Erik Spoelstra has to be pretty nervous these days. The most back-stabbing, self-centered, politically ambitious coach in history is breathing down his neck, waiting for the right opportunity to swoop in and take over. In truth, Spo would probably be fired already if it weren't for the support of Dwyane Wade.
Think I'm being too critical of Riles? The guy's won 5 rings. He's one of the best basketball strategists of all time. And he just pulled off the NBA's biggest free agent heist in recent memory, landing LeBron James and Chris Bosh in South Beach.
Still a total dick. Here's why:
-Paul Westhead gave Riley his first job as an assistant coach in 1979. Riley had previously been in the Lakers broadcast booth. But when Laker players mutinied to get Westhead fired in 1981, did Riles back his coach/benefactor? Nope. Instead, he waited quietly in the wings. And when Jerry West declined Buss' offer to take over for the deposed Westhead, the job fell in Riley's lap.
-He resigned as Laker coach in 1990 amid rumors of player mistreatment and anger management issues. Gee, maybe using Sun Tzu's The Art Of War as your guide to doing business might rub people the wrong way.
-In 1995, he left his job as Knicks head coach in a dust-up of tampering and burned bridges to join the Heat. New Yorkers still hate him. Nothing makes a Knicks fan happier than seeing the clip of Allan Houston hitting that runner to cap the Knicks first round upset of top-seed Miami in 1999.
-Since coming to South Beach, he's repeatedly gone back and forth between manning the front office and sabotaging his coaches to take credit for their hard work. Randy Pfund and Stan Van Gundy probably have his picture on their dartboards. Now Spoelstra is in prime position to be the next guy with a knife in the back.
-After winning the title in 2006, Riley's Heat visited the White House. Riley slobbered all over W's knob, saying "I voted for the man. If you don't vote, you don't count."
Fuck Pat Riley. He and LeBron deserve each other. It makes perfect sense to me that LeBron is about to spend fifty million on a home that Riley used to own. In an era when one out of every six people on the planet is starving to death, you've got to be a total fucking narcissist to spend fifty million on a house.
I curse you, Heat. I fart in your general direction. May thirty years of bad karma wash over you like gentle rain.