Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/9/14
Texas_news_fe31
Rick Petino now says he regrets leaving the college ranks to coach the Boston Celtics — and it’s all because the team didn’t get Tim Duncan. Although it’s nothing more than a distant memory now, there was a time and place when the Celtics were poised to end up with the San Antonio big man. During the 1996-97 season, the Celtics ended up with the league’s second-worst record at 15-67, but couldn’t come up with the No. 1 lottery pick. The Spurs drafted Duncan, and the rest, as they say, is history. But it’s precisely the fact that the Celtics didn’t end up with Duncan that now has former coach Rick Pitino saying he regrets his decision in 1997 to leave the Wildcats for the pros. I think I do regret leaving Kentucky because I took over a team with 15 wins banking everything on the Tim Duncan lottery,” Pitino told 790 the Ticket in Miami, “and once we didn’t get Tim Duncan I realized that leaving Kentucky was not a good move.” Of course, the Celtics did end up with Chauncey Billups third overall in that draft, who was certainly a better pick than No. 2 Keith Van Horn. Nonetheless, the Celtics missed out on a franchise-altering player, Boston went 102-146 under Pitino and Billups won his NBA Finals MVP award with Detroit in 2004.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

Curt Schilling's son causes scare at Logan Airport

Manziel's girlfriend tells Browns to put Johnny Football in

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

WATCH: Odell Beckham Jr makes catch-of-the-year

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's awesome post game interview

Video: RG3 gets crushed, his linemen look unfazed

WATCH: Dominic Raiola tries to cheap-shot Patriots' lineman

WATCH: Janoris Jenkins returns interception for 99 yd TD

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.