Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pat Riley, Egomaniac

This from guest poster Grilled Cheese:

Things that I know about Pat Riley:

1. He is perhaps the greatest quitter of our time
2. He is probably one of the smartest men in Professional sports
3. He looks like a cross between Emilio Estevez as Coach Gordon Bombay trying to impress Iceland in D-2 and Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of a gay detective in Boondock Saints
4. He is an exceptional douche

Let's start from the top. Now perhaps I’m biased here, but I believe Riles’ history of quitting on people, organizations and that awesome fu manchu he used to sport (clearly his only redeeming quality) is well documented. We all know how big Pat came to fame and glory… riding the long and glorious coattails of none other than Kurt “Rambo” “Superman” Rambis, but how did he only win 4?? Seriously, though, I do give him props where they are due, and like many fine coaches who have been in the right place at the right time (AHEMPHILJACKSONCOUGHBLARGRRRAHEM), Riles took the greatness he was given and brought us what we have come to know only as Showtime. But with Magic, Worthy, Kareem, and the gang on the floor how could he not walk away with all those rings?! A blind monkey throwing crap at a chalkboard would have won at least as many if not more; which may have more to do with my view of NBA coaching than Riles himself. Anyway, back to Riley being a big fat quitter.

Now here’s the thing about Riley: he brought me some of the most loved and cherished basketball memories of my life. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to watch John Starks brick 3 after 3, Charles Oakley dive after 8-10 balls a game and good ole Mase just move everyone out of the way with his massive truck of a derriere (but alas, that is a story for another day). And as I write this, I’m once again reminded, it was the players I loved, not the man who would eventually bolt as if he just impregnated Charles Dolan’s wife and needed to get out of town before Chucky realized he was too old to even get it up anymore. As quickly as Riles came to New York and New York embraced him, he quit on the team and became exponentially more hated even quicker. I guess he figured that he had taken the Knicks as far as they could be taken, and he might as well get out before the building started burning down (as he doused the place with gasoline… only to be saved by JEFF VAN GUNDY). Seriously though, couldn’t he have stuck around for at least one more run at a title?! They came so close. Boo. Quitter.

So, he went on to Miami where he would coach to varying degrees of success for many years. This was nice for him… until!!.... GASP!!! …. The Heat started to!!!!!!...... OH NO!!!!!..... LOSE!!!!! That’s right!! They became a bunch of losers! So, what do you suppose Pat did in times of trouble? If memory serves correctly, he… now what’s another word for quit? Hold on, let me get out the thesaurus… Resign? Naa. Relinquish? Eh. Surcease? Too fancy. Ooo I like this one: Abandon… nice. So he abandoned his post as Miami’s head coach because they didn’t win. Unfortunately the karma gods missed this one (although as I will explain later, they generally did a good job of fucking up Riley’s shit) and allowed him to somehow stumble across Dwayne Wade. Oops. After sliding out of the way of the bullet, he fed Stan Van Gundy to the wolves, only to watch him do a wonderfully and unexpectedly splendid job! This undoubtedly angered the great Riles, for he is the only man fit to sit on a bench and watch extraordinarily good basketball players make him undeservedly famed and beloved! Long story short, Shaq comes in, he forces Stan out (in the middle of the season, mind you) and… bam! Tough Actin’ Tinactin!... errr, I mean… he won another championship. Now, I will acknowledge that among many things, Pat is no idiot. Despite rolling over a number of people and organizations in his path, Pat made sure that he was only on the bench when he had a legitimate shot to win. I suppose there’s something to be said for that (douche).

Luckily for the Dolan and Van Gundy families… karma is a bitch. The Knicks went on to happily eviscerate the Heat in every playoff matchup they had (yes, I am choosing to ignore the PJ Brown- thug mansion-Charlie Ward flip series, it never happened). Stan Van is currently lucky enough to be the proud papa of the 22-year-old beast who’s more God than man, D-wight Howard. And, now, as the Heat are once again not good at winning basketball games, poor Riles shockingly decided to hang it up. He gave the media some cliché about his heart not being in it and not being able to give it his all. I would, however, be willing to bet that with a healthy Wade and an effective Shaq, his heart would be just fine. And so… he is forced to watch from the sidelines as his superstar makes it look more like- fall down 7 times, make that 8, shit…9- and his Diesel is getting oiled up in the desert. Now all that’s left for him to do is sit back and wait for another near championship team to latch on to before pushing someone else aside to prove what a “great coach” he truly is. Pat Riley: 1st class coach? I suppose. 1st class douche? Most certainly.

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