Pat Riley on Lakers: ‘I think they got a shot’ at the NBA championship
When it comes to championship basketball, Pat Riley has been there and done that.
He coached the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA championships in the 1980s, to go with one as an assistant coach, while having Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at his side.
As team president of the Miami Heat, Riley has captured two more world titles, largely because LeBron James played for his team for four seasons.
Riley watched Abdul-Jabbar continue to play at a high level in his late 30s, and he is watching from afar as James does the same.
Despite what many naysayers have opined about the Lakers’ chances at another ring this year, their former coach believes they can get it done with the way James has been playing.
Via ESPN (h/t Sports Illustrated):
“He wants to win titles; that’s what drives him. And so for him to continue to play at this level, with that hope that this team is going to come together out there and Anthony Davis gets back, I think they got a shot. I really do. And I believe he believes that too.”
Riley said this a few weeks ago, before the Lakers made two trades that brought them D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba, giving them a much more balanced roster than previously.
As a result of those trades, some believe they have a shot at making lots of noise in the playoffs this spring as long as they build momentum and catch fire over the next six to eight weeks.
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