pitinosIn an amusing but somewhat strange moment during one of the most anticipated regular-season NBA games of the year last night, ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy busted out the type of story usually reserved for 30-point blowouts between mediocre teams than a tight battle between the Warriors and Spurs.

But hey, who are we to complain?

Van Gundy started talking about when he was an assistant coach at Providence under Rick Pitino, who was the head coach at the time. Apparently Rick asked Van Gundy to take his son — yes, Gophers head coach Richard, who was quite young at the time — to a carnival in Rhode Island.

How did it go? Eh, it could have gone better.

Rick gave me like $10, and he said, ‘When it’s out, it’s out.’ The kid burned through the money in like the first 10 minutes and looked at me like I was gonna chip in,” Van Gundy recalled. “I had no money, so Richard Pitino, you were a brat that night.”

Van Gundy estimated Richard Pitino was 6 or 7 at the time. My guess is the little Pitino was more like 4 or 5 given that Van Gundy was an assistant under his dad at Providence during the 1986-87 season (before Rick went to the Knicks) and Richard was born in 1982.

Regardless, the thought of Rick Pitino giving an assistant coach 10 bucks to take Richard to the carnival plays out in my head like a scene from a movie. Richard, of course, has young kids of his own now. Maybe a trip to Valleyfair is in order?

You can watch the entire clip here, thanks to C.J. Fogler:

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