Pat Riley on persevering with Heat: ‘I ain’t going out this way until we win another title’

Having twice stepped aside when the Miami Heat were at two of their lowest points, Pat Riley said in an interview with ESPN that he plans to continue on in his role as team president amid this latest uneven period.

Interviewed by ESPN personality Dan Le Batard, Riley, in a clip of the interview posted Tuesday by the network, referenced Dwyane Wade leading the Heat back from the brink of disaster against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, when Wade turned to Riley, then the team’s coach, and said, “I ain’t going out that way.”

With ESPN panning across those words outside the Heat locker room, Riley, who turns 74 on March 20, said, “Maybe that’s why I’m not going to retire. I ain’t going out this way, until we win another title.”

Riley twice has stepped aside as Heat coach with the team at low ebbs, first after the Heat went 25-57 in 2002-03 and then added Wade in the first round of the 2003 NBA draft. He then returned to help coach Wade to that 2006 NBA title before stepping aside as coach after the Heat went 15-67 in 2007-08.