Saturday, May 29, 2010
When he returned to the sidelines for his second stint as the HEAT head coach on Dec. 12, 2005, after a two-year hiatus from the bench where he concentrated on building the team from the front office, many experts questioned whether the Miami team that he assembled was capable of reaching the NBA’s ultimate destination. Six months later the answer was a resounding “yes”, as Riley had successfully navigated the HEAT to the pinnacle of the basketball world and added more luster to a legacy and resume that did not need further validation.
In his illustrious career, Riley has guided his teams to at least 50 wins in a season an NBA-record 17 times, four more than the closest coach in league history. He also has registered an NBA-record seven 60-win seasons, accomplishing the milestone with each of the three franchises he guided. When he began the 2000-01 season with an Opening Night victory over intrastate rival Orlando on November 1, he became the fastest coach or manager to reach 1,000 wins in the history of the four professional sports in North America. Not only did Riley break the record, he smashed the mark previously held by Fred Clarke of the Pittsburgh Pirates, bettering it by an astonishing 144 games. Riley recorded his 1,000th victory in just his 1,434th game. On Mar. 11, 2003 with a 77-75 victory in Cleveland, he became the only head coach in NBA history to record at least 350 victories with two different franchises. Riley currently stands as the all-time leader in both regular season and postseason victories for both the Lakers and the HEAT.
More on Pat Riley, visit the NBA site
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