14 coaches in NBA history to win multiple championships and one
of only nine to win consecutive championships. His 71 wins and .602
winning percentage are both tops in HEAT postseason history.
With all the big moves Riley has made to shape the HEAT, the most
important trade he was involved with might very well have been
the one that delivered him to Miami. Looking to change the face
of an organization in its infancy and become a solid contender year
after year, HEAT Managing General Partner Micky Arison agreed to
send a fi rst-round draft pick and $1 million dollars to the New York
Knicks on September 1, 1995 for the rights to Pat Riley. One day later,
Riley was named the team’s fourth head coach and team president.
From that point, the face of the organization changed. Riley brought
with him star power, a proven track record, professionalism and results.
Since he arrived in 1995, the HEAT has compiled a 1,089-831 (.567)
record, the best record in the Eastern Conference over that 24-year
span and the sixth-best in the NBA. Miami has made 18 postseason
appearances under his leadership and has captured 13 division titles,
the most in the Eastern Conference over that span.
Riley’s resume is fi lled with milestones during an NBA career that
spans 51 years as a player, assistant coach, head coach, administrator
and broadcaster and has produced nine NBA championships. |
He compiled a 1,210-694 (.636) all-time record guiding the Los Angeles
Lakers, New York Knicks and the Miami HEAT during a 24-year head
coaching career that is one of the most impressive in all of sports.
His 1,210 regular season victories place him fi fth on the NBA’s alltime
list, his 1,904 games coached ranks eighth and his .636 winning
percentage in the regular season places him sixth in league history
among coaches who have coached at least 500 games. Riley averaged
50 wins per season in his coaching career. Additionally, his 171
postseason victories rank second in NBA history, his 282 postseason
games coached rank third and his .606 postseason winning
percentage is eighth best all-time in the league annals among
coaches who have coached at least 50 postseason games. His fi ve
NBA championships as a head coach tie him with John Kundla and
Gregg Popovich for the third highest total in NBA history. As a result
of his many accomplishments, in 1996-97 as the NBA celebrated
its 50th Anniversary, Riley was named one of the Top 10 Coaches
of All-Time by a panel of media who regularly cover the league.
Simply put, Riley is a winner.
No matter the odds, “getting the job done” has never been a problem
for a person who has seen winning from all angles. As a youthful
role player for the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, Riley earned the
fi rst of his nine NBA championship rings. He claimed another
as an assistant under Lakers coach Paul Westhead in 1979-80.
The New York native collected four more titles for the Lakers as the
team’s top man in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Eighteen years later,
he guided the HEAT to their fi rst NBA Championship, his fi fth as a
head coach, and then in 2012 and 2013 he claimed rings eight and
nine as HEAT President. The 18-year span between championships
as a head coach established an NBA record. As a head coach,
his teams advanced to the NBA Finals nine times, the Conference
Finals on 12 occasions and captured 18 divisional championships,
nine conference championships and fi ve NBA titles. He has been
honored as the NBA Coach of the Year on three occasions, the only
coach in NBA history to receive the award with three different
teams. Riley has also captured NBA Coach of the Month honors
11 times. His 21 total postseason appearances as a head coach trail
only San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich for tops in league history and his
string of 19 consecutive postseason appearances as a head coach
from 1982-2001 rank second behind Popovich. Riley has also served
as a head coach in nine NBA All-Star games.
In his illustrious career, Riley guided his teams to at least 50 wins in
a season 17 times and has amassed seven 60-win seasons, achieving
the milestone with each of the three franchises he guided. His seven
60-win seasons are tied for the most by a coach in NBA history and
his 17 50-win seasons rank second. When he began the 2000-01
season with an Opening Night victory over Orlando on November 1,
he became just the second coach in NBA history to reach 1,000 wins.
Riley currently ranks second in both regular season and postseason
wins for both the HEAT and the Lakers.
During his fi rst stint guiding the HEAT, Riley led Miami to 354 victories
and four consecutive Atlantic Division titles over an eight-year period.
Riley, who ranks second in games coached with Miami at 849,
returned to the bench on Dec. 12, 2005 after a two-year hiatus
where he concentrated on building the team from the front offi ce.
Upon his return he successfully navigated the HEAT to the pinnacle
of the basketball world in 2006 and added more luster to a legacy
and resume that did not need further validation. Riley compiled a
454-395 record (.535) during his 11 seasons on the HEAT sidelines
and guided Miami to eight playoff appearances and 34 postseason
victories. Prior to his arrival the franchise had compiled a 205-369
(.357) mark, with one winning season, two playoff appearances and
two postseason wins in its fi rst seven years.
On the eve of his fi rst season in Miami, Riley changed the look of
the HEAT by designing a six-player trade that brought in Mourning,
who became the HEAT’s fi rst All-Star. He sprang into action again
on February 22, 1996, making three trades involving 10 players just
hours before the trading deadline that cleared the way for future
free agent signings and brought Hardaway to Miami. Hardaway
became a two-time All-Star during his stint with Riley and in 1996-97
was named to the backcourt with Michael Jordan on the All-NBA
First Team. Those moves created the foundation in which the HEAT
has been built upon and helped send the message that Riley would
do whatever it took to produce a winner in Miami.
And the team has been winning ever since. In addition to delivering
three NBA championships to Miami, Riley’s HEAT tenure has included
many highlights. In 1996-97 he garnered a third NBA Coach of the
Year honor with his third team, an unprecedented feat in league
history, after leading Miami to a 61-21 (.744) record and the HEAT’s
fi rst trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. During the 1998-99
campaign he led Miami to the best record and the number one seed
in the Eastern Conference for the fi rst time. The 1999-00 season