Rick Pitino says he was more puzzled than annoyed by the actions of UCLA Athletic Director Peter Dalis, who disclosed this week that he has had two telephone conversations with Pitino in the past month.
"I'm not turned off by it, but I really don't understand it," Pitino said Thursday.
"I don't think this type of conversation belongs in the media. As far as I'm concerned, it was totally innocent."
On Wednesday, Pitino called Lavin to say as much, and to tell him he's not after the UCLA job. Pitino said the two cleared the air in a matter of minutes, then talked basketball strategies. He also said he was unfazed by Lavin referring to him as "an opportunist" after learning of the conversations with Dalis.
"Sometimes, if you don't know the facts, you react," said Pitino, 48, who resigned this week as coach of the Boston Celtics. "If I was in his shoes, and I was his age, I would have reacted the same way. I wasn't upset about what Steve said."
Lavin gave a similar description of their conversation.
"We had a half-hour, 45-minute talk. We actually talked a lot about the press," Lavin said.
Did he mean the media?