Archive for the ‘Pat Riley’ Category

The Winner Within

April 3, 2008

Despite the intense criticism that has been directed his way, at different times during his illustrious NBA coaching career, there has always been a specific reason this observer hasĀ developed an appreciation for what Pat Riley stands for as a basketball coach andĀ a man … perhaps, embodied best in these words,

Call to Hall humbles Riley
”I look at it this way: I don’t belong there. I really believe in the coaching profession and what the word coach means, and the gentlemen that are in — all the gentlemen that are in that Hall of Fame as coaches — [I know] why they are deserving, and why I don’t belong, but why I’m there.

I never coached a [Catholic Youth Organization] team. I never hauled a group of wannabes in the back of a truck to Central Park and worked them out from dawn to dusk. I never took a kid home in my car and treated his athlete’s [foot] in my house when I was in high school. I never did the 8 million hours of work that a student-manager/assistant coach did. I never did any of that stuff.

I was pushed through a door and a silver spoon was shoved in my mouth, that had Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] and Magic [Johnson] and [James] Worthy and [Bob] McAdoo and [Byron] Scott and [Michael] Cooper and [Norm] Nixon. I mean, that’s how I got my start. And most of the guys that are in [the Hall] did it the other way. So that’s how I look at it.

But I think over the 25 years, as a pro coach — it’s a lot different than as a college coach — maybe I’ve earned my way into that. But I have a different perspective about the whole thing.”

As the old Smith Barney’s use to say …

Yes, sir, Mr. Riley, after 24 years … you’ve earned it.