Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Pat Riley ‘crying wolf’ about coaching Miami?

‘No, I’m not going to do that.’ He paused, adding, ‘It doesn’t mean I don’t have the fire. But we’ve got a great young coach here.’ While Riley would not discuss specifics about Spoelstra’s coaching future, he said, ;Definitely we’re going to bring Erik back. As far as any long-term type of situation, that has not been discussed.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Does anyone believe The Oil Slick?

Today, Pat The Oil Slick Riley told the media he won’t swap the executive suite for the bench. His days as coach of the Heat are apparently finished.

This is tough to believe. Correction: it’s impossible. Riley is the coach who cried wolf.

Not long ago, Riley put a Brutus-like knife into the back of Stan Van Gundy. After months of claiming ‘Stan was his Man’, Riley fired his friend, prodigy, and long-time assistant because he wanted to steer the star-studded Heat.

To be fair, Riley delivered. With the Hall of Famer on the sideline, the Heat won the 2006 championship.

There are too many similarities to 2006 believe Riley’s recent claims, though. Erik Spoelstra is supposedly Riley’s guy -like Van Gundy in 2006. The Heat are loaded with superstars -like 2006. And expectations are huge -like 2006.

Then there’s Riley’s personality. He loves the spotlight. All year, he sat in the stands, looked into the TV cameras, and reminded everyone who runs the Heat.

Of course, Riley is the lead executive. But why sit in the stands? Why undercut Spoelstra, the coach you selected?  Why subject Spoelstra -a loyal, hardworking, and decent assistant coach- to such scrutiny?

The answer says much about Riley. And his return to the sideline can’t be ruled out.

–Oly Sandor.

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