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RILEY MOVES OUT OF HELL'S KITCHEN, READY TO TAKE THE HEAT
Published September 5, 1995
The Knicks and Heat reached an agreement to settle the tampering accusations leveled by New York for Miami's alleged interest in Pat Riley. The NBA announced Friday the Knicks will receive a first round draft pick from Miami -- conditionally Atlanta's '96 pick -- along with $1M in exchange for the rights to talk with Riley (NBA). The Heat announced a 10-year deal Saturday with Riley that will pay him $15M over the first five years of his contract. Riley will gain an ownership stake in the team, along with the title of Head Coach and President (Amy Neidzielka, MIAMI HERALD, 9/3). Riley's stake "will likely be tied" to how long he stays (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 9/2). REACTION: In Miami, the reaction was generally very positive, with expectations of Riley taking the Heat to a championship. The team ran a full-page ad in Sunday's HERALD: "New Coach. New Team. New Attitude. Welcome Pat Riley" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/3). Sources say both sides came to an agreement due to the belief that NBA Commissioner David Stern "was going to rule against Riley ever coaching in Miami" (Fred Kerber, N.Y. POST, 9/4). ESPN's Jack Edwards: "Miami gave the NBA's greatest control freak ultimate control -- Coach and President. Sort of sounds like one of those titles of mid-century Eastern European dictators bestowed upon himself" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/2). NEW YORK STORY: In an interview with the N.Y. DAILY NEWS, Riley said MSG/Knicks President Dave Checketts "went from becoming my ally to my adversary." Riley said his relationship with Checketts deteriorated during MSG's two ownership changes -- from Paramount to Viacom, and Viacom to ITT (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/3).