MIAMI (AP) - Pat Riley has ended months of speculation about his immediate future by announcing that he'll be on the Miami Heat bench for three more seasons.
The 62-year-old Riley gave up coaching in 2003, then returned two years later and led the team to the 2006 NBA title. But the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last spring and he was noncommittal for months about whether he'd remain on the sideline.
Riley says that it's simply coincidental that his three-year commitment is the same length of time that Shaquille O'Neal has left on his contract and the amount of time before Dwyane Wade can opt out of his extension with the club.
Riley's 1,195 regular-season victories trail only Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson in NBA history. Only Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach have led more teams to NBA championships than Riley, whose title with the Heat in 2006 was his fifth as a head coach.