Pat Riley

No matter the time or place, or circumstance or setting, Pat Riley knew how to win. He was a master of the X’s and O’s, skillful at adapting system to personnel, but his true strength was his innate ability to connect with players from any generation. The Riley mantra of hard work, discipline, and unselfish play resonated well with young players and veterans alike, resulting in five NBA championships as a head coach and seven overall. As a player, he was a key reserve on a Los Angeles Lakers team that won a record 33 straight regular season games and an NBA ring in 1972. A decade later, Riley was the architect of a phenomenon known simply as Showtime, fast-breaking and no-look passing his Lakers into superstardom. Riley ultimately won four NBA championships in Los Angeles as a head coach, including back-to-back campaigns in 1987 and 1988. The former All-America from the University of Kentucky went on to coach the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, winning another NBA championship with the latter in 2006. He remains one of the winningest coaches in NBA history.