Rick Pitino Tattoo Photo: See Ink Louisville Coach Promised After Cardinals Won 2013 NCAA Championship
Several Louisville Cardinals players noted that Rick Pitino's tattoo promise was one of the motivating factors for their NCAA Tournament run. (Photo: Twitter.com/KKCards)
As USA Today notes, the Louisville Cardinals head coach made his team a promise following a five-overtime loss to Notre Dame in early February. Rick Pitino reportedly told the squad that they needed to stop getting so many tattoos, but the team then asked if the coach would get one of his own should the squad win the national championship. Several of the players, notably guard Peyton Siva, called this one of the team's biggest motivations in their run to a title.
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"I said it ... not believing this was going to be a reality but I am going to get it," Rick Pitino told CBS News. "I'm a man of my word. I'm going to get it on my left shoulder. "It will be a cardinal and it will say 2013 champions."
Cardinals Sports Information Director Kenny Klein tweeted two photos of Rick Pitino's tattoo. The close-up version is above, and you can view a wider shot here.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, Rick Pitino got his tattoo from a local artist named Adam Potts. Potts, a Louisville native, offered to do the ink work on the coach's back, and Pitino came into the shop with an idea already mapped out.
As TheBigLead notes, the tattoo includes a giant red "L" with the phrase "NCAA Champions 35-5" underneath. The year 2013 is inked down the left side of the "L."
"It wasn't even close to the pain I had with kidney stones," Pitino told ESPN. "That was like an 'A' in pain, this was a 'C.'"
The tattoo was likely even less painful for Rick Pitino once he found out that he would not have to pay for it.
"I was running a free special for any Hall of Fame coaches who won an NCAA championship in the last 30 days," Potts added.
Indeed, as AP notes, Rick Pitino was announced as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame just hours before the NCAA finals.
Meanwhile, others are already wondering whether Rick Pitino will get another tattoo should the Cardinals repeat as national champions. This is certainly a possibility now that star Russ Smith has announced his intentions to return to school. USA Today speculated that a piercing is the next step up, while Yahoo Sports thinks that more ink could suffice.