HoopsHype Pat Riley rumors

April 13, 2014 Updates

What got lost in James' recruitment four years ago, as the splashy Riley literally placed all his championship rings on the table, is what was being sold everywhere else in that same room. The people surrounding James? Sent to represent and introduce him to the Heat way? There was Mourning, now a team executive, whose journey from All-Star-to-kidney-illness-to-champion-to-Hall-Of-Famer unfolded at Riley's side, in sickness and in health. There was Eric Spoelstra, who rose from Riley's knee as video coordinator to the coaching job everyone in the sport would covet. There was Andy Elisburg, who began as an intern when the team was born in 1988 and is now Riley's general manager. ESPN.com

When Chris Bosh's wife is pregnant, the wives of Riley and Arison are at the baby shower. When Wade is getting engaged, he's making the announcement at Riley's South Beach apartment, at the team holiday party. When Wade is celebrating a birthday, Riley and Arison are having drinks on his boat. When James is vacationing in Europe, he's meeting up with Arison. And when he's getting married, you'll find Riley and Arison on that dance floor. And it isn't just for the super-famous guys, either. Heat lifer Udonis Haslem has rarely been as moved as he was at his mother's wake, when Riley came to his rough neighborhood trailed by members of the Heat front office. ESPN.com

But this year's silence has been by design, and it does not come naturally to Riley, not after so many years on this intoxicating sports stage. He was a runway model as a champion coach, helping make Armani popular in this country, ringleader of those Showtime Lakers that were ballet and opera with flashbulbs allowed. But now, as he approaches 70, enjoying his retirement years like so many people in Miami, Riley feels his age. He actually pulls young people aside once in a while to remind them, "Don't you forget about us. Don't you dare forget about us." ESPN.com

April 3, 2014 Updates

"Andy was at a gas station," Riley said. "And he said Dwyane had accepted his extension, and it was a three-plus-one [three years guaranteed, plus one option year]. And it was Dwyane and LeBron James and Chris Bosh and Amar'e Stoudemire and a bunch of other guys that signed their extensions and they're all three years with one option. And I said, 'Well, who are the other guys?' And he gave me the list. And I said, 'Well, we're going to be players in 2010.'" ESPN.com

March 13, 2014 Updates
March 3, 2014 Updates

Pat Riley was at ease Sunday afternoon on the parcel behind AmericanAirlines Arena alongside sun-splashed Biscayne Bay. His team is winning and his team's annual charity event, the Miami Heat's "Family Festival," was in the process of raising more than $500,000 for SafeSpace, the Jackson Memorial Foundation's Guardian Angels, the Miami Coalition for a Safe & Drug-Free Community and the Miami Heat Charitable Fund. "I'm six years out of coaching right now," the Heat coach-turned-executive said. "Look at me, man, I'm full of vitality to have some fun. Six years ago, when I was coaching, I would wake up five a.m. and it was dark and I was depressed. Not anymore." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

March 2, 2014 Updates
January 27, 2014 Updates

Stern turns over the multibillion-dollar operation to his successor, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, on Feb. 1. Stern has been calling owners over the past week and telling them he will remain out of sight, that Silver is the guy to call, and he wants Silver to have his space as the new commissioner starts the job. "David Stern is the No. 1 force, the No. 1 reason why this league is where it is today," Miami Heat President Pat Riley said. "That's not disrespectful to any one great player in any one era or any owner. This has to do with the leadership of one man. "Over that span of time, things don't change because they're coincidences. They don't. There's somebody at the top who is going to eliminate what is bad and market what is good. He was a very forceful, very pragmatic visionary." USA Today Sports

January 16, 2014 Updates
January 15, 2014 Updates
January 12, 2014 Updates

To Spoelstra, it's all part of what he so often calls "the process," when it comes to the grand scheme that is the NBA. And yes, even with heavy hitters such as Riley, Andy Elisburg and Micky Arison and Nick Arison, Spoelstra is part of the Heat's personnel process. Riley made that clear in his interview with IndexUniverse in advance of that company's symposium later this month at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood. "When it comes to the draft or free agency, or acquiring players via trade, anything that has to do with personnel, it's myself and Erik and Andy Elisburg and [scout] Chet Kammerer and Micky Arison," Riley said. "If there isn't a consensus, and there's somebody that I really want, then I will probably get to make that decision. But I don't think we've ever done anything here where we didn't all agree it was the best move." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Spoelstra said his priority is preparing his players, while also remaining in the personnel loop. "I don't really spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about it," he said. "I have enough on my plate. But when there's decisions to be made, we all go in the same room. And that's probably what makes us different than other organizations. We have a familiarity with each other. We can agree or disagree, and it doesn't affect our decision-making. We push each other. Ultimately, it's Pat and Micky's call. But the continuity to the decisions is special." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

January 5, 2014 Updates

Pat Riley: What I'm so impressed with about Erik is that I feel I made the right choice in selecting him because he’s a young coach. He’s achievement oriented. He’s ambitious. He’s analytic. He’s technological. He’s an X-and-O master. He’s not as loud a motivator as I was, but he motivates in a different way. And the team respects him for that. So I don’t get in his way. We meet every day. We talk every day. I will make X-and-O suggestions and things like that. But I trust that what he’s set up for this team is a winning formula. That’s on both ends of the court, and also in the locker room. When it comes to the draft or free agency, or acquiring players via trade, anything that has to do with personnel, it’s myself and Erik and Andy Elisburg and Chet Kammerer and Micky Arison. If there isn’t a consensus, and there’s somebody that I really want, then I will probably get to make that decision. But I don’t think we’ve ever done anything here where we didn’t all agree it was the best move. IndexUniverse.com

[Head Coach] Erik Spoelstra is one of the new state-of-the-art technological coaches. He believes in these numbers. He uses them to set up the offense and defense, especially offensively, and who are the best players to complement LeBron and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, our best assets. Numbers and analytics play a big part in true field goal percentage, or how we can space the floor. The numbers tell us that Shane Battier and Rashard Lewis play better when LeBron and Chris and Udonis Haslem are on the court. But there still is a gut instinct. The No. 1 thing you do in this league is to try to find the best talent. Then you need to get all of the players to sacrifice whatever they need to sacrifice for the team. Sacrifice has been a big part of our success. When we signed the “big three,” they gave up $51 million in total salary so we could bring in four or five other guys to help them win. IndexUniverse.com

Riley: We have been doing analytics for years. We just called it “statistical analyses” back in the ’60s and ’70s. We’ve always used numbers that we feel define the difference between winning and losing, success and failure. We have a database of numbers, not only individually but as a team, in which we track every single movement that one of our players makes out on the court. And we will definitely quantify it into a number. And the player will have that number. IndexUniverse.com

Pat Riley: We don’t like to build through the draft. If you’re going to do that, then you’re probably going to have to lose for two or three or four years in a row, and get high lottery picks. In my 19 years here, we’ve been in the lottery three times. We ended up getting three good players out of that. But it’s not much fun to go through. And so picking a late-round pick, somewhere between 22 and 30, wherever we are, you try to do the best homework you can on those kinds of draft choice. Norris Cole is a perfect example of a guy that we picked very late and is in our rotation. Mario Chalmers was a second-round pick. IndexUniverse.com

Riley: I believe in what’s called the “one-voice” management philosophy. There’s a single voice. And the single voice is a big circle. The middle of that circle has to do with your philosophy as an organization and your culture. So we have one voice. That voice is [team owner] Micky Arison. That is my voice. That is Erik Spoelstra’s voice. It’s the voice of the players. There’s a universal way that we do things. But it’s the same philosophy. We all want the same thing. But Erik becomes the spokesperson. IndexUniverse.com

Pat Riley: When you lose an asset like that and your team is built around players like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, whoever it is, it doesn’t really make any difference what happens to you. It’s how you deal with it. And I think it comes down to the word “trust.” The players trust us because they know we’re competent. We’re going to make them better players. We’re going to make sure they’re the best-fed and nutrition-oriented conditioned team in the league. They bank on that. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t want to really play for us if they didn’t trust that we were competent. IndexUniverse.com

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