I'm sitting here watching ESPN Outside the Lines
and the topic is what they refer to as the modern day "Mount Rushmore" of NBA Coaching: Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and Larry Brown.
The guests were Jack Ramsey
, HOF coach of the 77 NBA Champion Blazers and current Miami Heat color commentator and Scoop Jackson
of SLAM Magazine and ESPN.
Ramsey laid a bombshell of sorts by saying that he understands that Pat Riley will replace Stan Van Gundy as coach of the Miami Heat within the next week to ten days. Ramsey called the coaching change "imminent".
The show was discussing the styles and the coaching achivements of the three and discussed the current Larry Brown drama and Jackson returning to LA without a legit NBA Title contender.
Riley is discussed as still having the strong desire to coach - and since he is President of the Heat - he could very well make such a move as replacing Van Gundy.
Stan Van Gundy was Riley's lead assistsnt since Riley took the Heat job in 1995. He was named head coach in October 2003 when Riley suddenly resigned.
With the acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal
and the drafting of All Star Dwayne Wade
to the Heat, Riley is said to be anxious to return to the sidelines and lead the Heat to their first NBA Finals.
This has been rumoured for awhile, but for Ramsey (a Heat insider) and a respected NBA expert to reveal this may mean this story actually has legs.
The better the Heat did in the playoffs, the worse I felt Riley's chances were because it would make him look worse. With a hobled O'Neal and an injured Wade, the Heat were eliminated by Detroit in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Would Pat Riley be looked upon as anything better than a Phil Jackson by taking over this Heat team as they are on the verge of a championship run?? How would he look by throwing Stan Van Gundy, a loyal assistant and confidant under the bus after he led you back to respectability two years ago - and within one win from the finals last year??
If this indeed does happen - I would have officially lost all respect for Pat Riley.