Monday, May 3, 2010 at 5:05 p.m.
It might be a while before we get complete confirmation that Dwyane Wade will again sign on the dotted line for the Heat, but president Pat Riley has extended his own contract. No big surprise there, but he's also open to extending his career as a coach. Watch your back, Erik Spoelstra.
"I'll do whatever is in the best interest of building the team here. Period," Riley said when asked if he'd ever return to coach, according to the AP
. "Whatever it takes, OK? I'll let you fill in the blanks. ... If some free agent were to say, 'I will come here, but you must do this,' well, hell, if that happens that day, then I might have to give it some thought."
Riley coached the Heat from '95 to '03 but never reached the heights of his years with the Lakers. While general manger, he released the reins as coach to Stan Van Gundy but shockingly took them back 21 games into the '05 season.
Some speculated Riley sensed it was the Heat's best chance to snag a championship, and he wanted the glory. Of course, they did win that championship. Poor Van Gundy got sorta screwed (then again, since taking over the Orlando Magic in '07, Van Gundy and the team have been doing a hell of a lot better than the Heat).
Current Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has been solid in getting the team to the playoffs in both of his seasons, but he's had hard luck once there. The Heat exited in the first round both times. Then again, considering the past two years have been nothing but the Dwyane Wade and Titos show, can you blame him?
Now the Heat seem serious about getting some support for Wade and making another run at the top prize. It sure does seem fishy Riley seems ready to jump back into the coaching chair.