Recently, Pat Riley made some comments on the end of the 2020 NBA season, saying:
“There will be, always be, that asterisk; if we had Bam and Goran 100 percent, Goran was our leading scorer, it might have gone to a seventh game.”
This comment created controversy on whether the Lakers championship deserved an asterisk next to it, but Riley quickly clarified, stating that:
Pat Riley, on how his words Friday have been wildly twisted out of context: “The asterisk is next to the Heat’s name, not the Lakers. Their title is legitimate. Our loss has an asterisk (next) to it. The Lakers were the better team. Period.”
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 25, 2020
Pat Riley is someone who many associates mostly with the Miami Heat, but let’s not forget that he is one of the best coaches in Laker history, winning 4 NBA championships with the Showtime Lakers.
Let’s remember his best moments as a Laker.
Going From Broadcaster to Head Coach
In the 1981-82 season, Lakers coach Paul Westhead was fired after star Magic Johnson asked for a trade. That led to one of the most strange and legendary press conferences of all time, where Lakers owner Jerry Buss named both Jerry West and Pat Riley “co-coaches” of the team.
Riley began that season as a broadcaster and ended up winning the NBA championship beating the Philadelphia 76ers. That unleashed one of the greatest teams ever, the Showtime Lakers.
Leading the First Team to Repeat a Championship in 20 Years
In 1987 and 1988 the Lakers won back to back championships, being the first team to do it since Bill Russel’s Celtics 20 years before. He defeated the Celtics in 6 games in 87′ and the Pistons in 7 games in 88′. Riley was so confident about repeating the¿at he guaranteed a championship after beating the Celtics in 87′ and did something similar in 88′ after beating Detroit.
Riley trademarked the word “threepeat”, but wasn’t able to use it, because even though he led the team to another NBA finals, they lost to the Detroit Pistons.
Beating the Celtics in 1985
Pat Riley was the coach of the Lakers when the team beat the Celtics in the NBA finals for the first time ever. In fact, Riley says that the 1985 NBA championship is his favorite out of the 9 championships that he has won as a coach and executive.
After losing to the rivals Celtics in 7 games in 1984 and getting beat badly 148-114 in game one of the 1985 NBA finals, Riley made the team watch 4 hours of film and proceeded to win 4 out of the next 5 games to win the NBA championship.
Featured Image: Solobasket