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Thursday, 19 June 2014 23:54

Pat Riley: Not his best hour

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In a press conference that lasted about 55 minutes the Miami Heat's team president had something to say about everyone. Maybe just too much...

Pat Riley has always been a salesman, today at the Heat’s press conference that was shown once again. He talked it up with the media, even made some jokes, basically doing anything and everything to keep the right mood as the future of the franchise from South Beach is far from being set. And while most probably drank the kool-aid that the team president of the Miami Heat dispensed, I would not have a show like “Pushing the Envelope” if I was among one of them.

Mr. Riley talked about keeping it together, mentioning groups of two or three superstars that he either coached or coached against that have done so, even through tough times. How they figured it out and how they did this and that and the other. All great points I have to admit, except for one thing that only his current players did that those others never did.

None of those other groups of players held a parade before playing one single game as a team, telling not just their fans, but the whole NBA landscape “not one, not two…” and so on and so forth. So, while I enjoyed listening to Pat Riley giving a positive spin on a team that could be the same next season, or be a total mess by then end of the month, let’s not compare some of the great tandems or trios in the NBA to this Big Three.

They were not build the same, as most of the other partnerships came about by trades and/or the draft, and not by assembling them. And while the others might have never made it to four NBA Finals in a row, they never promised almost double that in championships. They were from another time in the NBA, made from another cloth, and even when the Spurs were mentioned, they too come from pre Y2K and with a totally different mindset that players of now have.

Sorry Mr. Riley, you can tell me that the trio should stick together or as you put it…

I think everybody needs to get a grip. This stuff is hard. You have to stay together and find the guts. You don't find the [exit] door and run out of it.

…because that is your opinion.

But for the rest, focus on what the Miami Heat, with you at the helm, created and see how to adjust it, re-arrange it or pull it all apart to rebuild it, and not comparing it to what others did. The Heat were built to do something, in some ways they have achieved it, in others they have not, but now to say they need to stay and not find the door is kind of hypocritical, as I am sure you did not tell either LeBron James or Chris Bosh that when you were luring them to come play in Miami.

Riley began the press conference by saying “want to trend something? I am pissed”. Well, you have only yourself to blame for that. This was your masterpiece that has not panned out, now to challenge your players is kind of a cop out. And, in my opinion, doing it at a presser isn’t the way to win them over.

Only time will tell what the next version of the Miami Heat will look like, and while it will be interesting to see what happens in South Beach, I could have done without Pat Riley and his charade today. The only good part about the press conference is that Mr. Riley did not say at the end that he was taking his talents somewhere else. So, I guess there was a silver lining in this as well.

Alex Mazzolini

Follow me on twitter

 

CLNS Radio's featured NCAA Football & Basketball columnist.

 

Host of "The ABC's of the ACC" and "Pushing the Envelope" podcasts.

 

Following college sports for over a third of a century, covering not just the games, but also the recruiting, of the super conferences.

 

When it comes to college athletics I love the present day as social media gives us so much information. However, I long for the old days when college sport was more about the programs the young men played at and less about where they would end up at the next level.

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