Riley gives way to young assistant
MIAMI ó On the night of his last game as an NBA head coach, Pat Riley heard the final buzzer, looked straight ahead and briskly walked away.
Deep down, he knew it was over.
iI didnít have to look back,î Riley said. iI know thatís behind me.î
And now, after spending several days plotting the Miami Heatís next course, Rileyís past becomes Erik Spoelstraís future.
The Hall of Fame coach resigned Monday, although heíll remain team president. His first act as Miamiís former coach was to choose its new one, and hired Spoelstra, a 37-year-old who started in the Heat video room in 1995 and now becomes the NBAís youngest coach.
Riley sees himself in Spoelstra.
Riley was 36 when he first became a head coach, and didnít have any experience either. His first off-the-court job in the NBA was traveling secretary for the Los Angeles Lakers, handling boarding passes. Spoelstra also was at the bottom of the Heat totem pole when starting out, making videos for the team Christmas party, but Riley is convinced heís ready for the top job.
iItís very rare to have the opportunity to work for one organization for your entire career like I have,î said Spoelstra, who was told the job was his Friday. iIt means itís a special organization.î
Miami finished with the NBAís poorest record (15-67), by far the worst of Rileyís career. As president, Riley will continue overseeing the plan to revamp a franchise just two years removed from a championship, after deciding heíd best benefit the franchise from the front office.
Shane Davis has enjoyed drawing for as long as he can remember. He used to get in trouble in school... read more