News Radio WOAI KTKR AM Sports
SpursReport.com
  #1  
Old 06-12-06, 10:19 PM
spurssheriff's Avatar
SpursReport Team Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 5,911
The Lie of Riley

The Lie of Riley

By Mike Wise
Monday, June 12, 2006; E05

DALLAS

Now that Heat-in-five is mathematically impossible and everyone who took Miami in this series is beginning to look at least a little provincial toward Eastern Conference bump-and-grind basketball, I think a confession is in order:

I was brainwashed and snookered, taken in by all those Pat Riley stories over the years. Every single great anecdote about the man who ushered in the era of the uber-coach had me and people of my gullible ilk thinking Heat by psychological knockout. No way Riley waits 12 years to get back to the NBA Finals and a team featuring Shaquille O'Neal plays this poorly.

We thought his immaculately tailored suits alone were worth one win. Riles strutting down the sideline in Armani against some young coaching upstart like Avery Johnson had mismatch written all over it. After an initial setback in Game 1, Riley's competitive will would eventually manifest itself in his players, and one of them would lay some wood on Dirk Nowitzki or Josh Howard, and that would be it. Dallas would get punked and the master motivator would triumph again.

If he couldn't win with his talent, he would muck up a series like 1994 when neither the Knicks nor the Rockets broke 100 points over seven games.

But the past is the problem with Riley's cult following. We've been drinking Kool-Aid from 12 years ago in New York or 18 years ago in Los Angeles.

When I see Alonzo Mourning sneer, Gary Payton scowl and the sheer size of Shaq up close, I wait for doe-eyed Devin Harris and baby-faced DeSagana Diop to run and hide. I thought Riley in charge of these prideful veterans was easy money.

And it would have been -- five, 10 years ago, when they were all young and spry and willing to go through a wall for their general. When a coach gets a team to the Finals in eight of his first 12 seasons, you just take it for granted that his players compete hard and play smart.

You don't expect Antoine Walker to take 10 more herky-jerky bad shots or Jason Williams failing to complete an entry pass into the post, pulling up for a three-pointer on the break when he's got a recharged Mourning running the floor. You don't expect James Posey to make every dumb play imaginable and the Heat failing to realize that the most dominant player of his era is five feet from the rim, calling for the ball. When all this happened -- and it did in Game 2 -- something is amiss in the sideline-legend business.

Riley will say it's not the Heat, it's the stupidity. And he will be right about how his players fell behind 0-2 in the series and now will try and become only the third team in NBA history to rebound from that deficit in the Finals. At this moment, Shaq does not resemble the two incomparable pivots who led those teams back from that deficit: Bill Russell in 1969 and Bill Walton in 1977.

I expected more from a team coached by Riley. He spoke before Game 2 about how much he's changed over the years, how he's no longer the selfish, go-getting dictator who lorded over those Lakers and early Knicks teams.

"I was ambitious," Riley said. "I was an ambitious young man. No, you change over the years and thank God I have. I think I'm a much better person today than I was back in the '80s, I think. That's my personal opinion."

I want the Gordon Gekko character back. I want the guy who once asked his players how much they really wanted to win and proceeded to submerge his head in a bucket of ice for two minutes, until the veins in his neck and forehead were about to burst and his players were about to pull him out. Emerging from the water, his face frozen pink, he blurted out, "You got to want it till your last breath!"

I want the guy who once heard Charles Smith was dogging it with the Knicks, remaining on the injured list while his teammates busted their behinds during the regular season. When Smith walked into the locker room in a resplendent suit while Anthony Mason, John Starks and the other Knicks were suiting up, Riley turned around and stopped writing on the chalkboard and asked Smith, "Charles, if you could give me one minute tonight -- one minute -- to win a championship, could you do it?"

Smith shrugged and said, "Yeah, sure coach."

Riley went back to the chalkboard for a couple of seconds and then spun around dramatically. "Then what in the hell are you doing in that suit?" Charles Smith would soon come off the injury list.

I want the guy who once heard Todd Day was criticizing the way Riley ran practice in Miami, and how Riley called an air-it-out team meeting. He asked the entire locker room, "Does anybody, anybody at all, have a problem with how I run this ship?"

No one raised their hand. Finally, Riley said: "How about you Todd Day? Do you have a problem? You know what, you're cut. Get the hell out of here."

After a near altercation, with Day explaining that Riley could not just do that, he had union rights, after all, Day was removed and the locker room grew still.

"Now," Riley said, "does anyone else have a problem with how I run this ship?"

He was spiteful after the loss last night, taking a dig at all the naysayers who wrote his team off after two losses in Chicago during the first round and losing Game 1 to the Nets. "We were history, and then we were history against Detroit. Even when we were ahead 3-1, we were history. I'm sure we're history right now."

The Heat is not done, but unless Riley concocts something soon it's time to revise our predictions, stop living in the past and give Dallas its due.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...061200049.html
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-13-06, 07:43 AM
edinscot08's Avatar
SpursReport Team Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 290

Quote:
The Lie of Riley

The Heat is not done, but unless Riley concocts something soon it's time to revise our predictions, stop living in the past and give Dallas its due.
__________________
In nothing too much, especially in everything.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-13-06, 09:53 PM
Brooklyn Dave's Avatar
SpursReport Team Bench
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 2,244

Riley hasn't been a great coach since the days that Magic was a great player.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-13-06, 09:56 PM
DizzG's Avatar
SpursReport Team Captain
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 8,595

I wouldnt agree with that. He didnt win a title in NY but he was a great coach there

Riley is one of the best coaches in the history of the NBA IMO

stupid article
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-13-06, 10:01 PM
Bucks's Avatar
SpursReport Team Captain
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Yuma, Az USA
Posts: 9,762

do you think he is as good as larry brown?


shaq seemed to want it more in the playoffs and wade has been more healthy in this playoffs
stan vangundy> pat riley
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-13-06, 10:04 PM
DizzG's Avatar
SpursReport Team Captain
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 8,595

Quote:
stan vangundy> pat riley
based on what? Riley has 4 championships...yeah he had talent...but so did Phil, Pop, Larry or just about any coach thats won titles. He's a great coach and a hall of famer total 100% lock

Van Gundy is good but he hasnt proven that level yet
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-13-06, 10:49 PM
Bucks's Avatar
SpursReport Team Captain
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Yuma, Az USA
Posts: 9,762

wade was hurt last year
heat would have beaten pistons

larry has what one ring wow
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.7.4 Copyright © 2000-2008 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0