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Riley, Pat (1945—)

Riley, Pat (1945—)

National Basketball Association (NBA) coach Pat Riley is one of the most successful basketball coaches of all time and his achievements have led him to become one of the country's most respected motivational speakers. After three years starring at Kentucky University, a mediocre nine-year professional playing career, and a two-year stint as a broadcaster, Riley became head coach of the Lakers during the 1981-1982 season. He instituted a fast-breaking style which became known as "Showtime"—a term that reflected his offense as well as his personal, media-savvy style. Riley coached the team to four NBA championships and, through their battles with the Boston Celtics, helped the NBA become a top spectator sport. After leaving Los Angeles, Riley showed his coaching flexibility by instituting a defensive, slow-down style in taking both the New York Knicks and Miami Heat to the playoffs. During the 1990s, Riley became the career leader for most playoff victories.

—Dr. Robert S. Brown

Further Reading:

Riley, Pat. Showtime: Inside the Lakers' Breakthrough Season. New York, Warner Books, 1988.

——. The Winner Within. Reprint edition. New York, Berkeley Publishing Group, 1994.

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