Riley Gets No. 8, Happy In Exec Office





MIAMI — Two nights earlier, Pat Riley had been honored by his peers with a lifetime achievement award, receiving a trophy named after a rival and friend – late Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly – for whom he had much love and respect.

It was a special moment and an introspective one, with Riley talking about his career, the influences on his life and style and a little about his future, as well as the state of the game.

Then came Thursday, when the Miami Heat clinched the 2012 NBA championship in five games over the Oklahoma City Thunder, thrusting Riley into the spotlight on a bigger stage as the architect of a grand, superstar-driven blueprint. Now that was a special moment – Riley’s eighth title as a player, coach or executive. It had Riley calling out to the jubilant fans at AmericanAirlines Arena: “Can we have a party tonight?! Is it OK to have a party tonight?!”

“This is a great, great, great group,” Riley had said during the on-court presentation of the Larry O’Brien trophy. “This is right now not about anybody else but the coaches, the players, the staff, the employees that work for the Heat. … It’s not easy. It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.”

And naturally, within minutes of having done that most difficult thing, Riley was asked about the Heat’s chance of doing it all over again next June. “Well, we believe we built a team that’s going to be around for a while, and our goal is to hopefully come back every year,” he said.

The Heat coming back, that’s fine. But Riley has no interest in a personal comeback. Not as a coach. For much of Miami’s two-year grind to reach its goal, he was presumed to be lurking just off stage, ready to step in if protégé Erik Spoelstra faltered. But he never did – Spoelstra was his hand-picked guy – and he definitely won’t now. Or apparently ever.

Whatever competitive itches he still feels, either they’ll get scratched from his role as team president or they’ll go unscratched.

“I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to [replace the satisfaction of coaching],” Riley said in accepting the award Tuesday from the National Basketball Coaches Association. “I mean, to be out on the court and be a player and be a coach and be in the heat of the battle – real  competitive battle where the adrenaline is rushing – it’s a whole ‘nother world. You get out of the game because sometimes that takes its toll, also, over 30 years.

“But I don’t have that kind of itch. Building the team, being around the players, working every day with a group of people that I’ve come to know and love in a big way, for me it’s a privilege because it’s worth their time. … So I’m looking to build this thing even better, and I don’t have any timeline. I’ve still got a lot of bite left in my bark. But it’s directed in another direction.”

22 Comments

  1. bheinteh20 says:

    Yeah nobody knows what kind of a person kobe is. He’s just lucky he won championships thanks to the TEAM. LETS SAY KOBE AND LEBRON SWITCHED EACH OTHERS CAREER. WHO WOULD THINK KOBE CAN CARRY CLEVELAND? I DAMN DONT THINK SO.

  2. attan says:

    i reside in africa and cos of the time difference, had to sacrifice sleeping time so i could watch James live. i followed this throughout the playoffs through to the finals even tho i had to work the next day. thats how much love i got for the king.simply put, i am the happiest man alive to witness this superstar step up and claim his throne.

  3. Muhumuza says:

    All hail the King. Haters can take a back seat now, but I know they’ll come out with even more gas.

  4. markangelo says:

    release pittman and dont sign turiaf for another extension and use mike miller’s anmnesty when he retire then problem solve we could get roy hibbert to man the middle

  5. markminator says:

    thumbs up for coach spo, riley and the heat : )
    Miami dont need hibbert… Pittman is good for them if only he had played the season, i think he’ll be good…
    he only needs more nba experience…

  6. resty gomez says:

    At last a championship ring. for my fav NBA player Bron James. Waited for several years for this ring on LBJ finger. Thanks to Miami Heat and all those people behind this team. at last a dream came true for real grewat team. Let’s congratulate ourselves fellow Lebron James fans and that include my youngest son, Pierre Gpmez of Italy!

  7. lemmors says:

    i’m not satiesfied.get more rings three AMIGOS and i will…

  8. Antonio says:

    Miami we need to get Roy Hibbert We Need Big time big man lets do it again

  9. Jami says:

    OKC NEEDS ANOTHER COACH. IF DOC RIVERS WAS THE COACH, THE THUNDER WOULD HAVE WON!!!

  10. HEATFAN DWADE3 says:

    CONGRATS MIAMI HEAT AND LEBRON ON BECOMING NBA CHAMPIONS, YOU HAVE PROVED ALL THOSE HATERS WRONG FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!!! STILL A HATER? WELL YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE NBA AND THE GAME OF BASKETBALL!!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. TheRileyLegacy says:

    I give an equal amount of credit to both Spo and Riley. Riley is who was responsible for making the Heat what it is now by managing to acquire such talent since his initial year in 1995 from Zo to Wade (I give Spo credit for Lebron) as far as players and from Stan Van Gundy (they still had winning seasons with him) to Spo who serves as an example of what you can achieve solely through hard work and a strong will to succeed. Congratulations to the Miami Heat organization as a whole.

  12. theking0522 says:

    I am sooo happy for Lebron James. The guy who has never raped or being accused of raping anybody (see Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger). The guy who has not killed dogs (see Michael Vick). The guy who has never been accused of DUI or for possession of marihuana (see……MULTIPLE EXAMPLES IN PRO SPORTS). Fans can forgive players who cheat on their wives (see Kobe Bryant again) or brake the law. But don’t you dare go on ESPN and raise money for POOR AND SICK CHILDREN. Don’t you dare go on national television to raise money and help children. America won’t forgive you for that. America would rather forgive a rapist or a criminal than a guy with a CLEAN RECORD. Hypocrites!!!!!! It doesn’t matter anymore. Who cares now? The King has a ring and nobody can or will take that away from him. Many of you are a bunch of losers. Lebron has a ring and he is going to have a nice and beautiful summer………Have I mentioned the guy never broke the law?

  13. Jim Dayrit says:

    the Godfather of Miami…. looks it too. hehehe!

  14. Rondo9 says:

    Give more credit to coach Spo,,all of those newbie fans were hard and cruel to him. Eventually he proved those fans wrong and got himself a ring.

    • KnixFan says:

      Yeah look at what Spo did for the Heat before Lebron got there.
      He is a good coach. Period.

  15. LoL at the Thunder bandwagon fans... says:

    if the Heat would’ve lost the Finals.. Phil Jackson would’ve swam to South Beach

  16. millancabia says:

    I am an avid fan of Pat Riley. I like his style starting his time with the Lakers.A true gentleman.

  17. Philippines says:

    I guess the Philipines are gonna welcome the Miami Heat Roster when Coach Spo gonna be doing his annual NBA Fit.

    Just hoping though,