Pat Riley might be getting older but the way he felt and looked in the early hours Friday morning never gets old to him. White starched shirt: soaked. Iconic hair: soggy. Stoic expression: gone. Championship smile: wide. In the midst of the celebration hysteria of another NBA title, the ninth for him as a player/assistant coach/head coach/executive, Riley decided to talk championships, and when he does that, you listen. The man's an expert. "There was only one dynasty and that dynasty was the Celtics of the '60s," he said. "Now if you want to move forward because the rules have changed, if you can win five or six like Michael [Jordan] did or San Antonio did, then yes. You can talk about this team as being a great team. "We got a young team -- a lot of people think it's old -- and a veteran team and we have so much ahead of us. We're going to go for it and we're going to for go it every year." It's not that simple. It never is. Even when you reach the championship stage three straight years and cash in twice, as the Heat just did, the next round of challenges are ready to block you like LeBron James did Tiago Splitter. Contractually, the Heat are tied to the Big Three for only one more season. After that, it gets hazy. Things can happen. Goals can change. Bodies can change. Mindsets can change. Other teams, the contenders who want what they Heat have, they can change, too. In the context of greatness, whatever that word means these days, the Heat probably fall short when compared to champions of the past. But why play that game right now? One: Miami isn't done, as Riley said. Two: Eras are different, the rules are different, the game is different. But Miami had a plan, a bold plan, and so far it's working. Riley cleared space to make a run at something that's never been done under the modern salary cap system and three players bought into the idea of coming together and taking less money for the chance to win rings.
Pat Riley Has No Intention Of Retiring
Sports On Earth | Jun 21