Saturday , Dec , 01 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Time For Pat Riley To Quit Miami Heat’s Front Office & Just Coach?

Questioning a legend is never easy. And Pat Riley has certainly earned his stripes as a coaching legend, capturing four NBA Titles over a distinguished career.

However, Riley’s performance as an executive is fair game. Recently, the man with the oiled-out dome has drafted poorly, overpaid mediocre talent, and then traded that mediocre talent for even more mediocre talent …

The Associated Press reports on Pat Riley addressing Smush Parker’s suspension:

Smush Parker was on the Miami Heat inactive list again Friday night, while the team investigated an altercation earlier in the week between the guard and a valet parking attendant.

Parker is not expected to travel with Miami on Saturday. The team opens a six-game road trip in Denver on Sunday.

He has not been suspended by the team, yet will remain inactive until the team completes its look into what happened.

"Every organization has to have rules. I try to call them covenants, which are tacit agreements about how to universally behave yourself," Heat coach Pat Riley said.

My Quick Take: Questioning a legend is never easy. And Pat Riley has certainly earned his stripes as a coaching legend, capturing four NBA Titles over a distinguished career.

However, Riley’s performance as an executive is fair game. Recently, the man with the oiled-out dome has drafted poorly, overpaid mediocre talent, and then traded that mediocre talent for even more mediocre talent.

Since taking Dwyane Wade fifth overall in 2003, the Heat haven’t drafted one player worthy of regular minutes. Dorrell Wright could still develop into a useful asset.

Then again, Riley passed on solid pros like Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin, and Anderson Varejao to select Wright nineteenth overall in 2004.

Joining a new team can be tough. So far, the Parker signing has backfired-the combo guard has warmed the pine and made headlines for, well, getting into a dispute over a valet parking fee.

Then there’s Ricky Davis. The newly-acquired wing has been an on-court enigma, but at least Miami receives cap relief when his contract expires in July.

Should Riley relinquish his day-to-day front office gig and just coach?

Some sideline bosses hire pseudo GMs to handle the grunt work. In San Antonio, Gregg Popovich works with a group of execs’ and Phoenix’s Mike D’Antoni recently handed the GM post to Steve Kerr.

Of course, Popovich and D’Antoni have final say on personnel matters. They just see the benefit in having talented people around them.

With his mixed track record in the front office, Riley should consider hiring a right-hand. Miami can’t afford another Smush Parker fiasco.

Should Riley focus exclusively on coaching? Get at us in the comment box with your thoughts.

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