Pat Riley is one of the most renowned personalities who is an American professional basketball manager and former coach of the National Basketball Association and President of the Miami Heat since 1995. Pat Riley was named NBA Coach of the Year three times and has also worked as a coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks.
Pat Riley was born on March 20, 1945(Age 76 years) in Rome, New York, and grew up in Schenectady, New York. He was born to his mother, Mary Rosalia Balloga (homemaker) and father, Leon Riley. His father is a champion and played 22 seasons in minor league baseball, playing for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1944. In addition, he holds American citizenship and causal ethnicity. His sexual orientation is heterosexual and his zodiac sign is Pisces. Speaking of his siblings, there aren’t many details about them yet. He was very interested in basketball since he was a child, as he also played for his school.
Towards his educational status, he completed his high school diploma at Linton High School in Schenectady. There he played basketball as a member of the team under head coach Walt Przbylo and assistants Bill Rapavy and Ed Catino. He became one of the valuable members of Linton High School’s 74-68 win over New York City’s power. Along with Power Memorial’s (name changed to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) Lew Alcindor, he made a historic appearance and is considered one of the greatest games in Schenectady basketball history in 1991.
After completing his schooling, he attended Kentucky College for his higher education. There he played college basketball for four seasons for the Kentucky Wildcats (one of the freshman teams). He first played in 1965-66 as a junior member of the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team. He was a first-team All-SEC, All NCAA Tournament Team, NCAA Regional Player of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, and AP Third-Team All American, leading the team to the 1966 NCAA title game. Wildcats were coached by Adolph Rupp when United Kingdom lost to Texas Western and this game was recreated in the film Glory Road. He made First Team All-SEC in his senior year and was named First Team All-SEC twice in history.
Riley is a renowned figure in both basketball and coaching. After graduating from college, he was selected by the San Diego Rockets as the seventh overall pick of the 1967 NBA draft. He was also selected as a wide receiver by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1967 NLF Draft, even though he wasn’t a footballer. He played three seasons with the Rockets and was subsequently selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1970 NBA expansion draft. After being part of the Blazers, Riley joined the Los Angeles Lakers and played there for five seasons. He played a pivotal role in the Lakers’ 1972 NBA Championship. He was also traded to the Phoenix Suns in the 1975-1976 NBA seasons. He then retired in 1976 and averaged 7.4 points per game over his nine seasons in the league.
His coaching career
After retiring from the game, he moved into the coaching field. He was coach of the Los Angeles Lakers (1981-1990), the New York Knicks (1991-1995) and the Miami Heat (1995-2003, 2005-2008). Before beginning his coaching career, he was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team’s head coach, Ack McKinney, was injured in a bicycle accident, prompting assistant coach Paul Westhead to take over. Meanwhile, Pat Riley was hired as an assistant coach. With notable success, the team defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the 1980 NBA Finals.
After the win, both coaches got heads up, but unfortunately they lost their second match against Moses Malone. After that, with some internal discussions, he was considered an assistant coach along with Jerry West in 1981. But later, Jerry Riley just wanted to help and eventually he was named Los Angeles head coach. Riley has become a celebrity and fashion icon in his own way with his Armani Sits persona and straight black hair resembling Hollywood’s image.
Los Angeles Lakers (1979–1990)
During his head coaching career, he won the first NBA championship game against the Philadelphia 76ers in 1981-1982. In his leadership, he led the team to consecutive finals appearances. The team lost their finals against Boston Celtics in 1984 but won the NBA title against Celtics in their sixth game in 1985. In 1987 he managed the greatest team ever with members such as Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, AC Green, Mychal Thompson and Kurt Rambis.
He was one of the most famous moves when he guaranteed the crowd a replay of the championship during the Lakers Championship Parade in Los Angeles. His main mantra was “no rebounds, no rings” with the innovative defense with the only coach using a 1-3-1 halffield trap to increase the pace of the game. Before that the players were known for their attacking game and after his leadership they won the championship with the defense. Following his notable trademark in the NBA championship, he was also named NBA Coach of the Year for the first time in 1989-1990.
New York Knicks (1991–1995)
After retiring from the previous team, he started as a television commentator for MBC for a year. He was also named head coach of the New York Knicks beginning in the 1991-1992 season with the first loss to the Chicago Bulls. But in 1992, Riley pushed the Chicago team to seven games in the Western Conference semifinals. Some disputes between the two teams regarding Knicks’ physical defense with superstar Mical Jorden causing misunderstandings between head coaches Riley and Phil Jackson.
However, in 1993, Riley led the team to their best regular-season record in history by winning two-time Coach of the Year awards. He also returned to the NBA in 1994 by beating the three-time defending champion Bulls in seven games during the Western Conference Semifinals. Most recently, he lost the game against the Houston Rockets 3-2 in the series. He made history by appearing in NBA Playoffs 7 with two teams and losing with both teams.
Miami Heat (1995-present)
He resigned from the Knights by fax in 1995 to become president of the Miami Heat. This also created controversy that Riley didn’t leave until the New York Knicks contract as his contract had one year left. It was later settled, and in his first game for the team in 1995-1996, he led the Heat to a 42-40 record. He welcomed some new faces to the team including Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway-Bricks, PJ Brown and Dan Majerle. In 1997, Riley defeated his previous team, the New York Knicks. This led to the Eastern Conference Finals but was defeated by the Champions Bulls.
Riley was voted Coach of the Year for the third time. He stepped down as head coach in 2002-2003, leaving the team to longtime assistant Stan Van Gundy. However, after Van Gundy’s retirement, he returned as head coach. fearing his first comeback his team defeated the Detroit Pistons in 2006, the Eastern Conference Finals taking the team to the finals for the first time. There was a historic 2006 NBA Finals victory for the Miami Heat and Riley’s first championship as head coach (first with his team and another with the Lakers). Due to a medical issue, Riley considered stepping down as the team’s head coach. On April 28, 2008, he stayed on as team president.
As mentioned above, he has a very unique and enduring personality. His slicked-back hairstyle and black suit resemble those of a gangster, hence his nickname “The Godfather”. After a successful career in basketball, he turned to the book genre. In 1988 he published his first book, Showtime: Inside the Lakers Breakthrough Season. It was one of the best-selling books in New York. It describes the NBA Champions Lakers and has also been referred to as the Disease of More book. He published his second book while still coaching the New York Knicks. The book was titled The Winner Within A Life Plan for Team Players. It was New York’s best seller again.
Last but not least, his friendship with Giorgio Armani is not hidden from him anyway. He wears Armani suits to basketball games and also once modeled for the brand. Miami Heat was honored at the White House on February 27, 2007 after winning the NBA championship (2005-2006). George W introduced him at the time. Bush with jersey.
Awards and Nominations
As previously mentioned, he was a well-known figure with countless awards to his name. He was ten times NBA champion. One as a player, one as an assistant coach, five as a head coach and three as an executive. Similarly, as noted above, he has won NBA Coach of the Year three times. Additionally, he is a nine-time NBA All-Star Game Head Coach with a notable trademark. He was also named NBA Executive of the Year in 2011. He was also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He also received Chuck Daly’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
Pat Riley is a well-known personality in basketball. He has an estimate net worth of around $100 million. He earns his main source of income from basketball (team president and board of directors). At the same time, he has expanded his income to settle various properties. He has his own house with large apartments and many car collections. Today he is fortunate to have a healthy, happy family with a luxurious lifestyle.
He is a married man and also has two children. Pat and Chris Rodstrom are a lovely couple and high school lovers. They meet in the 1960s. Then Pat played for San Diego and Chris studied at the University of San Diego. Likewise, they bonded soon after they first met and have been together ever since, marrying in June 1970. However, they are a perfect example and living their best lives. Together they have two children and are Elisabeth Riley (born 1989) and James Riley.
Body Measurements and Social Media
As an athletic person, he has a height of about 6 feet 4 inches weighing about 93 kg. Otherwise he has brown eyes with light brown hair status. As mentioned above, he has a very unique personality with a slick back hairstyle and black suit. So he looks a lot like a gangster, so his nickname was The Godfather. Other than that, there aren’t many details on his body measurements.
Despite being one of the well-known personalities, he doesn’t share much of his private life on social media. He has fans everywhere and being or not being on social media doesn’t bother much. But if you look at his social media status, he is very active in one of them.