Pitino to Sosa: “Edgar Sosa is Not Walking Through That Door”

Posted by rtmsf on January 6th, 2009

Far be it from us to question Louisville head coach Rick Pitino’s motivational techniques with his players.  After all, success is a choice, he leads to succeed and all that (not to be confused with his lesser-known tome, Cruise to Lose, favored by Boston-area readers).  But even we were a little perplexed with the tactics Coach P employed last week with his emotionally fragile confounding PG, Edgar Sosa.  And what makes it even more interesting is that Pitino decided to share the gory details of this alleged conversation with the entire world!  From Kentucky.com:

U of L Coach Rick Pitino had a heart-to-heart with Sosa and suggested that the 6-foot-1 junior from New York transfer. Sosa had been playing the worst ball of his career coming into Sunday’s game. He was averaging just five points on 30 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent shooting behind the three-point line. Sosa also struggled on the defensive end to contain dribble penetration.  “I basically told him that if I were you I’d transfer, and I wouldn’t wait,” Pitino said. “You could go somewhere and have a year to learn the system. The fans aren’t happy with you, you’re not happy with yourself, and you’re not having fun. We’ll look at some schools that don’t play any defense. There aren’t that many, but I know a few.

Wow.  What a tremendous display of passive-aggressive admonition from coach to player!

Flickr.com)

SuperSosa! (photo credit: Flickr.com)

What’s even better is how Pitino phrased Sosa’s “decision” after he had a great game against arch-rival Kentucky (18 pts incl. the game-winning three) on Sunday:

“He decided to stay, and I’m happy he made that choice,” Pitino said.

Success is indeed a choice, right?  Nevermind that Pitino was the one strongly suggesting Sosa transfer (Sosa made it clear he didn’t want to leave the U of L program), not the other way around.  So we’re wondering, which of Pitino’s SIAC rules does this fall under?  From a quick perusal, it appears that #3, #5, and #7 are particularly appropriate here.  Let’s take a quick glance.

Amazon.com)

SIAC, Indeed. (photo credit: Amazon.com)

#3.  Build a Team Ego.  Yep, nothing says building confidence like throwing a player who is struggling with confidence issues under the team bus by strongly suggesting that he to transfer to a school that doesn’t “play any defense.”  He might as well have publicly called Sosa “the biggest disappointment of my career” and/or “someone I wouldn’t trust with your ____.” 

#5.  Act Decisively (cf. with #6.  Be Adaptable).  Acting decisively would have been to simply quit pussyfooting around and kicking Sosa off the team.  Sure, he wasn’t necessarily breaking any team rules (other than sucking), but that hasn’t stopped Pitino before (see: Rodrick Rhodes, Kentucky, 1995).  Of course, maybe Coach P was really following the corollary rule #6, and he was being adaptable, allowing Sosa another chance to suck the life out of his backcourt before finally getting booted.  (note: of course we realize that Sosa broke out of his slump, but does anyone alive expect that to continue through March?). 

# 9.  Live for the Future, Not in the Past.  Well, it certainly appears that Pitino was dwelling on the past, as in Sosa’s past performance, when he invited Sosa to transfer elsewhere.  But we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here, because surely Pitino foresaw that Sosa would have a great game against Kentucky and all of Louisville’s point guard problems would be solved forever more.  Right?  He’s Nostradomus like that.

rtmsf (3737 Posts)


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