“We Got Our A** Whipped”: Despite Championship Duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade, Pat Riley Remembers “His Favorite” Player

Published 01/25/2024, 10:46 AM EST

Follow Us

via Imago

The Miami Heat made history in 2006. With a solid foundation of young superstars along with experienced veterans, the team won its first-ever championship in franchise history. Despite Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade being the show-stealers for the team, head coach Pat Riley recently revealed that it was someone else who was his favorite player on the team.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Dwyane Wade recently brought in Pat Riley on his show The Why with Dwyane Wade. While reminiscing about their championship run during the 2005–06 season, Riley revealed that Gary Payton, who was in one of his final years in the league, was his favorite player.

“You know GP was the best. He was my favorite that year. Gary Payton, Sr. So we got out a** whipped one night in Dallas during the regular season. It was really bad, remember? By 40. I wasn’t too happy after the game; the locker room was quiet… Everybody was quiet, and I’m just walking back and forth… Then Gary shouts out, ‘Okay, coach! What we gotta do?’ And I yelled back at him,” said Pat Riley.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

Despite the team’s rough loss, Gary Payton did not want the team to be upset over it. He wanted to learn from it and move on. The Dallas Mavericks were one of the best teams that season, so the Heat had to find a way to be better.

Gary Payton brought up the question of what they had to do. This led to Pat Riley asking the players to put their trust in him and that he would get them to the finish line. Which is exactly what happened in the coming months.

Miami Heat’s historic comeback against the Dallas Mavericks

It might be fate, but the Miami Heat faced the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA finals. Dirk Nowitzki was leading the charge in Dallas. With Dallas having the home-court advantage and taking the first two games of the series, hopes for the Miami Heat winning the championship quickly died down.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Does Michael Jordan Hate Rappers? $45 Million Worth Artist’s Interview Adds to History of Harsh Comments

However, 24-year-old Dwyane Wade was not ready to end things, as he scored 42 points in Game 3 to give Miami their first win of the series. The Heat did not look back after that, as they won the next three games, closing out the series in Game 6. This was the first time either of the teams made it to the NBA finals; however, it was the Miami Heat that lifted its first-ever championship in 2006.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest NBA stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Despite the loss, the two met each other in the finals yet again in 2011. This time, the Mavericks got their revenge as they went on to win their first-ever championship in franchise history against the Miami Heat, which did not have former veterans like Shaquille O’Neal and Gary Payton.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Watch This Story: Swifties and NFL Fans Celebrate “Shirtless” Jason Kelce as Brother Travis Affirms “We’re Gonna Talk About It”

What do you think of Pat Riley calling Gary Payton his favorite player? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Rijin Varghese

687Articles

One take at a time

I did not follow the traditional route to become a journalist, but my love for basketball and writing has brought me here. Seeing LeBron James? Cleveland Cavaliers make the iconic comeback from a 1-3 deficit in 2016 changed everything for a young engineering aspirant within me. Rather than simply looking at the game, I love to analyze how each player contributes to a team using BPM (Box Plus Minus) and other advanced metrics.
Show More>

Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today