Wednesday , Jan , 09 , 2008 Oly Sandor

What Pat Riley’s Departure From Miami Sideline Would Mean Long-Term For Heat

It’s a matter of time. Miami Heat coach Pat Riley will soon renege on his verbal commitment to coach the team through 2010 and escape to the warmth of the front office. After all, the oil-slick has pulled the hatch before. In 2003, Miami was struggling, so Riley left the sideline mid-season to focus on his executive post. Yesterday, he hinted his second term as bench boss could be winding down. Once again, Riley wants to move to the front office and hand the Heat to another coach …

What Pat Riley's Departure From Miami Sideline Would Mean Long-Term For HeatMy Quick Take: It’s a matter of time. Miami Heat coach Pat Riley will soon renege on his verbal commitment to coach the team through 2010 and escape to the warmth of the front office.

After all, the oil-slick has pulled the hatch before. In 2003, Miami was struggling, so Riley left the sideline mid-season to focus on his executive post.

Yesterday, he hinted his second term as bench boss could be winding down. Once again, Riley wants to move to the front office and hand the Heat to another coach.

"Sometimes, just with me, I feel like now, more than ever, I might be butting heads with both jobs (coach and team president)," he said. "And I’ve revisited that over and over again."

"I was much better, I believe, just as a president," he said, "because I wasn’t having to deal with the personalities."

What would Riley’s departure from the bench mean?

  • 1) It would indicate the current season is lost, their veteran core is finished, and a makeover is coming. Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal (because of his contract) would be untouchable, everybody else could be had.
  • 2) The franchise would focus on appeasing Wade. The superstar could leave as an unrestricted free agent in July of 2010, so Miami would have to keep him happy.
  • 3) Youth movement or rebuild on-the-fly? Those would be the Heat’s two options. With Wade’s free agency looming, Miami would likely clear cap space and retool quickly.

These are only possibilities. The end of Riley’s coaching career will bring change, turnover, and something new to Miami.

What would happen if Riley quit as Miami’s coach? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts or hit us up in our fan forum. Click here to subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA blog.