Miami Heat President Pat Riley Files for '3-Peat' Trademark

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 21, 2014

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If there's one person in the Miami Heat organization who seems absolutely confident in his team's chances of successfully pulling off a third title in three years, it would be Pat Riley, the franchise's president. 

Miami has a long way to go before successfully defending its 2012 and 2013 titles. It's locked in a 1-1 struggle with the Indiana Pacers, seizing control after a dominant second half on the road in Game 2.

But even if the Heat successfully navigate the Eastern Conference Finals, they'll still have to knock off the representative from the NBA's stronger conference, whether that's the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder

Riley doesn't care.

According to's Darren Rovell, the engineer behind the Heat's Big Three has already applied for a rather telling trademark: 

Records with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reveal that, last Thursday, an attorney representing Riley's company, Riles & Co., filed a trademark to use the phrase "3-Peat" on "jewelry, namely rings and sports memorabilia."

Riley wouldn't have to file for a trademark if he had planned on putting "3-Peat" on the Heat's championship rings, should they win the title, but would want to protect his investment if there were discussions about selling rings at retail.

Well, if anyone knows about three-peats, it would be Riley. 

"Riley first filed for "Three-Peat" at the start of the 1988-89 season, months after the Los Angeles Lakers won their second title," writes Rovell. "The Lakers fell to the Detroit Pistons the following year, but Riley cashed in in 1993, when the Bulls three-peated and did it again in 1998."

The New York Yankees also played into his hand from 1998 through 2000, and the Los Angeles Lakers helped him out in the early 2000s. Apparently Riley should write a thank-you note to Phil Jackson, who coached all of those successful three-peating teams in the NBA. 

LOS ANGELES - 1987:  Wes Matthews #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during an NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California in 1987. (Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

But, as Rovell relays, it was actually a former Lakers guard who might have originally coined the phrase. 

"I just thought of it as a catchy slogan," Wes Matthews, who served as a reserve point guard for the Lakers in 1986-87 and 1987-88, told the reporter. "I give Pat a ton of credit for having the vision to do what he did."

Regardless, it's Riley's phrase now, and, in a few weeks, we'll know whether or not he gets to capitalize off of his own team.