Adding Shaq doesn't lead to a penthouse yet

If Shaq or Wade goes down with a major injury, will this team be buying lottery tickets in the spring?

Updated: October 22, 2004, 4:04 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
ESPN.com's NBA Insider Chad Ford will take your questions during a SportsNation Chat at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday.

MIAMI – Five observations from watching the Miami Heat's training camp on Oct 18:

Can Riley resist the urge to coach Shaq?: By now you've heard the rumors.

It's just a matter of time before Heat president Pat Riley takes himself out of self-imposed coaching exile and heads back down to the bench to guide Shaquille O'Neal and the Heat to an NBA title.

There's only one problem with the rumors. Riley claims he's done coaching the Heat.

"No, I'm not going to coach. Unless there was some sort of emergency, my days as the coach of the Heat are over."

Still, Riley claims that the coaching flame still burns inside.

"I miss it," Riley said. "You don't do anything for 22 years and don't miss it. Retiring was the hardest decision I've ever made. It took a couple of years to make it.

"I didn't want to go when the team was in the pits. I considered moving up when it was healthy and talented. And I felt I had the right coach to step in."

Now Riley spends his time trying to build a contender from the outside. He's been dead on in the last couple of drafts and was instrumental in getting two top players, Lamar Odom and Shaq, to come to Miami.

While he doesn't exactly enjoy hanging out in high school gyms scouting teenagers who think they're ready for the draft, Riley claims he'd love to stay involved in the front office.

"I would love to be the president of this team for the next 10 years and keep building it and then do other things," Riley said.

"Coaching is all consuming. It doesn't let you think about other things. I'm enjoying my life. What I want to do, is have the freedom to do nothing and be involved in everything. What I used to do as a coach was crazy. I'm just not willing to do that again."

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider