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Riley steps down as Heat coach

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Old 04-28-2008, 07:26 PM   #1
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Riley steps down as Heat coach

ESPN - Riley steps down as Heat coach, will be replaced by assistant Spoelstra - NBA

Pat Riley's worst season as coach of the Miami Heat will be his last.

The Hall of Famer resigned as coach Monday but remains team president. Erik Spoelstra, a 37-year-old assistant, will succeed Riley and become the NBA's youngest current coach. Spoelstra has never been a head coach at any level outside the NBA's summer league.

Miami finished the season with the NBA's poorest record (15-67) and, by far, the worst of Riley's 25-year career.

"I look forward to the challenge," said Spoelstra, who received word of the decision over the weekend.

As president, Riley will continue overseeing the plan to rebuild a franchise that's just two years removed from a championship, after deciding that he'd best benefit the franchise by working exclusively from the front office.

Rank Riley among the top coaches in the history of the NBA

ESPN: SportsNation Polling - 3470 - SportsNation

Where does everyone rank him in, the top 20, 10 , 5?
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:25 PM   #2
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

He's been a great coach...but he was drafted by the Cowboys!

Seriously though, great coach but he kind of put me off by quitting on his team and then firing Stan Van Gundy right when the team was on the verge of winning it all. To his credit, the Heat did in a title under him. And then he went "scouting" for the team in the midst of their 1-22 streak this year. Bailing again (in my opinion)
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

He'll be back.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

Yeah, he's a jerk and that title is Van Gundy's as far as I am concerned.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

I wish he stayed on, I was loving the Heat's record this season. I would say good luck to his replacement but seeing as how I dislike the Heat I couldn't care less, I hope he has little to no success and I also hope he trades D-Wade for a ham sandwich.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:34 PM   #6
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

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Originally Posted by djnemo65 View Post
Yeah, he's a jerk and that title is Van Gundy's as far as I am concerned.
How can you possibly say that?
Stan Van Gundy had a great 04-05 when he took the Heat to 1st place (59-23 record), but he came out of the gates like a lame duck in 05-06 when in his first 21 games he went 11-10. Riley took over and took the team to a 41-20 record from there on out.
This year was only the 6th time in his 24 year career that he did not take a team to a first place finish. (in 2 of those 6 years he finished 2nd) That's AMAZING. Only 3 times did he not guide his team to the playoffs. He's a 5 time NBA champion! I personally dislike the guy due to the Celtics / Lakers rivalry, but I respect the man as a coach...he did one hell of a job and is most certainly in the top 5 all time.
He's too old for this. He did what he went to Miami to do...turn around a franchise. He did the same thing in New York and in L.A.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

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How can you possibly say that?
Stan Van Gundy had a great 04-05 when he took the Heat to 1st place (59-23 record), but he came out of the gates like a lame duck in 05-06 when in his first 21 games he went 11-10. Riley took over and took the team to a 41-20 record from there on out.
This year was only the 6th time in his 24 year career that he did not take a team to a first place finish. (in 2 of those 6 years he finished 2nd) That's AMAZING. Only 3 times did he not guide his team to the playoffs. He's a 5 time NBA champion! I personally dislike the guy due to the Celtics / Lakers rivalry, but I respect the man as a coach...he did one hell of a job and is most certainly in the top 5 all time.
He's too old for this. He did what he went to Miami to do...turn around a franchise. He did the same thing in New York and in L.A.
Haha, OK Jsarno, Riley turned around the 80's Lakers, lol. Even though they had already won a championship two years before Riley became coach and had arguably the greatest roster in the history of the sport. That's not to say Riley wasn't the right guy for that job - obviously he got it done - but there's a difference between turning a team around and stepping in to take over a team loaded with talent.

When he resurfaced with the Knicks it was a similar story. He took over the team that probably had more talent than any other in the league and the best center of his generation, however this time he wasn't able to get it done in the playoffs. His decision to encourage Starks to keep shooting in the 94 Finals lingers as one of the all time playoff coaching bungles, imo.

With the Knicks roster aging Riley bolted for Miami amidst controversy. Same story, current team aging, new opportunity with a talented team with a dominant center, Riley says peace.

Heat don't win the big one, Zo gets sick, rosters gutted, Riley's gone..then we get to the Van Gundy episode, in which I'm not sure you realize Van Gundy wasn't fired. He was pushed out amidst strange circumstances, in my unsubstantiated opinion, by a guy who smelled a championship close.

Look, Riley belongs in any top 10 discussion of all time great coaches, but he has a record of leaving teams as soon as things get tough which is not admirable. Most egregious was taking time off to scout this year when the team was tanking, which Smoot mentioned. For these reasons he'll always be a jerk to me, championships or not. At least Phil came back to coach the Lakers during a transitional phase for them.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:25 AM   #8
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

What a dick, leaving when it gets tough.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:58 AM   #9
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

djnemo, all the reasons you point out about Riley, can be said about Phil Jackson. took over a loaded bulls team, and even after Shaq left the lakers the cupboard wasn't bare. Kobe, in many circles, is considered the best player in the league. so there was a small drop off, but not much. i can almost guarantee Jackson's retirement, if the lakers didnt make the playoffs this year. to me, those 2 guys are very similar.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:08 AM   #10
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
djnemo, all the reasons you point out about Riley, can be said about Phil Jackson. took over a loaded bulls team, and even after Shaq left the lakers the cupboard wasn't bare. Kobe, in many circles, is considered the best player in the league. so there was a small drop off, but not much. i can almost guarantee Jackson's retirement, if the lakers didnt make the playoffs this year. to me, those 2 guys are very similar.
Cool, glad to know how you feel about Jackson.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:40 AM   #11
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

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Originally Posted by djnemo65 View Post
Haha, OK Jsarno, Riley turned around the 80's Lakers, lol. Even though they had already won a championship two years before Riley became coach and had arguably the greatest roster in the history of the sport. That's not to say Riley wasn't the right guy for that job - obviously he got it done - but there's a difference between turning a team around and stepping in to take over a team loaded with talent.
You're right...I used the wrong term there. He didn't turn around the team...but he did lead one of the best dynasties in the history of any sport.

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When he resurfaced with the Knicks it was a similar story. He took over the team that probably had more talent than any other in the league and the best center of his generation, however this time he wasn't able to get it done in the playoffs. His decision to encourage Starks to keep shooting in the 94 Finals lingers as one of the all time playoff coaching bungles, imo.
I completely disagree here. The Knicks had averaged only 35 wins in the 7 seasons before Riley showed up. The 4 years he was there they averaged 55.75 wins a season. That's a huge turn around!
Also, Starks averaged 19 points a game in the regular season and was an all-star, only Ewing averaged more, and Oakley was 3rd with 11.8. They NEEDED starks to shoot. Shooters are meant to shoot. That's just the way it is. It burnt the Knicks, but in no way is that even remotely a poor coaching choice.

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With the Knicks roster aging Riley bolted for Miami amidst controversy. Same story, current team aging, new opportunity with a talented team with a dominant center, Riley says peace.
There had been talk about him loving Miami for years and could easily move over there. New York is a crappy place to coach, even when you do well, you're on the hot seat. He made the wise choice. Regardless of how you look at it, why does it matter if he leaves when the talent goes away? He rode them to the end of the road...can't fault him for that. You need to enjoy the ride. Look at Gibbs...he left us the first time around when all the talent was OLD. Come to think of it, he did it the 2nd time around too.

Quote:
Heat don't win the big one, Zo gets sick, rosters gutted, Riley's gone..then we get to the Van Gundy episode, in which I'm not sure you realize Van Gundy wasn't fired. He was pushed out amidst strange circumstances, in my unsubstantiated opinion, by a guy who smelled a championship close.
Stan Van Gundy was not playing the team to it's full potential...thus the 11-10 record. It was the smart choice.

Quote:
Look, Riley belongs in any top 10 discussion of all time great coaches, but he has a record of leaving teams as soon as things get tough which is not admirable. Most egregious was taking time off to scout this year when the team was tanking, which Smoot mentioned. For these reasons he'll always be a jerk to me, championships or not. At least Phil came back to coach the Lakers during a transitional phase for them.
I won't argue that's he a jerk...I don't like him at all. I just don't see why you want to begrudge someone for not wanting to go through a rebuilding phase.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:10 AM   #12
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

Stan Van Gundy's head coaching career at Miami shouldn't be seen as only the 11-10 record just before he "resigned"

I believe his first year he coaching the Heat went from 25 wins to 42 wins, the next year they won a conference high 59 games and took the Pistons to a game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

Finally, that 11-10 start. It should be noted that Shaq missed 18 of those games due to injury.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:20 AM   #13
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Stan Van Gundy's head coaching career at Miami shouldn't be seen as only the 11-10 record just before he "resigned"

I believe his first year he coaching the Heat went from 25 wins to 42 wins, the next year they won a conference high 59 games and took the Pistons to a game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

Finally, that 11-10 start. It should be noted that Shaq missed 18 of those games due to injury.
Not to metion the job he did with the Magic this year. If they keep those guys together, they're going to very good for years to come. Ron Jeremy (Stan Van Gundy) is a solid coach.
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:40 AM   #14
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

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Originally Posted by jsarno View Post
I won't argue that's he a jerk...I don't like him at all. I just don't see why you want to begrudge someone for not wanting to go through a rebuilding phase.
Because it's like not spending time with your girlfriend or wife when she's on her period, only to ride into town when she's good to go. It's a jerk move.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:57 PM   #15
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Re: Riley steps down as Heat coach

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Stan Van Gundy's head coaching career at Miami shouldn't be seen as only the 11-10 record just before he "resigned"

I believe his first year he coaching the Heat went from 25 wins to 42 wins, the next year they won a conference high 59 games and took the Pistons to a game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

Finally, that 11-10 start. It should be noted that Shaq missed 18 of those games due to injury.
That's one of the problems, they were widely regarded as the best in the East, and they were picked to win it all...so the perception (right or wrong) was that they should have won it all and didn't (not even close actually). So a slow start meant the writing was on the wall.
Fact is, Riley did what Van Gundy couldn't / didn't do, and Riley did it with less talent IMO.
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