The series of epic Pat Riley stories continues. After discovering he had a thing for ice buckets and covering a story about the ultimate Pat Riley move, we bring you another one. And this one may be the best.
Riley is one of the most successful NBA personas. He’s the only guy with the bragging rights of winning the title as a player, assistant, coach, and GM.
Whatever Riley was doing, the recipe for success was always the same – hard work and dedication. He has that old-school, almost military approach. It’s something players have struggled with, but those who endured it ended up with a ring on their finger. But it wasn’t easy. Not by a long shot.
The players who played for him all say the same thing – when we were winning, things were great, but when things went south, it was hell. It was the same, whether you look at the season as a whole or single out one specific game. Eddie House, who played for Pat on multiple occasions, testifies to it.
We’re in Vancouver, we’re losing at the half. Pat comes in and tears up the locker room. We come back and win, whoop ’em. We on the bus and Tim was like ‘I’m tired of all that negative s***.‘ He was like ‘watch me, Imma say something tomorrow. Watch!‘Eddie House, In The Zone
Bear in mind this was in Eddie’s rookie year – the 00-01 season. Tim was 34 at the time, and being an established veteran that he was; it wasn’t crazy to assume he has the right to say something. That’s how NBA works, nowadays especially. Guys have the right to speak up, and players-coaches relationships are much more on a friendly note.
But this was Pat Riley. You know that wasn’t the case. He didn’t care about who you are. He didn’t care about your status in the NBA, nor about how much money you’ve made. All he cared about was the authority. And Tim felt it on his own skin as he tried to talk back to Pat. Everyone was pumped up, expecting their coach to loosen it up.
Next day we’re at practice, we come in, Pat does this thing where he sits us down and talks to us. He goes ‘ok guys, let’s bring it in‘ and Tim’s like ‘ho, ho I got something to say.‘ He said, ‘I think you just too negative all the time, you don’t gotta be so negative, we came back and won, you ain’t gotta do it like that.‘ The whole time he’s saying that Pat is walking back and forth, the same outfit all the time. He’s walking back and forth, shaking his head. And Tim was done, and Pat was like ‘yeah ok, that’s probably the biggest bulls*** I’ve ever heard in my life. You see, that’s the problem. You’re either in‘ and I swear he jumped probably eight feet sideways ‘or you out! You’ just mad cause I took your raggedy-ass out the game.‘ Everbody’s like ‘OOOH!!!‘ and Tim was like ‘I ain’t raggedy.‘Eddie House, In The Zone
It’s safe to say Tim never tried to talk back to Riley again. He’s just that type of guy. You’re not going to change him. Whatever you do, he’ll do things how he wants things to be done. There’s no way around it. It really is a “you’re either in, or you’re out” type of mentality.
And if you want to be successful, you better be in. But if you are, don’t try to talk back to Pat Riley. There’s no way of winning that battle.
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