Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pat Riley might coach again, depending on how good the Heat look

Pat Riley announced yesterday that he's agreed to remain the President of the Miami Heat, saying he's signed a mutliyear contract. He also gave the impression that Head Coach Erik Spoelstra would be back, citing his current contractual commitment and that he "did a great job in accomplishing what we wanted to accomplish."

When pressed further, though, Riley admitted the possibility of him returning to the sidelines. From the Sun Sentinel:
"If some free agent were to say, 'I will come here but you must do this,' well, hell, if that happens that day, then I might have to give it some thought."

Where Riley had previously closed the door on talk of such a return, including at his induction of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, he this time left the door ajar.

"Why should I give you an answer to that?" he said. "That if I do something two months from now or whatever it is, then I'll get lambasted for doing it or not doing it."
This is shocking, isn't it? Riley tries to be defensive but then hints that it could happen in two months, conveniently when the free agent signing period begins. So he's basically saying that if Dwyane Wade comes back and the Heat can sign, say, Chris Bosh, he'd love to return to coaching.

I'm being a little hard on Riley, probably, I'll admit. But let's remember that this is the same guy who replaced Stan Van Gundy in 2005 after Van Gundy "resigned." The team promptly won the NBA Championship.

Then, as perhaps now, Riley saw an opportunity to coach a very good team and jumped at it, tossing his old protege out of the way. If the Heat sign a big name free agent and can keep D-Wade, it's a safe bet that Riley will return and Spoelstra will "resign."

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