Pat Riley Rumors
Speaking on a Yahoo! podcast, Spoelstra was asked by long-time NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski about a potential future in leading a franchise. “Short answer would be, I’m a Pat Riley disciple, and, like I’ve said, he’s always pushed me and nurtured me for the next steps,” Spoelstra said during the interview recorded in Southern California. “So, yes, that I’d love to have that opportunity years down the line from the Arison family, because I believe in them so much as human beings. They’re such good people and family oriented.” But Spoelstra, 46, also said that he is comfortable in his current role under owner Micky Arison and Heat CEO Nick Arison, confirming that he already has a seat in all organizational meetings with Riley and General Manager Andy Elisburg.
One former player told a story about Dwyane Wade reporting to camp weighing around 230 lbs. and telling Riley that he bulked up. Riley responded, “No, you’re fat.” This was during Wade’s prime and the players were surprised to hear Riley talk to Wade like that. But it sent the message that everyone – with zero exceptions – would be held accountable. “Who would have the balls to tell Wade that, other than Riley?!” the former player said. “This was when D-Wade was Flash!”
If there’s one thing Stern doesn’t love – never has, and never will – it’s the chronic complaints from coaches about officiating this time of year. Here’s looking at you David Fizdale and Fred Hoiberg. “(It’s) really just a modern version of what a coach tries to do to inspire his players and attempt to influence the officiating,” Stern said. “That’s as old as Pat Riley and Phil Jackson (doing it) back in the day. If the moon is up during the playoffs – (if it’s not) on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon – the coaches will be baying at the moon and at the officiating.
I genuinely thought I was going to be back in OKC this season, and we were going to make another run at it. But things didn’t work out that way, because basketball is a business. When I got a call from Miami, I went down there and walked into the O.G. Pat Riley’s office. It was damn near the best thing that’s happened in my NBA career.
When I heard that Miami was interested in me this summer, I wasn’t really seeing it at first. Nothing against the Heat, but I didn’t know how I’d fit there. Then I met Pat Riley. I walked into his office and … damn. The hair was slicked back, and he was wearing one of those suits of his, you know, real O.G., looking like a million bucks. Behind him, he’s got photos of all his championship teams lining the walls. He’s wearing one of his nine rings. He’s sitting there looking like De Niro in Casino. He’s looking like the boss. He’s looking like he’s seen it all, because he has. Purely as a basketball fan, I just want to learn from this man.
I knew right away Pat was a real guy, because he wasn’t even asking me about basketball. He was asking me about life. Then Pat says, “We’re going to get you in world-class shape. Not good shape. Not great shape. World-class shape.” I mean, I’m in the NBA. In my mind, I’m already in good shape. But do I eat a Philly steak every now and then when I’m home? You know I do. So Pat’s looking at me like, “Give us a season, and you’ll see. World-class.” Even the way this man pronounces world-class is world-class, you know what I mean? And then he says to me, “Tell me something about Dion that I don’t already know. Not about basketball. About life.”