Originally written December 04, 2012 on Larry Brown Sports:
It goes without saying that Miami Heat team president Pat Riley thinks very highly of LeBron James. He brought LeBron to South Beach and was rewarded with an NBA championship a year later. Now that the monkey is off King James’ back and the Heat have won a ring with him, the possibilities are endless. But even before LeBron captured his first Larry O’Brien Trophy, Riley had already given him the ultimate compliment. From Lee Jenkins Sports Illustrated story naming LeBron the 2012 Sportsman of the Year: Pat Riley stood in the mouth of the tunnel at Boston’s TD Garden (before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals), between the court and the locker room, and waited for the Boat. That’s what he calls LeBron James — “You know,” Riley explains, “best of all time” — an acronym he conjured to remind the planet’s preeminent basketball player of frontiers still to be conquered. “Hey, Boat,” Riley will say. “How is the Boat doing today?” James will reflexively laugh and shake his head bec
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