Malcolm Gladwell on Rick Pitino

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell takes on the subject of “How David Beats Goliath.” As usual, Gladwell comes at the question from a number of creative analytical sides that most people have not thought about before.

Some ways down, Gladwell speaks to Rick Pitino about the role that breaking out of the norm — playing a full-court press — plays in the phenomenon. It’s a long read, but worth it.

You can find the full piece here at, but here’s an excerpt . . .

“I have so many coaches come in every year to learn the press,” Pitino said. Louisville was the Mecca for all those Davids trying to learn how to beat Goliaths. “Then they e-mail me. They tell me they can’t do it. They don’t know if they have the bench. They don’t know if the players can last.” Pitino shook his head. “We practice every day for two hours straight,” he went on. “The players are moving almost ninety-eight per cent of the practice. We spend very little time talking. When we make our corrections”– that is, when Pitino and his coaches stop play to give instruction — “they are seven-second corrections, so that our heart rate never rests. We are always working.” Seven seconds! The coaches who came to Louisville sat in the stands and watched that ceaseless activity and despaired. The prospect of playing by David’s rules was too daunting. They would rather lose.


17 thoughts on “Malcolm Gladwell on Rick Pitino

  1. He is the best.That is what drives him. And that is why UL fans should appreciate him all the more.We will miss him when he is gone.

  2. Wow, he’s brought you more NIT’s than final fours. He’s the best???? You don’t set your standards very high do you?

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