With the Miami Heat struggling, Phil Jackson didn't hesitate to chime in Tuesday, saying the Heat's big trio will eventually ask for Pat Riley to take over if this doesn't change soon.
"The scenario that sits kind of behind the scene, is that eventually these guys that were recruited — Bosh and James — by Pat Riley and Micky Arison, the owner, are going to come in and say, ‘We feel you can do a better job coaching the team," Jackson told a Chicago-based radio station. "We came here on the hopes that this would work,’ and whatever, I don’t know. That’s kind of my take on it, is that eventually if things don’t straighten out here soon, it could be the Van Gundy thing all over again."
On the Heat's performance in general, Jackson added: "That record, I think, says a lot about coming together with some real talented guys, and not having a base. And then some things happened to them, Wade getting hurt. They’re still kind of searching out how they’re going to find a role and work their roles together."
While there are plenty of Heat fans who feel the same way, particularly about the coaching scenario, it just doesn't seem like what these players will want.
If it takes Riley to come in and "save" the season, the three of them will look like failures from the very first season together. And it's not as if Riley, who probably doesn't even want to coach, will be around for the remainder of their time together in Miami.
The other part about that is, how different is Riley from Spoelstra? Can he reel in LeBron and Wade maybe a little better? Possibly, if that's necessary. Would he force the ball inside to Bosh a little more? Also possible. But time will eventually allow Spoelstra to figure this out as well. He's not Riley yet, obviously, but we saw what happened when Stan left. He has been great for the Magic since leaving Miami. And pushing Spoelstra out now would be premature. I think these players recognize that. Pretty sure they don't even believe they need much coaching anyway.