Drafted by the Lakers, champion in Los Angeles as a player and then coach, Pat Riley is a prominent figure in the history of the franchise. And inevitably, the 74-year-old has a special look at his current situation and the thunderous departure of Magic Johnson, barely the LeBron James turn engaged.
“When I was there, all that mattered was Jerry (Buss) and his kids,” he tells ESPN. “Everything we see right now is part of the evolution of the family into the next phase. If they don’t have anyone ready to take over, they have to hire someone. But if they do, everyone has to stay in their box. “
Magic Johnson suddenly quit his post as president because he was right in criticizing Rob Pelinka, the GM, for encroaching on his and criticizing him behind his back. This public unpacking on the part of the former leader of “Showtime” does not surprise Pat Riley, who knows the guy very well, but the current boss of the Heat still relativizes the seriousness of the actions of Rob Pelinka, with whom he also never had any problems.
“It’s the kind of shit that happens every day in a franchise,” he says. “She is growing too much, there are too many people involved for a long time, and they start to give their opinion: that’s when the foundations crumble. “
“In his position, there is only one person who can say no: the owner”
Whose fault is it ? Hard to say. “Maybe Earvin’s honesty will make them think,” breaths Pat Riley. Could he have assumed the post of president in Los Angeles?
“I thought about it, only from a sentimental point of view. But I have never been approached. No one has officially contacted me. I have twenty friends who would like me to go back, but no one asked me. “
As important as it is for the club too, Magic Johnson failed there and it must be said that Pat Riley is much quieter on the beaches of Florida than in this basket of crabs.
“They had Magic. When you are in his position, when you put the franchise in his hands, there is only one person who can say no: the owner. It’s the same here in Miami, if Micky Arison says no, it’s no. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have the power. But when others find a way to grow their influence to do this or say that, it gets complicated. “