Opinion: Pat Riley could save the Heat

Michael Moses

Michael Moses

Michael Moses is a sports columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Pat Riley is the answer the Miami Heat are looking for.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the stars of the Miami Heat, have had a rough few last games, to say the least. The team has lost six of their past seven games. Miami is losing in every which way possible — being blown out (thanks to San Antonio) and losing close games (they lost Sunday to Chicago 87-86).

The upcoming schedule does not get any easier: Portland, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Atlanta are Miami’s next six opponents.

Fans, the media, and even players are beginning to point fingers as to who is to blame for the downfall of the Heat and their Two and a Half Men (the third being Chris Bosh, who is not an NBA superstar and never was).

It’s unfair to think that head coach Eric Spoelstra is the problem. But sadly, a change is needed, and the signing of Mike Bibby is not the answer.

Enter current team president and three-time NBA Coach of the Year, Pat Riley.

If anybody can save the Heat’s season, it is Riley.

Riley may be old enough to be the grandfather of most of the Heat players, but the man is considered to be one of the greatest coaches in NBA history.

Riley is sitting in his office watching a young, inexperienced coach try to draw up plays for arguably the league’s most talented team. Spoelstra is not doing anything wrong as far as coaching goes, but at the same time, he is not doing anything extraordinary.

Extraordinary players deserve an extraordinary coach.

Think about it.

Would James and Wade, both global figures in not only the world of sports, listen to their virtually unknown 40-year-old head coach?

They probably do not give him enough respect. It’s human nature. They look down on him, they can say that they don’t disrespect him as a coach all they want.

Bottom line is, if Riley was calling the shots, they would have a lot more respect for him yelling than they do, compared to Spoelstra.

Riley has dismissed the idea to return to the bench for Miami since the start of the season.

But is the Heat in the kitchen too hot to handle now?

If the team continues to struggle leading up into the playoffs, then the issue will resurface.

Pat Riley guided D-Wade and Shaquille O’Neal to the 2006 NBA title while coaching the Heat. He’s used to dealing with superstars and the limelight. He has more playoff experience than most NBA coaches have regular season experience.

Eric Spoelstra has 12 games of playoff basketball under his belt. He’s never made it out of the first round.

Don’t get me wrong, the Miami Heat have a lot of issues to resolve before even thinking about winning an NBA championship. A coaching change may not be the answer, but at this point, it really couldn’t hurt.

After all, the head coaching position for this team is more like a full-time babysitter, and we all know that college kids can’t be expected to take care of teenagers.

And that’s exactly what’s going on in Miami. It’s time to come down and tame these kids, grandpa.