by Marcel Mutoni

Pat Riley is really quite a genius. An evil genius, that is. The man is a master manipulator.

Here’s what he does: The Heat crap the bed for a few games, an exasperated Riley meets with the Miami press corps and he absolutely rips into his team, calling guys fat, threatening to bench superstars and generally sounding like he’s just about ready to leap off a tall building somewhere. Word quickly gets out, people make their jokes, and the players are sufficiently humiliated.

Eventually, they begin showing signs of life (as evidenced by the surprisingly close game in Boston, and the win in New Jersey), and Riles attacks the press claiming they misrepresented his statements all along.

This way, the players can’t really mutiny because he looks like he has their backs and is sticking up for them, when just a few days beforehand, he had just thrown them under the bus.

I suppose that’s why he gets paid the big bucks.