Riley first hired [Stan] Van Gundy in 1995, bringing him into the NBA. As team president, he elevated Van Gundy to head coach of the Heat in 2003. Yet, he also pushed him aside early in the 2005-06 season to resume his role as head coach, winning the NBA title that year.
Riley, before the game Saturday, said too much was made of his insistence that the Heat be compensated by the Magic for hiring Van Gundy, who was still on the Heat's payroll at the time.
Riley originally asked for a first-round pick and $1 million, but he settled for considerably less, a second-round pick and an option to trade first-round picks next summer. Although the Magic will debate his memory now, he said Saturday that he would have caved completely, and that he merely was bluffing.
"At the very end, he [Van Gundy] could have come here for nothing," Riley said. "If Orlando would have said, 'No, we won't give you anything,' he still would have ended up coaching here."
Riley joked this summer that the reason he lowered his demands was not because he liked Van Gundy, but because the relationship he had with his wife, Kim.
"Kim is great," Riley said Saturday. "In the old days, when Stan was coaching [in Miami], she and I used to meet in my office, and we'd go outside, out back when we were both smokers. We'd share a cigarette. She was like me, used to walk the hallways nervous. We had a hard time watching the games because they were so close."
To sum up, Riley wasn't really being a jerk, standing in the way of his good buddy's chance at a job. He was just kidding around. Oh, and he wants to make sure everyone knows how close he is to his buddy's wife. Link. Via.