Rick Pitino is leaving Panathinaikos, the team he coached to a Greek League championship this season, he told ESPN on Friday.
The Hall of Famer said he turned down an offer to return as the franchise's president and head coach in order to pursue a job in the NBA, either in coaching or in a player personnel or advisory role.
Panathinaikos won its third consecutive and 38th overall league title on Friday, sweeping proud finalist Promitheas Patras with a 111-77 result at the Olympic Sports Hall and a 3-0 score in the best-of-five finals. Having also beaten PAOK in the final in February, the Greens completed yet another domestic double.
Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino has criticized fans of the Greek club for smoking and lighting flares during games, saying they are showing a lack of respect for the players.
"It's extremely self-centered and selfish of people," Pitino said late Wednesday after Panathinaikos beat Peristeri 91-68 in the Greek league semifinals. He described the atmosphere at the game as "awful."
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points for the Milwaukee Bucks, but that was not enough to stop the Toronto Raptors from winning Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals with a 100-94 score and advance to the NBA finals.
The Bucks had led 2-0 in the series but the Raptors bounced back to win the series 4-2 and win the conference finals for the first time in their history.