Pat Riley Rumors
Fizdale made a strong impression on Riley. “A great young coach, he really is,” Riley told the News. “And I don’t know exactly how many years he has been in the NBA but he’s really got a great mind, he’s mentally prepared as a coach. He’s smart as hell. I’m happy for him.”
And Riley’s approval goes a long way. “After you talk to Pat, you don’t need to talk to me,” Spoelstra said. “You talk to the Godfather and he gives the go-ahead, you don’t need to talk to anybody else. Shut down all the other interviews.”
“I think he has that ability,” Heat president Pat Riley said when asked if the 6-foot-6 Richardson can be an upper-echelon starting small forward. “And, again, the game has changed. It really has changed. And it’s hard, a lot of the times, to make sure that your key player, the ones that you believe in and the ones that you have the most money to are going to get 12 to 15 shots or 18 shots a game. “Is Josh a small forward? Is he a two? I think he’s probably more of a two, but in today’s game and also how we play and the fact that we’re guard-oriented, perimeter-oriented in a lot of ways, Josh is pushed over to the three most of the time. But he could be playing a power forward, but he’s probably a two. And he’s going to have to improve. There’s no doubt that his improvement and upside has to do with being sort of a go-to guy and the end of the game to be able to handle pressure.”
Mike Vorkunov: Erik Spoelstra says Knicks didn’t talk to him about David Fizdale during the search. Says they didn’t need to because they talked to Pat Riley. “You talk to the godfather and he gives the go-ahead, you don’t need to talk to anybody else. Shut down all the other interviews.”
Former Knicks chief Pat Riley doesn’t normally like to help the Garden, but made an exception for David Fizdale. Knicks president Steve Mills checked with Fizdale’s best reference — Riley — and he gave the Knicks a lot of assurances the Grizzlies fiasco was an aberration.
Memphis sources believe Fizdale came on too strong with some Rileyisms and the “Miami Way’’ — considering the Grizzlies had made the playoffs six straight seasons before his arrival. According to sources, Fizdale put up a lot of new sayings in the locker-room areas, reeking of Riley on championship mindsets.