Miami Heat President Pat Riley Supports Head Coach Erik Spoelstra

Chris Faig@@ULuminaryCorrespondent IJune 21, 2011

Miami Heat President Pat Riley held his annual end of the season wrap-up meeting on Tuesday, touching upon several topics, including the disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals and rumors surrounding the possibility of the legendary basketball mind returning as head coach of the team.

With the disappointing loss to the Mavs in the Finals, many thought that Riley would take over the head coaching position. But not so fast.

When Riley ended his Hall of Fame coaching career in 2008 he passed the reigns to his "protege," Erik Spoelstra. Since then Spoelstra has led the Heat to a 148-98 record in three seasons, making the playoffs each season. Riley made it clear that he has no plans to return as head coach, strongly supporting and believing in Spoelstra, and also intends to keep the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together for quite some time.  

When 66-year-old Riley was asked about a possible coaching return he replied, "No, I'm not going to do that. It doesn't mean I don't have the fire. But we've got a great young coach here."

Riley also heavily stressed that James, Wade and Bosh are a trio that will not go away. "There was never any thought, never any discussion of moving any of those guys," he said. "I'm happy we have those three together."

All in All, Riley made it seem as if he's happy with the direction the organization is heading in, and doesn't plan on making many changes to the roster.  "I don't think you win championships with young, athletic players that don't have experience," Riley said.

"It was a great year, trying to keep things in perspective. Obviously a disappointing ending. I know what everyone was expecting here, but it didn't happen. Did we make mistakes along the way? Probably. But we don't have any regrets. We're going to leave that behind us."

A determined Riley then said, "I can't wait for next season."


Written by Chris Faig of

*All quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from The Sun Sentinel