Pat Riley Walks Back Weak ‘Asterisk’ Comment About The Lakers Championship Win

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Oh, the stories we tell ourselves.

The word asterisk in thrown around in sports with the ease of a cocaine platter at Charlie Sheen’s birthday party. It’s become the equivalent of “Dude, I totally could’ve banged her!” when she leaves the bar with a more attractive, more successful guy and you have puke dribble hanging from your chin.

Asterisks should be reserved for the cheats, those who manipulate the rules to create an advantage that cannot be achieved through sheer skill.

It should not be used in matters of circumstance, like when two of your players go down with injury, despite both playing in the Heat’s Game 6 blowout loss in which they were down 28 at half.

While Heat President Pat Riley correctly pinned the Lakers as the better team on Friday, he did provide a “Ya but” that undermined the title.

Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who squeaked by the Pistons in seven games in 1988 because Isiah Thomas was hurt.

“They were the best team, but there’s always going to be asterisk, that caveat,” Riley said. “If we had Bam and Goran — Goran was our leading scorer in the playoffs — at 100 percent, it could have gone to seven games or whatever, but thank you for reminding me. I appreciate that, but I’m not going to look back on it. I’m just going to look at all the positive things, get Goran healthy and Bam healthy, and bring everybody back and try to add to the mix.”

Eventually, Riley walked back his comments, as one does when they’re wrong.

Every title in the last 15 years has come with an asterisk because I never made it to the NBA. If coach only put me in. What could have been….


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Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.