Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pat Riley Is A Great Coach. Dan Le Batard Is A Big Fat Idiot

Love him or hate him. It’s your choice. But give the man some damn respect and appreciation. Before Pat Riley came to town, the city of Miami was all Dolphins and Hurricanes and no one gave two shits about that little basketball team that played in the rat-infested arena down in Overtown.

Once Pat Riley arrived to Miami, he put the Miami Heat on the map. He turned them from league laughingstock to a true contender. Yes, it took him a while to win it all. Yes, he needed Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal to finally do it. But he did it. And no matter how many ways you want to argue it, this team would not have won it all with Stan Van Gundy or Ron Rothstein at the helm. Hell, Shaq would never even have come to Miami if Riley wasn't here.

And Dwyane Wade? Picked 5th overall by the Heat in the 2003 NBA Draft. Wade actually went higher than the experts projected him to. He was a quick player from a small school, Marquette. But the experts were hard pressed to call him a point or shooting guard. In other words, Wade would not have been a Miami Heat player had Riley not been the GM. Riley picked Wade ahead of what the experts projected him to go because Riley liked what he saw in the guard from Marquette when he torched Riley’s favored Kentucky Wild Cats in the NCAA tournament.

Pat Riley matters to the Heat. He’s part of the Heat’s holy trinity of Wade-Shaq-Riles. And today we’re world champions because of Pat Riley.

I love Dan Le Batard’s radio show. It cracks me up every afternoon from 4-7 and it’s the only talk-radio I listen to (personally, I think regular sports talk-radio is poison). But Dan Le Batard the columnist can really piss me off.

Case in point.

His whole thing is that Pat Riley’s recent comeback is a little suspicious and shady. He then asks “Let's say it wasn't Riley coming and going based on whether the Heat was winning or losing. Let's make it Nick Saban instead. How would you feel about it then?”

If Nick Saban carried the same weight in championship rings, had drafted the NFL’s version of Dwyane Wade and made a monumental trade for a super star player (compare the Shaq trade to the Culpepper trade) and led us to a Super Bowl win, yes, he’d get the same pass from the fans. And I see nothing wrong with that.

If Bill Belichick, in New England, suddenly decided to retire and hand the reigns to assistant Joel Collier and if the Patriots came out of gates poorly and Bill decided to come back because Joel decided he needed to spend more time with Mrs. Joel and all the little Joels, nobody in Boston would question his “motives." Not even the venemous Boston media. They'd probably throw him his own parade.

Fact is, guys like Le Batard don’t “believe” in coaching. He believes that talent alone wins championships. And I agree to an extent. But coaches matter. They may not be the end all, be all of sports. But they matter. Le Batard is the classic pretentious, pompous blow hard sports writer. As someone who played some sports in college, I can tell you, from personal experience, that coaching matters. It matters. Regardless of team-talent, coaching matters (I sound like Allan Iverson). You have good coaches and bad coaches. And you have exceptional coaches. Riley is an exceptional coach, just as Belichick is. And I, for one, am glad he’s coaching the Miami Heat instead of, say, I don't know, the Detroit Pistons or Dallas Mavericks.

Pat Riley may be a jack ass as a person (I met him once and he seemed pretty cool to me. He gave me an autograph. Neat!). He may be conniving in some aspects. But not this time. The man had hip-replacement surgery. The man needed to take a leave of absence. The absence is now over.

Pat Riley is back. And as a Heat fan, as much affection as I have for Ron Rothstein, I’m very happy about that. It comes down to who you want leading this team on the sidelines for the second half of the season going into the playoff chase.

Pat Riley or Ron Rothstein.

Suspicious? I guess so, if you’re that paranoid and desperate for a story during a time when we’re in that empty void of NBA All Star Break, the end of the NFL season, and a month away from baseball and the NFL draft.

Shady? No. Not this time. Riley actually wanted to come back earlier when the team was struggling, but his doctors didn’t give him the okay.

Say what you want about Riley’s sudden reemergence and Stan Van Gundy’s sudden realization that he wanted to spend more time with his family last year (so far, Van Gundy hasn’t gotten another coaching job. So until he does, I’m believing him.) But Pat Riley is the reason this team hoisted the NBA trophy last season. He put together this team, made the popular trades as well as the unpopular ones. He got Shaq to lose weight and got him to care. As beautiful as a building might be, it would not be so without its architect.

Riley is back. He’s the architect, GM, President and head coach of the World Champion Miami Heat. He built this team. He’s more than earned himself time off whenever he damn well pleases (especially when he’s recovering from what I hear is a very painful procedure). And he's damn well earned the respect of Heat fans and the media.

He’s earned it. And even though we have Wade and a healthy Shaq, we need a healthy Riley too. Sorry, Dan. Coaching may not be as important as some coach-worshipers make it out to be. But it does matter greatly.

It’s all fine and good to be a cynic in a cynical world. You’re allowed to be suspicious, I guess. But Le Batard is reaching. Personally, I hope Riles tears him a new one on his show today.

Le Batard, you're a moron. Suey!


Peyton Manning on Letterman last night: "The job of a coach is to get his players to play hard for him. We wouldn't have gotten to this point if not for coach Dungy."

LeBetard is a jack ass.
Le Batard is just stirring the pot here. It's a ridiculous column with the usual Le Batard rancor and his tired coaches don't matter argument. What drives me nuts the most is that he makes himself out to be smarter than everyone else and that his theory is the only right theory. The guy is a f--king hack and his show sucks too. He asks if this was Nick Saban how would we react, well I'd ask him if this was Ricky Williams coming and going when it was convenient, if he'd write a similar article. I'm betting he wouldn't.

I can’t believe this guy is questioning a hall of fame coach, a legend and THE man who built the 2006 NBA champs. Typical idiotic ramblings of a complete moron. Think about it, LeBeturd is basically accusing Riley of pretty much “faking” hip replacement surgery right around the time Shaq went down and Toine & Posey were suspended. And now has decided to come back, rubbing his hands together saying “I fooled them all!” Just ridiculous. Whatever little respect I held for Dan Le Batard has now gone out the window. Pathetic.
Dan Le Batard is a fat ass who can’t find his dick when he looks down, let alone played any kind of organized sports. So what the hell does he know about what a coach brings to the table?
I know you’re not big on sports radio, Dude. But Sid Rosenberg has been ranting against LeBatard’s column all day on his show today. I’m curious how Dan will respond on his show. I’m sure it will be something pompous and dickish.
Marv I caught that as well when I stepped out for lunch. Sid also mentioned that Riley wanted to come back before they started getting hot but doctors advised him not too b/c he didn't have enough rest yet. So as convenient as it might have sounded to Lebatard, it really wasn't.
Damn, Rosenberg and I agree on something??? Shoot me now!
And sewey to you to!!!
Flounder from Animal House. That’s perfect comedy, Dude! Le Batard even sounds like Flounder. LOL!!!
He’s arguing on his show right now that we need to treat the “boss” with the same standards you treat the player. His example is Shaq taking the regular season off and us killing him for it. Hey Le Batard: The man had hip replacement surgery!!!! Shut the fuck up!!!!
"Dan Le Batard Is A Big Fat Idiot." Ha! The Dude is the Al Franken of sports blogging!

I know I’m the minority here and I’ll probably get crucified by other commenters, but I actually agree with Le Batard. Riley postponed surgery to go on an African safari and then decides to go on a leave of absence in the middle of the season while the team is struggling. Not that he doesn’t deserve a pass because he does. It’s just a wee bit suspicious. That’s all. But I appreciate your take, Dude. Just don’t necessarily agree.
I know Dan Le Batard rubs a lot of people the wrong way. But up until today, I had no problems with him. Like you, I like his show a lot. It’s light hearted and funny, compared to some other radio shows that are nothing but loud mouths and fat bitter old men. But after I read his column this morning, I’ve been fuming all day. I can actually understand why people hate this guy now. The column is well written but it’s complete horseshit. What an ass.
LeBatard tries too hard.
He tries too hard to be funny.
He tries too hard to be "oh so clever."
He tries too hard to be controversial.
He tries too hard to be provocative.
He's just plain dull. His schtick is embarassingly painful. He's like a wounded duck with a trombone up its ass.
He's a non factor.
Coaching doesn't matter huh?
Well, I'll gladly take Don Shula over anybody right about now. At least he has more sb appearances than jj, wannstedt, and saban combined.
Pat Riley is an amazing coach





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