As bad as the Rick Pitino era of the Boston Celtics was, at least he knew when to quit

To say Rick Pitino is among the less popular coaches and team presidents in Boston Celtics history is something of an understatement. But when it came to his role at the helm of the franchise, he took his job seriously. Some may argue too seriously, but when it comes to knowing when to step away, Pitino had it right — and for the right reasons.

“All I would be doing if I stayed at that point is trying to take Paul Gaston’s money,” explained the man himself in an interview with ESPN in 2001 at the time he chose to finally move on from the Celtics. “If I don’t see a major difference in our ball club and we’re still struggling, I think enough’s enough. What I will do is just go on and try my next job and wish everybody well.”

“Sometimes change is good just for the sake of change when things aren’t going well,” he added in a conversation with the Boston Herald quoted in the same piece,

“It’s heartbreaking to me, what’s happened here. I love the Boston Celtics and I’ll always be a fan.”

This is, of course, not a call for us to let bygones be bygones. The damage done to the organization was both profound and long-lasting.

But as bad as things went, there is certainly something to be said about knowing when to call it quits. As Antoine Walker was quoted as saying, “If he’s not going to be at the top of his profession, then obviously he needs to move on.”

And move on, mercifully for all, he did.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire