Donovan Mitchell seems to get along really well with Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff but he has had some tough coaches in the past.
Speaking with Tidal League, per ClutchPoints CBB, Mitchell opened up about his time under Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.
“I had played for crazy coaches, but this was like another level of crazy,” Mitchell admitted, before going into Pitino’s “detail-oriented” mindset.
Mitchell mentioned several things that made life hard, like when players were forced to run on a treadmill if they committed a turnover.
“To everybody at Louisville, I was scared as s—, that’s why I played so well,” Mitchell said.
"I had played for crazy coaches, but this was like another level of crazy… To everybody at Louisville, I was scared as sh*t that's why I played so well."
Donovan Mitchell's experience on being coached by Rick Pitino in college 😅
— ClutchPoints CBB (@ClutchpointsCBB) December 11, 2023
For many years, Pitino was the face of Louisville basketball.
He was the head coach of Louisville from 2001 to 2017 and definitely found success with the team.
He is a college basketball legend and the first coach to lead three different schools to the NCAA Final Four.
Pitino also had a career in the NBA and coached the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics until 2001, when he returned to the college court.
Pitino didn’t go easy on his players and Mitchell said that Pitino watched over practice sessions like a hawk and would punish players who slipped up.
Mitchell made it clear that he has no hard feelings against Pitino, but he admits that his time in Louisville was very hard.
However, it did prepare him for the tough road to the NBA, where he has obviously flourished.
As for Pitino, he was fired by Louisville in 2017 because of multiple scandals and is now the coach at St. John’s.