"I have no doubts, I have no fears. The only thing I think about is what it's going to take to win."
Pat Riley said those soul baring words minutes after he won his fifth ring as an NBA Head Coach in 2006.
While he may have some doubts and fears, he was dead on accurate when he declared that all he cares about, is doing whatever he must to be victorious.
Riley is a complex personality. He's extremely intelligent. Well versed in history. Capable of mesmerizing and motivating you with his words and quotes. Yet when you take a closer look it's simple to see what few people actually understand.
He is driven to win by a desire so strong that it goes beyond just determination. It's something that a lot of people can't even comprehend. To Riley winning is more about life and death than it is about champagne showers.
In 24 years of coaching Riley made the post season 21 times. The three years he didn't weren't his fault either. Between 2001-2003 Riley would've had a great shot at a title but Alonzo Mourning had to go on hiatus because of a kidney ailment. Then in 2007-08 he lost Dwyane Wade to a season ending surgery.
If not for those two unforeseen and untimely set backs Riley would have managed to make the post season every year he coached.
Riley is the kind of guy you'd love to go to battle with. He will show you the way and will get the very best out of you.
Simply put Riley is a great leader. As Chris Rock once said, "No man has led more [men] to the promised land than Coach Pat Riley. He may not get us to the mountaintop but he'll get us to the playoffs. And that's all we want.
Beyond being the ultimate competitor, motivator and leader he is, Riley has also managed to carve out an iconic image. That of the Armani suit, slicked back hair and menacing glare. He was the inspiration for Wall Street's Gordon Gekko which was played by Michael Douglas.
Riley's recipe for success was so desired by the masses that he was persuaded to write a book. "The Winner Within." was a best seller and is still in print nearly 20 years after he first wrote it.
But make no mistake while Riley likes to look good and doesn't mind being an author at his core the man is all about winning.
This was perfectly evident in 2006 when Riley sat at the post conference podium and took questions from reporters.
One person asked "just how does this championship compare with the others you've won?"
Riley paused for a second and suddenly became introspective before opening up. "After 18 years and chasing [pause] you know [pause] you keep chasing and you keep chasing it and you get tired."
Those are the words of a man not content with being a millionaire. Not content with having a dream job, house and life. For Riley winning is what gives him life. It is the oxygen he breathes and needs just to survive.
Riley then said that the 2006 title "gave him a sense of absolute freedom from having to chase it, desperately chase it."
Well seems that the satisfaction of that moment has started to wear off. It looks like Riley is starting to feel that hunger again. Now he wants not just a taste of victory but much much more.
By assembling the team he has Riley has made clear that he wants to end things with a buffet that he can never finish. He wants this to be more fulfilling than anything before it.
He cemented his legacy long ago but now he desires to do something special. Something that will always be talked about and remembered.
For this to happen the new look Miami Heat will need to be much more than just good. They need to be absolutely epic. After all besides the high hopes and expectations they would have to top a list of great teams which Riley has already won rings with.
With that said let us now take a look at the "Ten Best Teams" Pat Riley has led to the promised land.