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Today In NBA History 1996: NBA Names 10 Best Coaches Of All-Time
Monday , Dec , 17 , 2012 Paul Eide

Today In NBA History 1996: NBA Names 10 Best Coaches Of All-Time

16 years ago today, the NBA announced the top ten coaches in NBA history.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: It's hard to argue with this list, even 16 years later.

Here are the ten, in no particular order, and some of their achievements.

Phil Jackson- Anyone who has watched the NBA in the last 20 years knows how significant Jackson's coaching impact has been. What's interesting is that after he was named to this list, he won eight more NBA titles. Another interesting tidbit; Jackson only won a single Coach of the Year award, in 1996, the same year this list was announced.

Red Auerbach- Before Jackson came along, Auerbach was essentially the deity of coaches; the coach all NBA coaches aspired to be. When he retired as an NBA coach, his 938 wins and nine NBA championships were the most in NBA history. HIs success after his coaching career ended continued as a member of the Celtics front office/management, winning an additional seven titles, which meant he was a part of 16 championships in 29 years.

Bill Fitch- Fitch was a former Marine drill instructor turned basketball coach, making his way through several college coaching jobs before becoming a successful NBA coach for 25 years. Fitch won 944 games (fifth most in history) and a title with the Celtics in 1980-81.

Chuck Daly- Daly is famously known for assembling and guiding the Detroit Pistons "Bad Boy" championship squads of 1990 and 1991. His tough style of coaching was carried onto the court by his players. Daly was also the coach of the greatest team ever assembled, the gold medal winning 1992 USA basketball "Dream Team".

Red Holzman- Red coached the Knicks from 1967 to 1982 and won titles in 1970 and 1973, with Phil Jackson playing on both squads. Holzman won NBA championship as a player and as a coach. His 613 wins as coach for the Knicks is the most in team history. 

Don Nelson- Nelson has won the most games in NBA history as a coach, winning a total of 1,333 games. "Nellie" was a three time NBA Coach of the Year winning the award in '83, '85 and '92. His exciting style of play was called "Nellie Ball" which featured an up-tempo attacking offensive game plan. HIs most lasting contribution to the game, which is still employed to this day, is the creation and institution of the "Point Forward" role which relied on a forward to fulfill the typical role of a point guard. 

John Kundla- Kundla was the first coach in the history of the Minneapolis Lakers, who would eventually move to Los Angeles. He teamed up with the first dominant big man in NBA history, George Mikan, to win the NBL title in 1948, before merging with what would become the NBA the following season and winning five titles in six years.

Pat Riley- Riley won five NBA championships as a coach, and an additional one as assistant coach, plus one as a player. Since the list was announced, Riley has won titles with the Miami Heat as an executive. His is the first person in NBA history to win a title as a player, head coach, assistant coach and as an executive.

Jack Ramsay- "Dr. Jack" won 864 games as a head coach and an NBA title in 1977 with the Portland Trailblazers and Bill Walton. When he retired he has won teh second most games in NBA history.

Lenny Wilkens- Wilkens retired as the all-time winningest coach with 1,332 wins and held the record from 1994 to 2010. Wilkens coached the Seattle Supersonics to a title in 1979 and was named Coach of the Year in 1994. Wilkens took over a struggling Cleveland Cavs franchise in the 80's and made them one of the best teams in the NBA, though they could never beat the Chicago Bulls, losing to them twice in the Eastern Conference Finals.

If the NBA made a version of this list today, who would you add or remove?

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Friday , Dec , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron, Durant do the Flag Football thing

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Heat GM Pat Riley and Thunder GM Sam Presti must have had heart attacks while watching LeBron James and Kevin Durant’s flag football teams go at it.

Luckily, the two NBA superstars, who earn tens of millions of dollars to play pro basketball, didn’t get hurt.

And LeBron returned interception for a touchdown. His celebration dance wasn’t half bad either.

Click the link, watch the video, and come back to HoopsVibe News with thoughts and comments.


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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: Pat Riley and I nearly fought in Miami

I start taking a couple of steps towards Pat. Udonis Haslem steps in and I shove him out of the way. Then Zo tries to grab me. I threw him aside like he was a rag doll.Now it's me and Riley face-to-face, jaw to jaw. I'm poking him in the chest and he keeps slapping my finger away and it's getting nasty. Noisy, too. He's yelling "F--- you!" and I'm yelling back, "No, f--- you!" Zo is trying to calm us both down and he has this kind of singsong panic in his voice. He keeps saying, "Big fella, no big fella, big fella!" I finally turn around and tell him, "Don't worry. I'm not going to hit the man. Do you think I'm crazy?"

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal’s tell-all tour continues. No player, coach, man, or woman will be spared.

The future Hall of Fame center has a spill-the-beans book coming out, so he and his people have leaked excerpts to create a buzz.

Like O’Neal’s World Wars with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Like O`Neal`s take on LeBron James ignoring Coach Mike Brown in Cleveland. Like O`Neal`s lack of a relationship with iconic center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The latest: O’Neal nearly fought Pat Riley, also known as the oil slick, during practice with Miami. Of course, O’Neal says he was heroically sticking up for teammate Jason Williams.

This may or may not be true. There’s no disputing O’Neal has had problems with coaches.

There was the fallout with Riley. There were problems with Phil Jackson, another all-time great on the sideline. And he undermined Terry Porter in Phoenix.

So before blaming others, O’Neal should perhaps look inward first. This, however, is unlikely.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in lighter Eddy Curry?

Curry weighed 350 when he auditioned for Miami in March. Curry intrigues Pat Riley, who might offer him a minimum deal postlockout if he loses another 12 pounds or so. His skills “are there, no question,” Grover said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Eddy Curry could soon become Pat Riley’s Greatest Reclamation Project.

Reports indicate Curry has dropped close to 40 pounds and, if his waist line continues to shrink, he may sign with the Miami Heat for the minimum when the lockout ends.

This is rather remarkable, especially when considering how low the skilled big had sunk.

Curry made $31 million to play in 30 games over the last three seasons. He blew most of that $31 million and, reportedly, took out high-interest loans from dubious characters. And then there was this.

Of course, Curry might not be best for South Beach. He was a finesse-five for the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, and the Heat need a defensive-minded banger down low.

Still, Curry won’t cost much, so, perhaps, he’s worth the risk -as it will appease the people behind Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Move over Rafer Alston, Derek Anderson, Ike Austin. Smush Parker, Antoine Walker, and all others. Eddy Curry may soon be coming. You’ll have competition for Riles’ Greatest Reclamation Project.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bosh, LeBron, D-Wade, and Heat have most to lose with Lockout?

You’re coming off an NBA Finals where your team fell painfully short of its second world championship, and you have only three more years of guaranteed time with the LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade before their player options come up, giving all three the freedom to head elsewhere if this isn’t working out as planned.

Is this really the time for labor strife to potentially cost you a full season? Isn’t this the worst possible time to consider bonding with these newer, more desperate owners around the league for the sake of shared health? Wouldn’t a potential lost season put a huge dent into this perfect model you essentially have spent four years planning for and building?

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Like De La Soul said, The Stakes is High.

Right now, the Miami Heat has the most to lose if there’s a prolonged work stoppage and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with a hard cap.

It starts with owner Micky Arison. The billionaire has invested hundreds of millions of dollars on the Three Kings -Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

The controversial trio is only signed for a guaranteed four years. 2010-11 is in the books. 2011-12 is at risk because of the lockout.

Of course, the entire Heat model is also at risk. Suppose the owners win negotiations. Suppose they implement a hard cap. Suppose they rollback salaries.

Despite what he said publicly, Heat executive Pat Riley may be forced to break up his star trio. And Bosh would be the one to go.

Upgrading the supporting cast will also be a problem. With a top-heavy salary structure, the Heat will have little money to sign a point guard or center. Especially if soft cap loop-holes like the veteran`s minimum and mid-level exception are eliminated. 

Whenever next year begins, the Eastern Conference champions could look different.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in comment box below. 

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Tuesday , Jun , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bosh, LeBron, D-Wade pushing Heat to sign Eddy Curry?

With the beginning of free agency just a few days away, its no surprise that there are little tidbits of rumors and information starting to find their way into the hands of the media.  The Sun-Sentinel reported on Monday that the Heat had been working with free-agent center Eddy Cury, who has barely played over the past three seasons.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I don’t see it. I don’t see what Eddy Curry can offer the Miami Heat.

After all, Curry played a grand total of ten games in the last three seasons. He's several seasons removed from posting nice numbers for the New York Knicks.

Then there’s the fit. The Heat need an athlete. Someone to score, defend, and play both ends of the floor.

That’s not Curry. The Chicago native was once a skilled center, but he always struggled with defense. His skill will be gone after such a lengthy layoff, and his defense will be even worse becase of poor conditioning.

There were off-court issues, too. Curry, despite signing a massive contract, was in debt because of atrocious decisions. Then there was this.

Why is the Heat so interested in Curry? Three words: Bosh, LeBron, D-Wade.

Curry has the same management as the 'Three Kings'. So Executive Pat Riley may be tossing the people behind his superstars a bone.

If so, this isn’t basketball. This is business. And bad business at that.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stan Van Gundy to LeBron: Stop Crying About Media

‘No I can’t say that. Look I’m not the most empathetic person in the world anyway, but look first of all it’s sports. The thing that would make me feel bad for somebody was some personal issue. I’m not going to feel bad that you are struggling on a basketball court because you only get to within two wins of a championship. Come on there was nothing to feel sorry for. I got a little tired I’ll admit of the whole everybody hates us routine. I thought first of all it’s not true. Okay it’s the same as the Yankees type of thing. There’s just a lot of people interested, so there may be more people who dislike you. There are also more people that like you. There’s a great deal of interest. Second of all they brought it on…LeBron more than anybody. They brought all that scrutiny and attention on yourself. You went out seeking it then don’t cry in the face of it. That to me got to be a very tiresome story line.’”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Part of this is about LeBron James. Most of this is about Pat Riley.

Remember, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was once gainfully employed as head coach of the Miami Heat. Riley was his boss, mentor, and friend.

Riley then fired Stan Van Gundy, so he could take over behind the bench. The Heat won the 2006 championship. Stan and brother Jeff Van Gundy, a former head coach turned broadcaster, have been warring with Riley ever since.

In fact, the Van Gundys never pass on a chance to slam the Hall of Fame sideline boss.

Stan Van Gundy is right: the Heat, especially James, brought this on themselves. They hosted a celebration after signing the Three Kings. And James boldly predicted that the Heat would win multiple championships.

So James and the Heatles can’t complain. They set the bar exceptionally high. They failed to reach those expectations. Now fans, as Stan Van Gundy mentioned, are holding them accountable.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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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.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Pat Riley: Heat want to keep LeBron, Wade, and Bosh

Not long after LeBron James' Finals flameout, Miami president Pat Riley has sent word to other league execs: He's not breaking up his Big Three. That's too bad - for the rest of the NBA.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Miami Heat, according to Executive Pat Riley, do not want to break up 'The Three Kings'.

Translation: the Heat do not want to trade Chris Bosh. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were never going anywhere.

'Oli Slick' Riley knows he can’t get equal value in a trade for James or Wade. Such a thing is impossible. So such a trade isn't happening.

Love them or hate them, 'The King' and 'D-Wade' are firmly entrenched as the faces of South Beach. Basketball’s greatest villains are returning.

Bosh’s status wasn’t so certain. He struggled to find his place amongst his superstar teammates. And his more introverted, bookish personality seemed at odds with the glitz-and-glamour of James and Wade.

There were suggestions the Heat would shop Bosh in hopes of upgrading their supporting cast.

Not anymore, though. Riley saw Bosh’s true value in the playoffs. And he wants to keep his left-handed four-man.

Wanting and doing are different. Riley may have to trade Bosh because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The CBA may include a hard cap and/or salary rollback, which would force changes. Bosh, and his max contract, would likely be sacrificied, so the Heat can comply with the new cap.

Bottom line: the Heat want Bosh. But they might not be able to keep him.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Jun , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mavericks take game six, win NBA Title

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's official. The Dallas Mavericks are NBA champions.

The Mavs' won game six of the NBA Finals and, as a result, the Larry O'Brien trophy with balanced play, masterful three-point shooting, and offensive rebounding in the fourth quarter.

The storylines are endless: Future Hall of Famers Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki get their rings; owner Mark Cuban really has a reason to smirk; Jason Terry's offensive explosion was reminiscent of Vinnie Johnson.

Plain and simple, the Mavericks were the better team.

The questions will continue for the Miami Heat. For instance, who will Executive Pat Riley sign to support the 'Three Kings'? And can the Heat afford the 'Three Kings' if the new Collective Bargaining Agreement changes the NBA's financial landscape? 

Is Erik Spoelstra the coach to lead LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to a championship? If not, will 'Oil Slick' Riley stab Spoelstra in the back like Stan Van Gundy and return to the sideline?

These questions will be answered in the future. In the meantime, click the link for video highlights of game six, and get at us with thoughts on the Mavericks winning the championship. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real
Wednesday , May , 18 , 2011 J.N.

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real

Game 1 is in the books. The Chicago Bulls woke up a lot of critics, 103-82. Led by Derrick Rose's 28 points and 6 assists, his performance was fine considering that he out dueled Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Both men did not even dial in 20 points, but Chris Bosh poured in 30 points. Miami's supporting cast could not get anything going as usual. However, the talk of the night belongs to Taj Gibson's dunks. One was on Dwyane Wade. The other one, which was a nasty put back, probably destroyed a planet somewhere. Lawd have mercy, things got nasty. Heat fans and critics were shocked. Don't be. They have been doing the business all season.

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Friday , Mar , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Erik Spoelstra wants a mulligan on ‘Cry-Gate’ comment

What is one thing you would go back and do over this season? Was it the crying comment to the media after the game?

“I wouldn’t have said it [the players were crying after the Chicago Bulls lose]. I mean the players…we don’t have a problem with it because everybody has been in a situation where their words have been taken out of context. In a strange way we’ve all been through this together and everybody in something where they have tried to say something to the team that has been taken out of context and it strengthened us. I brought it up to the team the next day and there wasn’t any broken trust. You know you’re in front of the media three times a day eventually something you’re going to say is probably not going to have the meaning you would have expected. I wouldn’t have said it if I had a do over just so I would eliminate one more distraction, but my point about it was the guys do care. I think it is great that we have some incredible, incredibly competitive, self-willed guys in this locker room, but this means a lot more to them, their profession.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Erik Spoelstra is in front of the press several times a day. Being the sideline boss of the high profile Miami Heat means every sentence, word, and syllable is dissected.

To be fair, Spoelstra has done a solid job with the press. He won’t, however, get a mulligan on his ‘Cry-Gate’ blunder after the heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Bulls.

And he won’t get a mulligan on the season if the Heat falls short of expectations. 2011 will be all she wrote for Spoelstra.

So the only thing that matters is winning. Not now. Not two weeks from now, but in June during the NBA Finals.

To keep his job, Spoelstra’s Heat must qualify for the championship series and impress the old guy with slicked back hair who conveniently sits near the team’s bench during games.

That’s right: Pat Riley. That Hall of Fame sideline boss turned executive, who never met a camera he didn’t like.

If the Heat falters, ‘Riles’ could fire Spoelstra and step behind the bench himself. The more likely scenario is he hires another coach, so he can still act as the grand puppet-master of South Beach.

It would seem the press isn’t the only hassle Spoelstra is facing. Riley's string pulling is also a problem.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Mar , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat to trade Chris Bosh this summer?

The most obvious candidate for subtraction from the Big Three is Chris Bosh, who hasn't been able to produce the kind of impact Miami could have gotten from two or three cheaper role players. Bosh also has complained recently about not getting the ball in the post enough. Whether he has a point, this sort of griping at a time when the Heat were in crisis mode won't make Riley any more eager to pay him $16 million next season -- especially if Miami falls far short of its championship goal in Year 1.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: So far, it hasn’t worked. Not like it was supposed to, at least.

Remember, the Miami Heat’s Three Kings of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade came together to win multiple championships. They were expected to waltz through the regular season and playoffs.

Will the Heat pull the plug and possibly deal Bosh this off-season, as reported by Ken Berger of CBSSportsline?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Much depends on how the Heat performs going forward. Say they win the majority of their last regular season games. Say they advance to the Eastern Conference or NBA Finals.

Oil slick executive Pat Riley would then be hesitant to break up his superstar trio. Instead, he’d look for ways to upgrade and improve their supporting cast.

However, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will factor into his decision. For instance, the Heat may not be able to afford three max salaries if the owners succeed in achieving their hard cap.

Or, the Heat may be able to keep three max salaries on their books, but can’t afford role players because loopholes like the mid level exception and veteran’s minimum no longer exist.

Then Riley has to contemplate changing his Three Kings formula. And Bosh, because of his up-and-down play, would be the first to go.

Last summer was interesting in South Beach. However, next summer could be almost as entertaining.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

What do Chris Bosh and Charlie Sheen have in common?
Friday , Mar , 04 , 2011 J.N.

What do Chris Bosh and Charlie Sheen have in common?

Both are having historic meltdowns in grand fashion. Remember how Bosh treated the free agency in summer 2010 as some joke? Yeah, joke's on him. The Toronto fan base wasn’t even trying. During the final two years in Toronto, Bosh should have said, “No comment.” That would have shut up any worries because there was nothing to talk about. Instead, he kept the question lingering because he did not really answer the question. His play left more questions, too.

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Sunday , Nov , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bosh, James, Wade, and Riley to blame for Heat`s 9-8 start

It was a well-needed team meeting where everybody got an opportunity to get off what they had in their chest or what they had in their head about us figuring things out,” James said. “Right now we are a 9-8 team and we have to own up to that. Does our record speak of what team we can become? No, I don’t think so. We’re 9-8 because we’ve been playing like that and we have to figure things out, which we will.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Finally.

In holding a players only meeting, the Miami Heat admitted the flaws and kinks of their Three Kings system.

Right now, there’s too much sizzle, not enough steak in The MIA.

Sure Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade are superstars, but the Heat lack blue-collar muscle, a reliable point guard, and, most importantly, an identity.

Pundits have the answer: fire Coach Erick Spoelstra. Then take Pat Riley out of the executive suite and put him on the bench.

But turning South Beach into Showtime won’t fix things. Spoelstra may be the problem. There’s no guarantee Riley is the answer.

After winning the championship in 2006, the Heat imploded. `Riles` irked players with five-hour practices and demands that were simply unreasonable.

His club sputtered through a pair of disastrous seasons, ending up in Secaucus, New Jersey for the NBA draft lottery.

Back then, Riley was a short-term fix. The game had passed him by. His message wore thin and he couldn’t relate to the modern player.

The other knock against Riley is age. At 65, could he commit to coaching the Heat for the long-term? The answer: probably not.

For now, the players need space to right the ship. Instead of thinking he’s the answer on the sideline, Riley should hire a championship calibre bench boss who can relate to players.

Whoever he hires, Riley can’t undercut him. No taking notes at games. No more hanging around. And no more cryptic answers about his future. It creates an unstable environment.

Yesterday, Bosh, James, and Wade were honest about their role in the Heat’s 9-8 start. Riley should do the same.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Thursday , Nov , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Van Gundy situation’ shows Jackson toying with Heat and Magic

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy took exception to Phil Jackson's recent comments about Pat Riley returning to coach the Heat.
 
"Phil has no idea what the Van Gundy situation was because, even though he coaches in our league, he certainly had no insight or knowledge of that," Van Gundy said.

"So an analogy he'd make to my situation would be totally useless because he doesn't have any clue what the situation was in that case."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He killed two birds with one stone.

Phil Jackson, the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, believes Miami Heat executive Pat Riley will soon replace Erik Spoelstra behind the bench -just like he did with Stan Van Gundy a few years ago.

This is classic Zen-Master.

Jackson is known for mind games. He’s clearly toying with Spoelstra, Riley, and the Heat, as well as Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic.

After all, the Lakers are two-time defending champions. The Heat, though struggling, is expected to contend. The Magic were 2009 Eastern Conference champions.

So Jackson is trying to get a rise out of the competition. Publicly, the Heat had no response, while Van Gundy, as usual, was only too happy to tee off via the media.

Today, Jackson scored a small win. However, the real battle will come next spring during the 2011 playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thought? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Saturday , Sep , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stan Van Gundy on Pat Riley`s complaining: ‘I was kind of amused by it’

``I thought it was pretty typical. I was kind of amused by it, especially reading down through the interview,’’ Van Gundy said. ``He goes into Charles Barkley, me and Otis and then says he doesn’t worry about what people say. Wait, you called the press conference, you went off and everybody and you don’t care what people say? Clearly, he cares a great deal about what people say. I was laughing when I saw that.’’

Van Gundy wasn’t laughing when he read that Riley ripped him and Smith for questioning why James and Bosh would rather team together with Dwyane Wade in Miami rather than trying to win a championship on their own. Riley said the comment was ``an absolutely stupid remark,’’ but several former great players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Barkley reaffirmed that they would have never jumped ship on their teams simply as a way to chase a championship.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s safe to say the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic don’t like each other. Not one bit.

However, Pat Riley, the Heat’s lead executive, and Stan Van Gundy, the Magic’s coach, don’t just dislike each other –they hate each other.

Passionately.

Van Gundy was once Riley’s lead assistant on Miami’s bench. Back then, these two trusted each other. These two liked each other. And these two enjoyed a student-mentor relationship. 

When Riley retired from coaching, it was Van Gundy he picked as his successor. Of course, The Oil Slick couldn’t stay away from the spotlight, so he fired his former protégé one season after trading for Shaquille O’Neal.

Riley claimed the move was about helping the Heat win an NBA Title –which they did. Van Gundy claimed Riley put a knife in his back.

Whoever’s version you believe, their split was personal.

For a few years, Van Gundy held the edge over Riley because the Magic were Eastern Conference powers, advancing to the Finals in 2009.

The Three Kings changed the balance of power. Riley’s Heat now has momentum. And this, perhaps, prompted Magic GM Otis Smith and Van Gundy to publicly slag Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Riley.

So Riley responded. And Van Gundy, who never met a microphone he didn’t like, fired back.

The players will decide the battle of Florida on-court. Expect Riley and Van Gundy’s grudge match to extend well beyond 2011.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Aug , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jerry Stackhouse is ‘ìntrigued about the Miami situation‘

Everybody is kind of intrigued about the Miami situation and seeing if they’re trying to add another veteran to their team. If that happened, I’d be thrilled to be there. I think that would feel like Hall of Fame accreditation to have a guy like Pat Riley come and ask you to be a part of their team.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Stack would work in The MIA.

Once again, free agent swingman Jerry Stackhouse is talking publicly about joining the Miami Heat. Hopefully, ‘oil slick’ executive Pat Riley hears the veteran’s not-so-subtle hints and signs him.

After all, Stackhouse provided the Milwaukee Bucks with a boost in the second half of 2010. And the former All-Star would surely be a super-sub behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. 

In limited minutes, Stackhouse would score, defend, and provide a mature presence for a team that will be both public enemies and rock stars.

All this for a veteran`s minimum contract. So Riley and the Heat need to make this happen. If not now, perhaps at mid season.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Aug , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Surprise, Surprise: Good guy Haslem arrested for marijuana possession

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem was arrested Sunday for possession of marijuana following a traffic stop in Miami-Dade County.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This isn’t good for Udonis Haslem or the Miami Heat.

After all, Haslem is heavily connected to the area. He was born in Miami, attended Florida University, and has spent his entire career with the Heat.

This summer the club signed him to a five-year extension, in part, because of his positive standing in the community.

Now taking a toke on the whacky stuff doesn’t make Haslem a bad guy, but it does show poor judgement and must make Executive Pat Riley question his professionalism.

Of course, the Heat probably thought they were past these issues when they dealt troubled Michael Beasley to the Minnesota Timberwolves this summer.

Well, they’re not. The surprise is that Haslem is the player in trouble.

--Oly Sandor. 

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jul , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Miami signs Juwan Howard to back-up Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent forward Juwan Howard.

“This is a great addition for us,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We feel that Juwan’s ability to play both the four and five spot will be complimentary to what we have put together. He also gives us incredible professionalism and is a perfect fit behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: History is repeating itself with Juwan Howard and the Miami Heat.

Only this time, they`ll be a happy ending.

In 1996, Pat Riley nearly signed Howard to a massive seven-year, $100 million contract, hoping he would star in South Beach. However, the deal fell through, and the power forward re-signed with the Washington Bullets/Wizards.

Today, Riley and the Heat officially landed Howard, except the circumstances and context are very different. The former All-Star inked a minimum contract and will back-up starters Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.

Howard is well equipped for a supporting role. Last year, he filled in admirably for the Portland Trail Blazers after Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla went down with injuries.

Expect him to defend, rebound, and practice hard in Miami. He’ll also provide a veteran sounding board for the Three Kings of Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade when things get rocky.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.