St. John’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino says Mike Anderson was ‘disrespected’.
There have not been many comments from Rick Pitino about former St. John’s basketball head coach Mike Anderson, but the Hall of Famer appeared to be on the same side as his predecessor on Wednesday morning.
Pitino, appearing on WFAN’s Boomer and Gio, was asked about how he constructed his roster with so many new players after he was hired as the leader of the Red Storm in March and the challenges that come with it.
St. John’s added ten players from the transfer portal and two freshmen this offseason.
“It wasn’t all the players, but a good number of them treated the ex-coach [Mike Anderson] with disrespect,” Pitino explained.
“They weren’t going to class, they just weren’t getting St. John’s. They weren’t doing it the right way, and I told them it wasn’t gonna work. They weren’t fitting in.”
Joel Soriano and Drissa Traore were the only players retained by Pitino from Anderson’s roster while associate head coach Van Macon also remained with the program during the transition as an assistant coach.
St. John’s basketball continues to battle former head coach
Rick Pitino mentioned during his introductory press conference that there would be a lot of turnover with the roster after he did not get the best “reports” on players, excluding Soriano and Traore.
Mike Anderson is in the midst of a lawsuit against the school in which he is seeking $45.6 million after the school fired him for cause but the 63-year old is claiming that the university only did that to avoid paying his buyout and use the money to hire Pitino.
There was reportedly $11.4 million left on Anderson’s contract while he seeks an additional $34.2 million for punitive damages.
Pitino, 71, signed a six-year contract with the Red Storm and the new era of St. John’s basketball begins on November 7 against Stony Brook.