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It's All Going According To (Pat Riley's) Plan

Illustration for article titled It's All Going According To (Pat Riley's) Plan

1. "Jay, it's Pat. Pat Riley? Yes, I remember when I cursed you out and told you to never, ever call me 'Pat,' and then hit you pretty good with my briefcase. How many stitches did you need? That's a lot of stitches. But we're friends, right? You can call me Pat anytime. How's Michelle?

"That's nice, shut up. So listen, I want you to try something new before tonight's game. I know Chris looked really good against the Knicks, but I think he was a little too loose out there. Too mobile. I know Erik wants him mobile to draw Hibbert out of the paint in this series, but I'm Erik's boss, and I'm your boss, so here's what you're going to do: You are not to let Chris do his pregame routine. No running, no stretching, no drills of any kind.

"Don't you ever dare ask me to repeat myself again. Do you want me to get the briefcase? Just keep Chris out of the warmups. I don't really care how you do it. Superglue his laces together. Tell him there's a pizza he needs to sign for. Tell him his fucking child literacy foundation is being audited by the IRS. Whatever you have to do. I want Chris cold tonight.


"Good. Great. Look, you won't regret this. There's going to be one hell of a bonus waiting for you at the end of the year. You can trust me."


3. "Dwyane, buddy, how's it going? Tough break about Chris. These things happen. It's a freak injury, it can't be blamed on anybody. So what're your plans for the rest of the series?

"Uh-huh, uh-huh. Right, right, you're Dwyane fucking Wade, you won us a title with Shaq's fat ass and nothing else, I know you and Bron got this. But shut up for a second and listen to me. I don't want you to take over tonight, or in Game 3, or in any other game this series. Go right ahead and stink up the joint.

"What do you mean, 'But Pat?' And don't ever fucking call me 'Pat.' I know what I said. I'm telling you to tank. Don't make it obvious, especially not tonight. Feel free to put up 25 or so, and keep the game close. But when you get the chance in the last minute, and you will, that ball better not go in. Not even if it's an easy layup that would tie the game.


"For the next game, feel free to really go all out and suck. Go 2-for-12 for all I care. Let's get blown out, and for good measure, why don't you get in Erik's face about it? Make it look really good. I know you hate the guy, I hate him too. Don't worry, next year it'll be me on that bench.

"Nah, don't worry about telling LeBron what's up. Let him try to take over the game. You and I both know he can't carry a team.


"Great. Listen, I know this sounds weird, but I know what I'm doing. You want rings? This is the best way to get rings, plural. You can trust me."


5. "Chris Bosh has since become underrated after two seasons as the third wheel." "Bosh has been perhaps the most important part of Miami's recipe for success." "Chris Bosh is Miami's most irreplaceable piece." "Without Bosh, the Miami Heat will be underdogs against every team they might play in later rounds." "Bosh, the most valuable Heat player?"


6. "Billy? Pat Riley. You get a chance to look over those articles I sent you? Good. That's exactly what I've been telling you for two years now. Chris is easily top three in the association, up there with Durant and Dwight. And listen, he's great with the fans, great with the media, he's exactly the sort of player you'd build a team around. The sort of player you'd build a team around if you were moving to a new city.

"You don't even need to trust me. Just look at these past two games. He's just that good.


"You won't be sorry. I'll have the paperwork drawn up, although we can't announce it until free agency begins. A sign-and-trade works fine for us. Chris is going to love it in Brooklyn. And I'm sure Deron will enjoy himself in Miami."

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