Pat Riley Rumors
Kerr, asked whether he believes Riley will be able to orchestrate a quick comeback from these troubled times, said: “It’s a really hard thing to do and that’s what makes his accomplishments so special. He’s done it multiple times with different franchises. You have to get lucky and you have to be good. I have no idea if he’s going to do it again … They’ve had some really difficult things that have happened to them in the last year or two.”
Dragic, 30, is optimistic about a quick Heat turnaround because of confidence in president Pat Riley, general manager Andy Elisburg and owner Micky Arison. “The history talks about what Pat, Andy, Micky, what those guys are able to do in one summer,” he said. “I have complete faith in the front office. They’re going to do an amazing job. They did before, now and in the future.”
And then the scout mentioned Pat Riley, and the recent, well-publicized comments from the Heat president about a rapid rebuild, something unlikely with a drafted point guard, particularly one with only one season of collegiate experience.
Pat Riley was in the middle of answering a question about the Heat’s current rebuilding project on a local radio show last week when his mind drifted back to 2008, the year the Heat, coming off a 15-win season and Riley’s last as coach, used the No. 2 overall pick in the draft to select Michael Beasley instead of Russell Westbrook. “We missed on that pick in Michael Beasley,” Riley said before correcting himself to soften the blow on Beasley, who was selected after Derrick Rose and before O.J. Mayo and Westbrook with the next two picks. “I mean, we didn’t really miss on it. But the best player was Russell Westbrook.”
The 6-foot-3 point guard has played some of his best ball in recent weeks, comfortable that Heat President Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison are committed to a turnaround. “That’s why I signed with this team,” he said. “If I didn’t think like that, I would never have signed. I understand it’s part of the business, but I have great confidence in this organization, in Pat, in Micky, in all of those guys, because the history speaks for itself.”
Shaq spoke, Pat Riley spoke and the former Heat big man was given a couple gifts from the franchise. During his speech, Shaq took time to thank his former coach Pat Riley, while also noting a funny moment from their time together: “Pat Riley, I couldn’t have done it without you. You pushed us and you pushed us and you really pushed us. Our team was so crazy, I remember coming in and saying, ‘Pat, the guys are partying on the beach and you got us practicing at 10. Can you please move it back to 12?’ And he did and we went on the road and we was able to win, but you know, Pat, a lot of people think we have problems. We don’t have problems. I love you, and I respect you.”