Pat Riley Earns 1,200th Career Coaching Win

By: Julie Smith

Last Sunday, Pat Riley became the third coach in NBA history to collect 1,200 regular season victories joining Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson from the Golden State he only needed 1,842 games to reach the popular milestone only 248 games less than Nelson.

Riley is worthy of the recognition due to his successful career as coach, the most recent Riley's achieve was the 2006 NBA Championship with the Miami Heat. Prior to his tenure in Miami, he served as head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks. He also played for the Los Angeles Lakers' championship team in 1972, which brings his personal total to seven NBA titles.

Before becoming an exceptional coach, Riley was a versatile athlete in college, participating in both basketball and football; he was selected by the San Diego Rockets in 1967 NBA draft, and was also drafted as a flanker by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1967 NFL Draft. He joined the Rockets and later signed with the Lakers. However, he has a low profile career as a player and it wasn't until 1981-1982 season when he turned into a head coach and started the amazing career in the NBA.

Until now, Riley's records include leading the L.A. Lakers to four NBA championships between 1982 and 1988 and the heat to one in 2006. He and Nelson are only behind Lenny Wilkens who leads the most regular season coaching wins all time with 1332 victories. Last Sunday, Pat brought the Miami Heat into Staples Center with a five game losing streak. The team definitely has not given him much to smile about this season. However, Riley reaching the milestone to inscribe his name into the NBA records book.

In addition to Pat Riley's recognition, other records were also imposed last Sunday; Dwayne Wade actually scored a season high 35 points and dished out 10 assists to lead the Miami Heat over the L.A Clippers, in a 100 to 94 victory at the Staples Center, record that helped improve his coach's disposition. In regards to the award, Riley added: "It's great to get this win...It's those kinds of moments that you'll always remember, good and bad." Hopefully, to reach this record will be as an inspiration for the team to follow his coach example.

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