The Miami Heat are always apart of the conversation, but that’s because Pat Riley keeps them there. So, among ‘tankers’, how is he not a top 5 executive?
The Miami Heat are a team that are known for outworking and outhustling their competition. They are almost always prepared to outwork their opponents, ready to grind them into submission by simply putting forth more effort than anyone else.
It may not always be pretty, but the Miami Heat will never quit, they will never “tank” a game. That mentality is one that trickles from the top of the organization down.
When you look at Coach Erik Spoelstra, the guy at the head of the next level up from the players, he exhibits this same mentality. When asked about a particular deficiency or something that should hinder the Miami Heat from accomplishing their ultimate goal, one of his go-to responses (and one of my personal favorites, might I add) is “we have enough”.
An envious demeanor and amount of confidence to have by anyone, that isn’t by chance or random phenomenon that he feels that way though. That is an attitude and perspective that has been ingrained in him by the man that his boss, Pat Riley.
That brings us here though, to the very top of that food chain in Riles. That attitude drips from him like pool water on a hot summer day as well.
In an NBA world where tanking has run rapid, meaning that teams bottom out to get better or one where analytics have completely taken over the minds of executives, meaning a place where numbers suddenly and amazingly mean more than what you can see with your eyes, Riley is a throwback and a godsend to Miami Heat fans.
He doesn’t believe in tanking. He is always trying to win and although he may be planning ahead, meaning he may be measured or deliberate in the moves he makes, he is never in the business of tanking.
That is the most part of what makes the above tweet so disturbing. From The Ringer, the tweet names who they consider to be the top five NBA executives.
Miami Heat chief personnel decision-maker, Pat Riley, is an all-time great. How is he not considered a top-five current executive then?
Noticeably missing from this list, the Miami Heat’s Pat Riley. Let’s go down the list one by one, shall we?
Danny Ainge isn’t awful, although he’s only won one title in the span of time since he was hired in 2003. In that same time frame, Riley is responsible for three Miami Heat titles.
What is Lawrence Frank’s claim to fame? That he landed Kawhi Leonard and then Paul George?
That doesn’t count as they were bound to team up somewhere and they wanted to do it in their hometown area of Los Angeles. If anything, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has more to do with them wanting to come but it’s a moot point because the biggest reason has nothing to do with Rivers or Frank. Frank didn’t do that, the fact that L.A. is home did that.
Sam Presti, my oh my. Yes, Presti did build the Oklahoma City Thunder that would challenge the Miami Heat for a title in the Big 3 era, but then again, he also traded James Harden to keep Serge Ibaka. Really?
While Ibaka is and was a very good player, Harden blossomed into a great player and you have to blame Presti there. Also, how hard could it have been when you had KD in place?
Unlike taking Dwyane Wade for example, the greatest Miami Heat player ever, taking Kevin number two overall was a no-brainer. Heck, taking him as the top pick was a no-brainer to everyone except Portland, who was probably trying to find some sick form of validation in taking Greg Oden after committing the same fatal flaw in the 1980s with Sam Bowie and Michael Jordan.
Either way you look at it, what has the titleless Presti done to get here? Yes, Chris Paul is having a resurgent year along with resurgent Oklahoma City Thunder, but are we going to pray to the alter of Sam Presti simply for getting something back for two players who wanted nothing more than to have nothing to do with him, his team, and his decision making? I’m not.
Daryl Morey, ah, what do I say? Morey is a bean counter if I ever did see one.
He hasn’t proven a thing yet, besides that he can count and use all sorts of fancy numeric calculations to build a team. The kicker is this though, he hasn’t shown that those numeric calculations can build a champion.
How is he on this list? That’s a serious question because I can’t figure it out.
Making transactions, in general, does not a great executive make, making the ones that win titles is what does that. Morey hasn’t proven to be that guy yet.
Masai Ujiri deserves to be on this list, hands down. In a few short years, he made the tough decision to trade one of his franchise’s most revered players in DeMar DeRozan, while taking the chance on a rental in Kawhi Leonard in hopes of winning a title.
He gambled big! But he won and that’s all that matters. While he isn’t a better executive than Pat Riley, he does deserve to be on this list and there really isn’t a ton of bad that can be said about him here.
Look, as far as Ainge and Ujiri go, I can see why they are here although they aren’t better than Riles. I can’t, for the life of me, understand the others though, as they are simply benefactors of circumstance.
Furthermore and with the things we’ve laid out, how is Pat Riley not on this list? He keeps the Miami Heat consistently relevant and in contention for the most part, he consistently pulls rabbits out of his hat (see acquiring Jimmy Butler without the cap space to do it), and he does it all without tanking?
Again, how is he not on this list? I don’t know, but the folks over at The Ringer are really diving off the deep end with this one. Luckily, we here at AUCH and Miami Heat fans everywhere, know how to spot nonsense when we see it.