Pat Riley

Pat Riley was a good basketball player but was a GREAT basketball coach. He will always be remembered as a coach instead of a player. He was a player on the 1972 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Six games into the 1981-82 season, Magic Johnson began to publicly say he was unhappy playing for PaulWesthead. Lakers' owner Jerry Buss immediately called a press conference and fired Westhead, and then immediately named general manager Jerry West head coach. West, at the conference, refused the job on the spot. Buss then turned to Riley and asked, "Do you want the job?" Riley reluctantly agreed, but only if West would sit on the bench for a few games until he felt comfortable. He soon got comfortable and led his Lakers. His first title came in his first season, against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers earned Riley his second NBA title as a coach in 1985 against the Boston Celtics. 1n 1987 he got his third title as coach as the Lakers beat Boston. After winning that NBA title Pat Riley guaranteed the home crowd at the Lakers victory parade that the Lakers would repeat next season. he was a man of his word as he captured his 4th coaching title as the Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons. Riley stepped down as coach of the Lakers after they lost to the Phoenix Suns in the 1990 NBA playoffs, amid rumors of player mistreatment and anger problems on his part. In spite of these rumors and his resignation, he was named NBA Coach of the Year for the first time. Riley later went on to coach the New York Knicks and Miami Heat.