Rick Pitino left Lexington.
We know that.
We don't know how he feels about it. At least, not for sure.
In a speech this week at the Mid-South ACG Capital Connection, a gathering of private-equity professionals and local businessmen and businesswomen, Pitino said going to Boston after the 1997 season at Kentucky was the best move he ever made.
"Failure was the greatest thing in the world to me," Pitino said in the speech. "People ask me, do you regret leaving Kentucky, if you didn't leave, you'd have 1000 wins today? I say, no. The greatest move I ever made was leaving Kentucky. The second-greatest move I ever made was failing in Boston. Because if I didn't go through those two experiences, I wouldn't have gained humility. Humility is the greatest key to greatness and living a happy life."
As recently as four months ago, Pitino viewed his decision to leave Lexington in the opposite light.
“I think I do regret leaving Kentucky because I took over a team with 15 wins banking everything on the Tim Duncan lottery,” Pitino told 790 the Ticket in Miami, “and once we didn’t get Tim Duncan I realized that leaving Kentucky was not a good move.”
Perhaps a little context is important: He was talking to a group of Louisville businesspeople in his speech, and talking more about life lessons than actual basketball decisions. Did leaving Lexington make him a better person? You could say that.
Does he probably still wonder how many titles he could have ended up winning at UK? You could probably say that too.
Watch Pitino's speech below: