Everyone has said some things they regret, and Iona basketball head coach Rick Pitino is no exception. Before even coaching a game, some his past comments have already pushed away one of the team's leading scorers.
Pitino spent 16 years coaching at Louisville until he was fired in late 2017 after being involved in several scandals. He returned to the collegiate level in March, when he was hired by Iona to be their head coach. Two months after his hiring, and Iona point guard Isaiah Washington is leaving the team.
Washington was third in scoring on Iona this season, putting up 11.4 points per game along with 4.0 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. Washington and Pitino have a history together, and it really makes it clear why Washington is transferring.
Before spending his junior year at Iona, Washington played at Minnesota for two seasons. There he was coached by Rick Pitino's son, Richard Pitino. When Washington played for Richard Pitino, his father had some harsh criticism for the young point guard.
When rumors of Pitino's Iona hire began to swirl in March, Washington seemingly took to the "social media world" to share his dismay. Washington leaving Iona was a long time coming, and it doesn't inspire any faith in a coach whose past job ended with a Federal investigation.
Pitino has already pushed away one of his top players, and Washington hadn't even played for him yet. That's not exactly how you want to start a new job.