Miami Heat: Does Pat Riley still have something to prove?

President of the Miami Heat Pat Riley (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
President of the Miami Heat Pat Riley (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Miami Heat executive Pat Riley is the definition of an “NBA Lifer”. Does he still have something to prove to the rest of us though?

When people think about Miami Heat team president and lead basketball executive Pat Riley, there are a few things that may cross their minds. Some will think about him as the orchestrator of the LeBron era Big 3while others will think of him as the Head Coach of the Showtime Era Los Angeles Lakers, that featured Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Some may even think about his time as the head coach of the New York Knicks, after a brief stint on television. What many won’t think about is the fact the Pat Riley also played in the NBA for nine seasons, before eventually moving on to become that coach, analyst, and front office executive that he was and has come to be. With all his accomplishments thus far though, does Riley still have something to prove?

A nine-time NBA champion, Riles has just about seen, done, and been a part of it all.  He won one championship as a player on the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers, four as the head coach of the Lakers in 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988, one as the head coach while simultaneously being a front office executive for the Miami Heat in 2006, two as exclusively an executive of the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, and even threw in one championship as an assistant coach on the 1980 Lakers.

With a track record like this, many would say that he has nothing else to prove when it comes to his basketball acumen or record of excellence, but the man himself thinks otherwise. Pat Riley is on record, and specifically as recently as February, in basically saying that he’s not thinking about retirement and that he wants to see the Miami Heat win another championship.

These are mighty brazen words coming from a man that we all know is capable of getting the job done and achieving just what he says he will, but has his current roster to work with while navigating the current league landscape. Although these are factors that are certainly playing against him and his mission, there should be an absolute belief in not only what he is saying as a matter of thought or statement, but that he will accomplish exactly what he says he will.

To answer the question at hand, does Riley have something else to prove? Nope, not in the least bit.

He doesn’t have a thing to prove to the rest of the world, us as fans, and especially to the Miami Heat faithful(even the ungrateful ones calling for his retirement on the daily). More importantly though, it seems that he is set out to prove something to himself.

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He seems determined to show himself that he still has what it takes to assemble a championship team, and that is what’s most important, as mentioned. The belief here is that Pat Riley will do exactly what he says he will, after all, in Pat Riley we trust. Just don’t jump off the wagon before he makes it happen because as they say, patience is a virtue.