The Death of Riley

To give you an idea of how badly the Heat have been playing in the Finals, consider that Dave Hyde has stopped his continuing worship of Pat Riley long enough to start complaining. But if you want to read some reality about Riley, check out this column from the Palm Beach Post's Dave George.

This Finals series is Edward G. Robinson vs. Steve McQueen in The Cincinnati Kid. It's The Man vs. The Kid. Drago vs. Rocky. Business vs. Fun. Greed vs. Hunger.

Let's face it, Miami is the bad guy in this flick.

Last night before the Game 2 meltdown, ABC aired a rather intimate interview with Jason Williams. It was the best (only?) Q & A that I've seen with the Heat guard since he came here during the off-season. In it, he said (and this isn't quite a direct quote), "it used to be about fun for me, now it's about winning a championship."

Yes. That's precisely the problem. We got Jason Williams stripped of the run, robbed of all the craziness and creativity that made him a household name. We got Shaq with three rings, a chip on his shoulder, and the bounce out of his step. We got Antoine Walker minus the shimmy.

Hell, it starts with the owners. Nutty Mark Cuban with his courtside histrionics and odd expressions vs. Mickey Arison, the cold cruise ship magnate we really didn't know existed until he showed up on the court after the Detroit victory. Then the coaches. Young, fresh, straight-from-the-hip Avery Johnson vs. old guard Pat Riley, whose slicked-back hair now looks more sinister than cool. You know, the Heat might have had a chance against Dallas if Don Nelson had come back from retirement so Avery could abandon his career while at the peak of his profession to spend more time with his family.

But the Heat, if joyless, are strong. They'll make a stand at home and I think they're going to make this a series. I'm afraid the ending, though, was written long before this thing began.

-- Andrew Marra hits a troublesome topic: Rising gun violence in Palm Beach County. Great work, sorely needed.

-- Citation alert: The Miami Herald, which has made great strides during the past year or two in crediting other publications, gave a nice heads-up to the Daily Business Review for breaking the Jose "Pepe" Diaz federal grand jury investigation. Tere Figeruas Negrete and Larry Lebowitz cited the work of Oscar Musibay and Julie Kay prominently while at the same time putting together a good piece and advancing the story. Can't say the same for Erica Bolstad, who regurgitated themes about Deerfield Beach from the Sentinel and New Times without adding a thing to the discussion. In fact, she did a disservice by not even conveying most of the real issues going on in the town. Why does the Herald even pretend to care about north Broward? Quite lame.

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