The team won at home and on the road, knocking off the Warriors with a last-second shot, fighting out of an point fourth-quarter hole to beat the Nets. A month later, a perfect Sunday, Nba magazine article Riley cranks his black Chevelle, wanting to escape the busy streets of Miami Beach, aiming toward the vast nothingness to the southwest.
Riley adored Walt, later hiring one of his sons as a scout for the Heat. Pat was born 10 months later. Pat opens a few bottles of Screaming Eagle, a cabernet they love. The better the Heat play, the louder the siren song of more becomes. His arm hangs out the window.
It starts as a whisper, which these days he says he chooses not to hear. He downshifts, the horsepower Chevelle bucking and roaring under the yoke of the lower gear. That first night, he stops over in Malibu before a flight to Sacramento in the morning. Until I brought this to his attention, Pat had never heard the story of his infant sister.
The stereo plays "Listen to the Music," then "Born to Run," and he turns up the volume. Now on the road, Riley is exhaling.
He stares out at the sunset. Now, of course, he sees the lost moment so clearly. He would have never done that 10 years ago, he says. Miami needs to win, then hope for Chicago or Indiana to lose.
A bartender talks with a singsong Dublin lilt. With just 20 games left in the season, Riley has done the math. Tears just flowing with happiness, joy and relief at the sight of each other and this big moment.
He served as social chair for the event, booking the Four Tops and the Temptations. He feels tired and depressed. When we finally locked eyes and moved toward each other, that path opened like the Red Sea. One game remains, tomorrow night.
Twenty-one years later, inhe mistakenly threw away the ring he won that night, along with all his Lakers rings, the real ones mixed together with dozens of worthless samples for the Heat championship ring he was designing.
The clock on his phone says 4: Both preach the effectiveness of Eastern medicine. Over drinks, the day before that 82nd and final game, next season comes into focus. A lot of thought about enough is enough.
He longed to go back -- to the time and the place -- and two months after the Finals, flush with back-to-back titles, he did. Pat had a sister die in infancy 10 years before he was born, according to a book about World War II baseball, which dedicated a section to Lee Riley.
When she looks at him, she sees a man with an incredible tolerance for pain and work, but she also sees a sixth-grader getting a standing ovation from the nuns. Sitting on a couch, wondering if his daughter might have lymphoma, he remembers triple kisses.
The competing visions leave him conflicted. I owe them all a lot, but When the referee called a charge, he turned and headed the other way.
The sun makes the waterfront room feel light and easy.
Instead of adding scars and patina, he just knocked loose a bunch of diamonds. Everybody sleeps in the next morning.
Mostly, he just wishes the whole thing had gone differently. In the end, Riley gave Bosh what he wanted. Wade issued a statement thanking Riley for their years together.Watch video · This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's May 8 NBA Playoffs Issue. Subscribe today! The digital clock above the door in Pat Riley's presidential suite counts down the minutes to tip-off.
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