Pat Riley Motivated the 2006 Heat By Dunking His Head in a Bucket of Ice

by June 07, 2016

The 2005-06 Miami Heat are one of just three teams in NBA history to roar back from an 2-0 hole in the Finals to win the title, and Shaquille O’Neal says that head coach Pat Riley dunked his well-coiffed head in a bucket of ice to impart an important lesson to his team when things looked bleak.

O’Neal—who also opened up on the diminishing role of the center in today’s League and his lone regular season MVP—adds that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love must play a whole lot better if the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to make this a respectable series against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Kyrie has shot a horrific 33 percent from the field (while getting absolutely torched defensively) through Games 1 and 2 against the Dubs, and Love is dealing with a concussion.

Per the AP:

“Because remember last year, the story line was, ‘OK, Golden State, you won a championship, but that’s because Kyrie and Kevin Love weren’t playing.’ Now they’re playing, now you’ve got to play like you know how to play,” O’Neal said Monday night.


(Love’s) been no match for Green, who scored 28 points in the Warriors’ 110-77 Game 2 stomping. […] “Kevin Love’s getting punked by Draymond, he really is,” O’Neal said. “I hate to be the one to say it, but he has to step up. You can’t let a guy do the muscle thing in your face and you don’t respond.”


O’Neal said his Miami Heat never lost their belief in the 2006 finals, when they dropped the first two games in Dallas and were in deep trouble in Game 3 before storming back to win four straight. “We didn’t feel like we were down and we knew we were better than that team,” he said. “Our whole message was just one game at a time because they’re up, the pressure’s not on them. Once you start to squeeze, the pressure starts to be on them.”