Monday, July 31, 2006

Bengals Camp

The Bengals opened their training camp in Georgetown this weekend. Head coach Marvin Lewis brought in Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino to provide a motivational speech to the players.

From the Dayton Daily News:

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino gave the Cincinnati Bengals an ego-building pep talk at midfield before Sunday's practice at training camp. The players applauded Pitino in the 90-degree heat, and head coach Marvin Lewis thanked him with a handshake.

Pitino, a former NBA head coach for the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, leaned on a friend — Celtics legend Bill Russell — for his theme.

Russell is considered sports' greatest team player because he won back-to-back NCAA championships for the University of San Francisco, an Olympic Gold Medal and 11 NBA titles.

"I just talked about a team ego, something Bill Russell talked to my Celtic team about," Pitino said. "It's great to have an ego as long as the ego is about team. All the statistics in the world are meaningless unless you win a championship. That's when statistics are truly valuable. We talked about how to impact your teammates. That's what ego is all about. The individual ego is not important. The team ego is what's important."

Pitino was invited to camp by Ray "Rock" Oliver, the Bengals assistant strength and conditioning coach who worked with Pitino at the University of Kentucky. Pitino's son, Ryan, 16, is serving as a Bengals' ball boy during training camp.

Josh, Chad, and Matthew were also there, but were not asked to address the team.


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