Now, it’s official: NBA-great Pat Riley a Hall of Famer

MIAMI (AP) âÄî Moments before entering the Hall of Fame, Pat Riley could barely control his emotions. Here Riley stood, championship ring on his finger and eyes misting ever so slightly, speaking of the 16 coaches whose philosophies were shaped into what became a legendary NBA career. He spoke of his mother, his friends and his childhood growing up in a neat house on Spruce Street in Schenectady, N.Y., a few hundred feet from Central Park, where his dad âÄî Riley’s first, favorite and most formative coach âÄî would drive his Dodge atop a hill on cold winter nights, sip a beer and hear the radio broadcast of his son’s college games at Kentucky. “With where I came from,” Riley said that night, his voice hushed and cracking a bit, “who would have believed it?” But this didn’t occur in Springfield, where basketball’s best get immortalized. This was in 2000, when Schenectady High enshrined Riley in its Hall of Fame. If something like that moved Riley so much, imagine, what will be pulsing through his bloodstream Friday night, when he receives his game’s highest honor âÄî a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Riley is part of the class to be feted in Springfield, Mass., 100 miles east of his boyhood home, a distance close enough for the 63-year-old president of the Miami Heat and seven-time NBA champion to still feel like he’s come full circle. “They asked me for my speech a month ago, because they want to be able to train the cameras on certain people,” Riley said. “I said, I don’t know what I’m going to say and I won’t know what I’m going to say until that day, probably. I’ve got an idea, but I’ve got to give it some thought. I don’t think it’s going to be profound. It’s going to be very simple. This is about other people. It’s not about me.”