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PITINO OFFERED EVERYTHING BUT THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE
Published May 29, 1996
Kentucky coach Rick Pitino was offered a five-year contract worth $30M to become coach, GM and part owner of the Nets, according to the N.Y. TIMES. Pitino would likely receive $20M in salary and an ownership stake worth close to $10M (5-10%) with an option to purchase more (Selena Roberts N.Y. TIMES, 5/26). Nets President Michael Rowe hopes to have an answer by today. However, several sources said Pitino might wait to see if the Magic show any interest. But the "consensus" seems to be Pitino is leaning toward the Nets because of the nature of the deal (Selena Roberts, N.Y. TIMES, 5/29). The Nets have "assured" Pitino he would have complete operational control of the team and that a new practice facility would be either built or purchased. In another "perk," the Nets would make mortgage payments for up to 18 months on Pitino's home in KY, while providing moving expenses and a home in NJ (Fred Kerber, N.Y. POST, 5/25). One potential holdup could be questions surrounding the Nets current ownership as Pitino would like Nets Chair Henry Taub to remain in charge and for owners Alan Aufzien, Don Unger and Bernie Mann (who own 32.5% of the franchise) to be bought out. However, an expected buyout has yet to come to fruition (Ian O'Connor, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/27).