Pat Riley shares his opinion
During a recent appearance on “Minority of One,” the documentary that chronicles the career of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Riley made a bold claim, questioning the worth of MVP awards and scoring titles with no championships to accompany them. The clip can be seen here.
Riley stated the following, “You could be dominant, win scoring titles and be and MVP, but if you’re not a champion, then what the hell is it worth?”
When you see the basketball pedigree of Pat Riley, it should come as no surprise to hear these claims. It is difficult to argue this when it seems like there are players who are unable to capture championships in their career, but accumulate scoring titles and MVP’s, and have asterisks next to their names.
Allen Iverson has four scoring titles and one MVP, but the discussion about him today is about how he couldn’t win a ring. Steve Nash is a back-to-back league MVP, but the biggest discussion pertaining to him is also about how the Phoenix Suns didn’t win a championship. Tracy McGrady led the league in scoring in back-to-back years with the Orlando Magic, but all anybody can remember is his inability to make it past the first round of the playoffs.
The names like Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon are still talked about today in high regard due to not only their solo performances, but because they were able to win championships. Even in today’s NBA, we have superstars like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry who have experienced championship success and still have plenty of years in front of them, yet are already regarded as surefire Hall of Fame athletes.
Next: How Riley's words apply to the Rockets