Pitino jokes about Greece vs. Turkey: “If we lost this game, I could never go back to Greece”

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Greece led by Rick Pitino, after a long trip to Victoria, Canada, faced top-level competition aiming to clinch an Olympic Games berth. The national team fell short of that goal, but the Hall of Fame head coach was happy for securing the W in one particular game. He talked about his wild ride as the Greece national team selector with Eurohoops and Vangelis Ioannou.

After losing to Canada and beating China, his side beat Turkey in the semifinals of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Games between Greece and Turkey traditionally carry some extra weight, as jokingly confirmed by Pitino.

“I don’t care if they had more talent or not, if we lost this game, I could never go back to Greece,” he mentioned recalling that fixture.

The Czech Republic beat Greece the next day and secured a spot in the Tokyo Games.

Pitino, 68, currently back in Greece with Iona in friendly action against local pro teams, discussed the issues he faced in the buildup to the OQT, Greek basketball and the future of the national team, potentially returning as head coach of the senior Greek squad and more in the first part of his interview to Eurohoops.

Check out the part one of the interview:

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