Pat Riley Leaves Team, Citing Ball Imbalance

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Miami Heat head coach Pat Riley, like so many Americans each year, has decided to take off from work so he can better immerse himself in March Madness. Perhaps he’s not as out of touch as previously believed.

Heat coach Pat Riley said Thursday he plans to step away from the team briefly to scout college players in upcoming conference tournaments.

Riley said the hiatuses would begin next week and did not name which of his assistants would coach amid his absences. Ron Rothstein guided the team last season for six weeks when Riley underwent hip and knee surgeries.

This will mark the third time in as many seasons Riley will not coach a full schedule.

Obviously, with the Heat’s continued struggles, the team is going to have a high pick in next year’s NBA draft, so Riley’s excuse to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible has some validity to it. It also comes with the territory of simultaneously holding coaching and executive responsibilities. Or, as Riley put it:

“I happen to have two titles but it’s one job,” Riley said of holding the dual title of team president. “I have to balance both balls here.”

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