Rick Pitino's Return to Rupp Was College Hoops' LeBron James in Cleveland Moment
No one is quite sure what to expect, but something is going to happen, right? I'm sure Cleveland fans are prepared to give their worst to LeBron, but these emotionally-charged games rarely live up to their billing. On Dec. 29, 2001, Rick Pitino, the man that returned Kentucky to prominence and brought the Wildcats their sixth national title in 1996, returned to Lexington as coach of their hated in-state rival.
There was a whirlwind of emotions leading up to the game, where an overmatched Louisville team would surely be destroyed by Tubby Smith's much more experienced and talented team.
And that's what happened. Kentucky won by 20, but it was a bit of a letdown. Pitino came in, everyone booed, his terrible team got destroyed, and then he left. After the game, Pitino remarked that he pretty much got what he expected.
"I think that's the way you've got to take it all, as good-natured jests," he said. "Some of the comments tonight, some people may deem cruel and ridiculous, but we laughed. We thought they were funny and hysterical. That's what college basketball and entertainment are all about. You have to be able to laugh, you have to have some fun."
So, yeah, no one really knows what to expect. All we know right now is that tonight is a very big deal. Chances are, though, there will be a basketball game, it will end, and LeBron, with his talents in tow, will head with his teammates back to South Beach.