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June 20, 2006

Pat Riley


PAT RILEY: So much for ties. That will go well on eBay.

Q. Is that your only one?
PAT RILEY: That's the only one I brought. Oh, my gosh.

Q. You said a couple weeks back that after the final game, you would reveal the bowl? Can you fill us? ?
PAT RILEY: The bowl was 120,0000 of these, that's all. We took on a slogan, a motto or whatever you wish, but it really was about 15 guys just being strong. There was a lot of, you know, conjecture throughout the course of the year about our team, about the character, about certain players, it wouldn't work, the chemistry. People don't know. People just don't know how much these guys really wanted it.
And so we just kept piling them in, 25,000. I had a little wheel barrel and I would dump a bunch in and Shaq would dump some in and we just kept building it up. A lot of people think it's corny, I don't. That's what it's all about.

Q. You felt it would be special to win for Alonzo Mourning --
PAT RILEY: All of these guys. I watch, G.P. and Zo, they are deserving. Shandon Anderson, the veterans, Antoine Walker, J-Will, all of these guys that have been around. They have had great years and been producers.
But to be able to win a championship, it's very difficult to do it, but to make sure that they could, you know, end their careers knowing that one day, when they lay their head down on the pillow, they will never have to worry about this one again. This one has been taken care of.

Q. I have two questions: You've had the privilege of coaching so many Hall of Famers over your years, can you talk about kind of -- I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but where Dwyane Wade fits in in performance in these Finals, and do you recall getting drenched this much in the four previous titles as a coach?
PAT RILEY: Yes, I do remember those. Champagne baths were pretty common.
From a coaching standpoint, my greatest concern and fear was that I wasn't going to have enough for these guys, or for him. I don't think I've ever or we've ever depended on two players more or sort of built our offense around two players, and everybody accepted that.
But he just took it to another level. He just took it to another level. You all witnessed it. You all watched it. Players like that are very hard to come by, and to watch them grow right in front of you, you know, he's making his legacy in his third year. So, I mean, we are so blessed to have him.

Q. Congratulations.
PAT RILEY: Thank you.

Q. Just how does this championship compare with the other ones that you've won?
PAT RILEY: I said it, I mean it, I'd give up six of them for this one. I just would have. I would have traded them all in for this one. Not that -- it's not disrespectful to any of them that I won. But after 18 years, and chasing, you know, you keep chasing it, you keep chasing it, you get tired. So this gives me a sense of absolute freedom from having to chase it, desperately chase it. So it's very special.

Q. Breaking down Dwyane even more, has there been anyone you have felt as secure with the ball in his hand in the fourth quarter, above anything in the series, he also established himself as that kind of player.
PAT RILEY: Not many. You knew Magic was always going to make the right play, get the ball to the right person, be able to absolutely dictate the tempo of the game, and also make big plays.
But, no, I've never had a player like this -- or I have not been around a player who can absolutely at times beat five guys, and then at the same time, make great plays to players. The biggest play of the game was when he found James Posey. Pose hit I think the three in the corner.
He kept finding guys all night. I was waiting for one of them to make a three. We missed about six or seven threes that were about wide open, but I think we hit a couple when we needed them.

Q. You sat at this same podium after being down 0-2, and you're coming back here, and you told us about the Chicago series when you were down. What did you have to reach down and say to turn it around to get those three wins in Miami?
PAT RILEY: You can't talk about this all year long (holding up card) and when you get to some adversity, buckle. We went through it. In order to get the prize, you have to go through the fire, and you've got to go through it over and over. We went through it in tonight's game and I told them, you're going to have to fight that off again, they are going to come back at you, they are going to keep coming back at you.
I think at the very end what I had and what this team had was a team of established, strong, and settled players. I think at the very end, that's what wins for you, the experience, they are all established, they made plays when they had to make plays. I felt, you know, a very settling calm in the last minute and a half of the game. I really felt like we were going to win it.

Q. My question, also, is about the motivation, when did you realize that you said the right words to trigger the right response?
PAT RILEY: You never know. All you do is keep throwing things against the wall, and some of it sticks and some of it doesn't.
We have a faith-based team here. A lot of people don't understand what that means. It really is. You know, in order to -- in order to summon the courage and have the perseverance that we've had, to be able to overcome a lot of things as individuals, your faith transcends all of that. Once they really started to believe in each other and believe in what we were doing, sometimes it didn't look pretty, but I just believe that at the very end, there was enough courage and perseverance on their part to get it done. And they proved that and you can never take that away from them.

Q. Were you surprised that some of the veterans like Payton, Shaq and Zo, they were following Wade's lead without calling for the ball themselves and they were willingly giving it up and passing it around?
PAT RILEY: Wouldn't you? (Laughing) All of those guys experienced the same thing for years and years, the ball kept coming to them, coming to them, coming to them, coming to them.
No, I don't think they ever deferred to him. They have so much respect for him because they trusted him. They trusted that he wasn't for himself only. They trusted that he was all about winning and that, you know, a team of veterans can turn over something to him that's valuable to them because they know he's going to deliver. So Dwyane is probably one of the most respected young players this game has had in a long time. I think he proved a lot in the last four games, this sweep, the last four games.
Thank you, everybody. You all have a good year. Thank you, and I'll see you somewhere along the way.

End of FastScripts...

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