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Mavs Rule
08-24-2006, 12:37 AM
Aug 23, 8:46 PM (ET)

By STEVEN WINE

MIAMI (AP) - Pat Riley decided against quitting on top. He'd rather try to stay there another year. Riley said Wednesday he'll return as coach of the NBA champion Miami Heat, ending speculation he might retire at age 61. He'll be on the sideline when the title banner is raised at the season opener Oct. 31 against the Chicago Bulls.

"After winning the championship, I realized there's always something meaningful that happens in your life that becomes the primary point of your destiny," Riley said in a statement. "Winning the championship showed me that I am definitely in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. I can't wait to get started."

Riley won his seventh league title last season as a player or coach, returning to the bench in December to lead the Heat to their first championship. There have been no defections this summer from his team's eight-man rotation, although free-agent guard Gary Payton remains unsigned.

"We've got most of our core guys back, and now we have the coach," said center Alonzo Mourning, who re-signed last week. "I think it's only fitting that he comes back so we can all defend the title together."

Riley left Miami on Wednesday to fly to Japan for the world championships and was unavailable to the media, the Heat said. He last talked to reporters June 23, the day of the team's championship parade.

As recently as Monday, center Shaquille O'Neal expressed concern about Riley's status.

"Yeah, it's an issue," O'Neal told NBA.com at a charity golf event in the New York area sponsored by Mourning.

Riley, who is also Heat president, returned as coach Dec. 12 when Stan Van Gundy resigned for personal reasons. Miami went 41-20 under Riley during the regular season, then beat Chicago, New Jersey, Detroit and Dallas in the playoffs.

The title provided vindication for Riley, widely questioned after shaking up the roster a year ago and then replacing Van Gundy.

"Coach made this championship happen. He built it and made us all believe," forward James Posey said this summer. "You could tell how much he wanted this one."

Riley found the season draining physically and emotionally. He postponed hip-replacement surgery to resume coaching and limped at times in the ensuing months. Early in the playoffs, his 96-year-old mother, Mary, died near his hometown of Schenectady, N.Y.

It was Riley's fifth NBA title as a head coach but his first since taking the "Showtime"-era Los Angeles Lakers to the 1988 title. He won one title as a player and another as an assistant coach.

"I'd give up six championships," a champagne-soaked Riley said in the din of the victory celebration in Dallas, "to get this one."

Riley is second to Lenny Wilkens with 1,322 coaching victories, including 171 in the postseason. He stepped down as Heat coach shortly before the 2003-04 season and was replaced by Van Gundy, who remains under contract with the organization.

Almost from the moment Riley returned as coach, there was a question of whether he'd keep the job in 2006-07. He signed an extension announced Jan. 1, but the team never clarified whether it was related to his role as president, coach or a combination of the two.

Soon after the extension was announced, Riley said he "probably would not" be back as coach, only to issue a terse statement in mid-April vowing to return, quashing a rumor that he had already chosen Jim O'Brien as his successor.

When the title was won, Riley changed the answer again, saying only that he couldn't decide whether to continue.

"Don't ask me that," Riley said. "Please. ... I can't answer that right now."

The answer came Wednesday, less than six weeks before practice begins Oct. 3.

birdsanctuary
08-24-2006, 06:51 PM
Should have walked away. Miami's way past the experation date...

nashtymavsfan13
08-24-2006, 07:00 PM
Not the right decision imo, no way Miami wins it again.

mary
08-24-2006, 08:34 PM
Unless Shaq retires and D-Wade quits B-ball to take up golf, I see no reason why the Heat won't be strong contenders to come out of the East again next year. What teams are going to be so obviously dominant that Miami won't have a chance? What did they lose in the offseason that caused them to reach their expiration date?

Locked_Up_Tonight
08-24-2006, 09:16 PM
Unless Shaq retires and D-Wade quits B-ball to take up golf, I see no reason why the Heat won't be strong contenders to come out of the East again next year. What teams are going to be so obviously dominant that Miami won't have a chance? What did they lose in the offseason that caused them to reach their expiration date?

The three major names on their team:

Shaq/Alonzo/Payton

All 3 of those guys are past their prime. All 3 are running on fumes. The question though is when will the fumes literally run out?I have no answer for that. But if Shaq and Alonzo loses a step or two they could be screwed.

As much as people love to praise Wade, Alonzo and Shaq are the two most important members of the team. Without the beef up front Miami is LA East.

nah-vit-ski
08-24-2006, 09:22 PM
The three major names on their team:

Shaq/Alonzo/Payton

All 3 of those guys are past their prime. All 3 are running on fumes. The question though is when will the fumes literally run out?I have no answer for that. But if Shaq and Alonzo loses a step or two they could be screwed.

As much as people love to praise Wade, Alonzo and Shaq are the two most important members of the team. Without the beef up front Miami is LA East.


Of course they're past thier primes, yet it was still enough to win the NBA Finals..........


And they couldn't have won it without Alonzo, but saying he's more important than wade? That a little much.

And by the way, they are the defending champs AND they lost no key players, why wouldn't he come back?

EricaLubarsky
08-24-2006, 09:30 PM
Unless Shaq retires and D-Wade quits B-ball to take up golf, I see no reason why the Heat won't be strong contenders to come out of the East again next year. What teams are going to be so obviously dominant that Miami won't have a chance? What did they lose in the offseason that caused them to reach their expiration date?
exactly. And Detroit was their only competitor and they lost talent. If someone beats them it will be Dallas, San Antonio or Phoenix.

mary
08-24-2006, 09:30 PM
Of course they're past thier primes, yet it was still enough to win the NBA Finals..........


And they couldn't have won it without Alonzo, but saying he's more important than wade? That a little much.


That's what I was thinking.

Plus, if Shaq was so washed up two months ago, then why weren't the Mavs able to play him straight up?

Dude...Shaq past his prime, is still pretty damn good and still demanded a double/sometimes triple team during the Finals. Go back and look at the Detroit series (where Big Ben tried to take Shaq on) and tell me again that the big guy is washed up.

alby
08-25-2006, 03:09 AM
miami should and is the clear favorite to come out of the east no doubt about it.. so why shouldn't riley coach again? why shouldn't alonzo come back again? the bulls got more star power yes, which sets up another beautiful david stern story for the eastern conference finals. wade.. back home.. in chicago.. where it all began.. he grew up in the southside.. all he wanted to do growing up was play basketball.. he became a man on the streets.. etc etc. but theres no way stern is going to have wade/shaq lose to the bulls.

mqywaaah
08-25-2006, 06:41 AM
No way Miami does it 2 years in a row. And never again, I hope. Instead, the Mavs will win the championship, and Riley will be so disappointed that he stayed for another year with the Miami Sh*t only to watch the Mavs win it.

MavsX
08-25-2006, 08:00 AM
Miami is a joke, they have always been a joke, no way miami comes out of the east in 06-07, i can see chi town or lebron coming out of the east

u2sarajevo
08-25-2006, 10:25 AM
It cracks me up how people think Miami is done... Why? Granted, Chicago will be a formidable opponent as will Detroit and even Cleveland...

But the mindset of this thread is laughable. Even in the name..... "Riley Should Have Gone Out On Top". Well, I have news for you.... he could win it next year and still "Go Out On Top". This thread is very premature. Wait until Miami is 2-65 and a fan revolt forces him out.... then this thread would be appropriate.

But today it's just conjecture and jealousy.

alby
08-25-2006, 10:25 AM
sigh.

they have two superstars

true, the nba can really push for lebron.. but he is too young imo.

alby
08-25-2006, 10:26 AM
It cracks me up how people think Miami is done... Why? Granted, Chicago will be a formidable opponent as will Detroit and even Cleveland...

But the mindset of this thread is laughable. Even in the name..... "Riley Should Have Gone Out On Top". Well, I have news for you.... he could win it next year and still "Go Out On Top". This thread is very premature. Wait until Miami is 2-65 and a fan revolt forces him out.... then this thread would be appropriate.

But today it's just conjecture and jealousy.
they are counting out the defending champs because the heat beat the mavericks.. simple as that

u2sarajevo
08-25-2006, 10:27 AM
they are counting out the defending champs because the heat beat the mavericks.. simple as thatThat's why I said jealousy.

alby
08-25-2006, 10:28 AM
just agreeing with you... =]

MavsX
08-25-2006, 02:32 PM
im confused

MavsX
08-25-2006, 02:32 PM
i mean drunk

jacktruth
08-25-2006, 08:03 PM
I would much rather finish in a year that I did not win it all, maybe even started to suck a bit. I would hate to retire wondering if I could have done it again. I would much rather know for sure that I was washed up, possibly even despised by fans.

alby
08-26-2006, 11:33 AM
plus.. the money!

MavsX
08-28-2006, 08:13 AM
yeah money is good, you can by love and happiness with money