HoopsHype Pat Riley rumors

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April 30, 2015 Updates
April 27, 2015 Updates

Pat Riley indicated the Heat shouldn’t go more than three or four possessions without getting the ball to Hassan Whiteside and Whiteside should have the mentality of Alonzo Mourning. “If Alonzo didn’t get a touch three or four times down the court, he would put his big hands around my neck verbally or physically,” Riley cracked. Miami Herald

April 21, 2015 Updates
April 20, 2015 Updates
April 10, 2015 Updates

Heat officials learned of the story via news reports, and were dumbfounded that the league would not have first spoken, at least as a courtesy, to the one franchise actually affected by any NBA/Cuba relationship. Heat owner Micky Arison and club president Pat Riley declined a Miami Herald interview request Wednesday, but another team executive told us, “The NBA never consulted with us. This was undertaken unilaterally. The minute we found out we registered our vehement objection to the league office. Neither the Heat nor any personnel will be participating.” Miami Herald

And now the franchise deals with an NBA/Cuba situation a different Heat source said “seems political.” Longtime former NBA commissioner David Stern was extremely active in Democratic politics and a major financial contributor throughout his years in office. New commissioner Adam Silver also was an ardent early supporter of Obama and has donated to the party — the political leanings at the highest level of the NBA perhaps suggesting a climate that would lead to a goodwill tour as a show of support for Obama’s new policy of thawing relations with Cuba. The four-day event could be a precursor to further league involvement with Cuba, such as exhibition games scheduled there. Miami Herald

Cruise stock prices spiked upward when Obama announced his thawing policy toward Cuba. People like Arison immediately imagined their majestic ships flowing lucratively in and out of Cuban ports, ferrying monied tourists eager to explore the exotic island so near yet so off-limits for so long. That could be another delicate spot for Arison, the idea that increasingly normalized relations with Cuba could be very good for Carnival and his already enormous bank account – but could also lead many Heat fans to angrily consider those profits to be Castro-dirty. Miami Herald

March 18, 2015 Updates
March 12, 2015 Updates

Any shot that Pat Riley, team president and patriarch, has lost a little faith? That the past nine months have shaken him? "No," Riley said, during an hour-long interview with Bleacher Report, while nearing a 70th birthday he'd rather nobody notice, even with the book Younger Next Year prominently displayed behind him. "Just disappointed. Disappointed for Erik [Spoelstra] and for Micky [Arison] and for our fans. Really disappointed." Bleacher Report

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to see what it takes," Riley said, running through his experience playing with West and Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain, coaching against Larry Bird and Kevin McHale and Robert Parish and so on. "If you can get three of those kinds of players and fill it out with some other good guys, then you might be ahead of the curve....So there are a lot of ways to skin a cat. "For me, it's not through the draft, because lottery picks are living a life of misery. That season is miserable. And if you do three or four years in a row to get lottery picks, then I'm in an insane asylum. And the fans will be, too. So who wants to do that?" Bleacher Report

Suffering numerous injuries and ailments. Falling far below .500. Scrambling for an eighth seed. "Obviously, the hit we took with LeBron [James] leaving just crushed us," Riley said. "Everybody. It just did. But I thought getting Josh [McRoberts] and getting [Luol Deng], especially those two players, to go with Chris [Bosh] and Dwyane [Wade] and Mario [Chalmers], that we could [compete]. And then, make the plan for 2016, even though I wasn't gonna wait if I could get a guy like Goran [Dragic]. Bleacher Report

"It would be like Magic and Kareem and [James] Worthy, they weren't going to go anywhere," Riley said. "They had come at a time when there were free agents. They weren't going to go. You think Magic was going to leave Kareem? You think Kareem was going to leave Magic? You think Worthy was going to leave either one of those guys, or [Byron] Scott or [Michael] Cooper? No, they knew they had a chance to win every year. And this team had a chance every year. So that was shocking to me that it happened. Now, could we have done more? Could they have done more?" Another pause. "They're all hypotheticals," Riley said. "That's all they are—hypotheticals. So it did stop. And soon as it did stop, we wanted to move on as quickly as we can to try to build another one. If, in fact, that team stayed together, yeah, I probably would have retired with that team somewhere. But that isn't what I think about now." Bleacher Report

Riley and Anthony Mason had their battles, but there was also much love, which made attending Mason's funeral last week so difficult. "When one of your players, that you coached very intensely for five years, leaves the planet before you do, it's like one of your children," Riley said. "It's just very hard." He's been around long enough to see several other favorites—his Forever Men, from Brian Grant to Magic Johnson to Alonzo Mourning—endure serious health hardships. "When Earvin went down, we thought it was the worst," Riley said. "When Zo went down, we thought it was the worst. When Chris, you think it's the worst....So it really affects you." Bleacher Report

March 6, 2015 Updates
March 1, 2015 Updates

Jeff Van Gundy was an assistant under Pat Riley, and he said he never will forget that day in Charleston when the unproven Mason and the established Xavier McDaniel got into a fight that didn't end quickly. "It started with a block-out drill, and five minutes later, Xavier McDaniel and Anthony were going around the gym throwing haymakers at each other," Van Gundy said by phone. "I think it set the tone for just how hard we were going to play that season. He came in to compete and he backed down from no one." Newsday

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