Pat Riley Won't Go to Lakers; Wants to Finish Career with Heat

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2019

Miami Heat president Pat Riley speaks during a ceremony retiring the jersey of former Heat player Chris Bosh at halftime of an NBA game between the Heat and the Orlando Magic, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Miami. Bosh played 13 seasons, the first seven in Toronto and the last six in Miami. He averaged 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds, was an All-Star 11 times and won two championships. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
Joe Skipper/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers will not be replacing Magic Johnson with another blast from the Showtime past.

Pat Riley said Saturday he plans to remain with the Miami Heat and has no interest in leaving for the Lakers.

"I am not going to comment on another team's misfortunes," Riley told reporters. "There is no doubt I have a history with that team, a lot of friends in the organization. ... That's not what I want to do now."

Johnson stepped down as the Lakers' president of basketball operations Tuesday in an impromptu press conference. The team has since also parted ways with head coach Luke Walton

Riley, 74, was the Lakers' coach from 1981 to 1990 and won four championships with the franchise. He also played for the organization from 1970 to '75.

However, Riley's spent the majority of his basketball career in Miami at this point. Riley coached the team from 1995 to 2003 and then again from 2005 to '08. He's been the team president since taking over as head coach in 1995 and helped spearhead three more championships, one as a coach (2006) and another pair as an executive (2012, 2013).

There's no reason for Riley to leave the Heat at this point. His legacy in Miami and in Los Angeles is secure. Odds are he's nearing the end of his tenure running the Heat in general; most executives don't stick around running the day-to-day into their late 70s/80s.

Even with Riley's relentless work ethic, the undertaking of fixing the Lakers probably sounds like too much work for a living legend.

Just ask Magic. 

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