The papers are overflowing with calls for his head in a figurative sense but emotions run high in Miami, the town of glitter and big bucks. The need for a talented experienced championship coach was overlooked. So we got a protégé, a handpicked place holder because there was always the suspicion that the great championship coach, motivator and team president Pat Riley, would one day be back.
reports: “Heat coach Van Gundy resigns; Riley returns”
The public may have thought that with the “dynamic trio” of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who needed a basketball coach? It was supposed to be automatic for not only one championship but multiple championships. Insiders knew better from the beginning and there were always rumors that it might be difficult with one ball between the three of them.
You ask how that could be. Why would that be? Ask Stan Van Gundy who found himself on the last bus out of Miami when Riley took over the team and took them to an NBA championship in 2006. Tired of the game the team collapsed the next season and it became obvious that Riley has some magic with his players whether in Miami or when he was in Los Angeles with the Lakers. It seems not to be the same when he is gone.
Maybe it’s the custom made suits or the flamboyance or because he is a winner and knows how to win. We don’t really know what his aura is with other than the players but then again you can ask Stan Van Gundy in Orlando with the Magic a championship contender that awaits the final stage victory.
Maybe this was nicely staged with Spoelstra watching the trade deadline go by and no real support on the way to help.
reports: “No moves for Miami Heat as trade deadline expires”
Maybe there was somebody crying in the locker room over a regular season game. I wasn’t there were you? Who cares is the real question. With unemployment at a high and few bucks to go around men have more important things to cry about.
So Erik Spoelstra, the anonymous coach from the beginning of the drama, can now step off the stage and let Pat Riley return. It’s showtime.