Found January 04, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
Pat Riley is 66, one year past standard retirement age. But Jerry West doesn't believe the Miami Heat president will be going anywhere anytime soon. "I was talking to Pat, and I told him, 'Don't walk away from something,'" West, the Hall of Famer who called Riley his "best friend," said Wednesday in a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida. "I would be shocked if he did (anytime soon)... If I were him, I would stay there and watch them win championships." Yes, that would plural. West called the Heat, with stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, "absolutely" the best team now in the NBA. And he expects that to continue for years to come. "They've got two of the three best players in the NBA," West said of James and Wade. "I think they can win numerous championships." West is a guy who should know. He's been a part of seven NBA titles, one as a player, four as a general manager and two as a special consultant with the Lakers. West was general manager of the Lakers from 1982-2000. That tenure included Riley winning three of his four coaching titles with the team. Riley, who also coached the Heat to an NBA crown in 2005-06, works on year-to-year contracts with Heat owner Micky Arison. Speaking to the media last month, Riley did not indicate any desire to retire anytime soon. "Where am I going to go?" Riley said. "The lockout, to me, drove me crazy... The Arisons have been great to me." Riley was co-NBA Executive of the Year last season along with Chicago's Gar Forman, making him just the second man to win that award and Coach of the Year (Riley has won that three times). Boston's Red Auerbach is the only other one. When asked if Riley is better as a coach or as an executive, West simply said he's been great at both. He spoke mostly about Riley's ability as an executive because that's what he's doing now. "Pat is able to see things differently," said West, Executive of the Year with the Lakers in 1994-95 and with Memphis in 2003-04. "He can convince players to come and play for his team and be part of a family... He's had unbelievable success." With that in mind, West, who calls it "sour grapes" that anybody could criticize how Riley put together the Heat in free agency, doesn't see his friend moving on anytime soon. "He wants to win championships," West said. "He's still got the vitality and the energy and the knowledge and the work ethic to accomplish that." Chris Tomasson can be reached at or on Twitter @christomasson

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