wednesday's pre-Wisconsin press conference.

"He's won four titles I believe," Pitino said. "He's one of the best shortstops of all time."

Pitino has always been a big Yankees fan. He and his uncle used to go to games in the summer. He grew up in a house of nine kids — eight Red Sox fans and one Yankees fan — him. 

His official response when Boston won the World Series in the fall: "no comment."

How big of a Yankee fan is he? His dog's name is Bernie, after former Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams.

"We were going to go Jeter, but it just didn't work," he said. 

So what does Pitino think about Jeter's farewell tour that will be the 2014 season, much like Yanks closer Mariano Rivera did last season?

"He's doing it right," Pitino said. "That's the way I would do it if I was a good baseball player."

He was quickly reminded that, even if he is planning a farewell tour for his coaching career, he's still got a ways to go.

"Yes. Yes I do," he said with a laugh.

So he certainly loves his Yankees, but what about the NBA?

Rick Pitino said in the most recent episode of Big Ten Network's "The Journey" that his son will never coach in the NBA.

"He doesn't like the NBA," Rick Pitino said of his son. "He doesn't watch the NBA. Richard has no NBA aspirations whatsoever."

On the show, Richard Pitino backed his father's statement about not wanting to coach in the NBA.

"I can 100 percent say that he's right about that," Richard Pitino said on the show. "I love coaching college basketball. I love the environment on a day-to-day basis."

Though, on Wednesday, he did refute the fact that he "doesn't like" the pros.

"Yeah I don't know where he got that from," Pitino said of his father as he smiled. "He's wrong. I refute that comment. I do like the NBA. You don't know him well enough to know. He'll say some things that don't make any sense."

Pitino attended the Timberwolves-Rockets game at Target Center on Monday night — which the Wolves dropped 107-89. He was there to watch players he'd coached in the past such as the Rockets' Chandler Parsons and Francisco Garcia and the Wolves' Gorgui Dieng and J.J. Barea.

He was called out for leaving that game after the third quarter.

"I did. I couldn't watch it," he joked. "I hate NBA basketball."

As he walked out of the media room he suggested the real reason for leaving early was to beat the traffic.

You can decide which answer was the real one.