Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Back in the Action Again


Pat Riley sat in his office as the president of the Miami Heat. He made great money and pulled the strings on player moves and personnel changes. But it wasn’t enough. Not even close to being enough. Riley had that burning desire to be the man in charge again. Being the Heat’s team president must have been really nice, but it's nothing compared to the action every night on the court. Riles is a guy who needs to be in the center of the action - right there yelling at the top of his lungs at his players, and the officials while stomping his feet.

We’ve seen this story so many times before. MJ couldn’t stand not being part of the game, so he came back for a few seasons with the Wizards. Muhammad Ali needed to fight a few too many last fights to prove to the world that he was still “The Greatest.” Jerry Rice hung on too long also. But it’s not just the athlete that has trouble walking away and retiring. Coaches and managers do it all the time. And Pat Riley is surely not the last to add to the list of leaders like Joe Gibbs, Scotty Bowman and Jack McKeon.

He’s 60 years old and he’s been to the pinnacle of success as a college player, NBA player and NBA coach…but everyone knew from the start that Riley left the door so far wide open for his return that he actually probably took it off the hinges and removed the entire door. Stan Van Gundy was burned out and wanted to spend the holidays with his family? C’mon, it sounds nice – but let’s be real.

This is a man who won four NBA championships with the great Lakers in 80s, and took the New York Knicks to Game 7 of the NBA Finals in ’94. He’s a coach that holds the NBA record for most playoff wins with 155, and is third in all-time wins with 1,110. Riley has more playoff wins than Stan Van Gundy had regular season wins.

His team will get better quickly…they’re a good team. Shaq is healing and will start playing again. D-Wade is playing great and the rest of the guys will all fall in place. Guys like Alonzo Mourning love Riley and want to win a title really bad and will do whatever they can to get it.

Riles will bring such intensity he might have thought the team lacked under Van Gundy. The Heat will now be a more aggressive team, ala the real nice Heat teams of the late 90s. That new intensity and play begins tonight for the Heat. For the first time in more than two years, he'll be back in control of the Miami Heat calling the shots. And even though Pat Riley might not recognize all of the plays in the Heat’s playbook he knows the guys on the team, he knows the game that they’re playing and he knows how to win.

5 Comments:

At 12/13/2005 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bet says they win the East Conf now. And another bet, they'll be in a big brawl by February. Riley always has his teams pissed

 
At 12/14/2005 8:42 AM, Anonymous bird said...

They still can't hold Detroit's jock

 
At 12/14/2005 2:30 PM, Blogger P V R said...

Gregg you need to blog about the Philly NAACP president's rip on McNabb,

 
At 12/14/2005 3:20 PM, Blogger Balto17 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/14/2005 3:21 PM, Blogger Balto17 said...

I think the Pistons still take the Eastern conference. The Heat have too many players and not enough basketballs. I'm interested to see how J-Will and 'Toine feel about being in Miami 50 games into the season.

Riley's a great coach. There's no doubt about that. He recorded 13 consecutive 50+ win seasons, an unprecedented feat in the NBA. But when he wins a title without Magic Johnson, you can get back to me.

 

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