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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Pat Riley
Greg Oden has taken his physical, done a bit of house hunting in South Florida and signed on the dotted line.
Mike Miller was a luxury that the Miami Heat decided they could no longer afford.
When the Miami Heat won their first championship in 2006, then-coach Pat Riley decided to enter the following season without major roster changes.
LeBron James has this summer on his mind, and is already starting to plan for next season.
Hundreds of thousands of fans were expected along the parade route. Some fans began arriving before sunrise Monday, and traffic into downtown was extremely heavy as people hoped to get close enough for a glimpse of the celebration.
The last piece of confetti had landed, the Miami Heat championship celebration was officially over and many in the crowd of revelers were starting to make their way to the exits.
Dwyane Wade was walking down the hallway toward the Miami Heat locker room in the wee hours of Friday morning, still in uniform and fussing with the new championship hat atop his head as his team and their families were in the midst of partying the night away.
Chris Bosh told those Heat fans who had left Game 6 early to stay home, and judging strictly by his line in Game 7, he barely bothered to show up himself.
Other than being widely known by just the first syllable of their surnames, the coaches who will match wits in these NBA Finals may seem like polar opposites.
Miami's Erik Spoelstra wears sharp suits and is a stats guy; San Antonio's Gregg Popovich often skips the tie and would immeasurably prefer to answer questions about wine than anything about himself. Both are intensely private, but even during an NBA Finals loaded with star power — the "Big Three" from Miami, the "Big Three" from San Antonio, a four-time MVP in LeBron James, a four-time champion in Tim Duncan — the coaches will share misery in one way.
When Chris Andersen does something particularly impressive for the Miami Heat, a heavy metal guitar riff blares through their arena. Some children have shown up for games with replicas of his tattoos drawn upon their bodies. Others have gotten their hair gelled and shaped to match his Mohawk `do.
Pat Riley has this vision in which LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh finish their careers together with the Miami Heat, then get their numbers retired by the organization at the same time.
For the Miami Heat, it has been anything but an ordinary path along the way to this extraordinary 24-game winning streak.
Juwan Howard was on the floor for the final moments of the win that clinched last season's NBA championship for the Miami Heat.
Jerry Buss had been a chemist and a mathematician long before he bought the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. The self-made millionaire with a head for business and an impresario's heart immersed himself in the NBA with every skill he acquired along the way.
"Bill was the best coach I have ever had, and I will miss him greatly," said Pat Riley, a backup on that team who became the Lakers' coach during Sharman's tenure as their general manager.
Heat President Pat Riley said Wednesday that the team will take a cautious approach with Oden, who has been through the cartilage-repair procedure known as microfracture surgery three times.