Thursday, December 2, 2010

Unhappy Returns: Pat Riley to the Garden (1995)

Unless you spent the past few days tirelessly (and futilely) crisscrossing the globe for the past week with Sunil Gulati, president of US Soccer, then you are fully aware of the coming of the Lebronagdeon to Cleveland tonight.

Five months from leaving his home-state Cavaliers for the sultry shores of South Beach, LeBron James will tread the boards at the Q in downtown Cleveland. Lots of folks, like SI's Joe Posnanski, have already covered the myriad angles of the return. As a Knicks fan, I can't help but think back to the last time we had a tried and true traitor return to the scene of the crime. It was December 19, 1995, and former Knicks coach Pat Riley returned to Madison Square Garden with his own Miami Heat.

Riles had shocked Knicks fans and players alike when departed for the sultry shores of South Beach during the preceding offseason. Best of all, his resignation came via fax. Which given the tech-standards of the mid-1990s must have been liking breaking up with someone via text message. Is there a lol-type texttype for dumping someone?

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