Miami Heat

Remarks on Winning the 2006 NBA Championship

delivered 20 June 2006

Audio mp3 of Address

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[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Dan Patrick: Riles, let me ask you what I asked the owner. When you took over this team back in December, what did you think going back to coaching?

Coach Riley: Well, it seems like about five years ago. The only thing I want to say is, I want to congratulate Dallas. They had an incredible season. They have an absolutely  incredible young coach and a great future. But it was our time. I really believe that it was our time. We have been talking about it all year. We got 15 strong. That's what's in the pit! It looks like a championship trophy, all about 15 strong! That's all I have to say. A great group of guys. Miami, we'll see you in a couple of hours! You enjoy! Thank you everybody.

Dan Patrick: But when you took over, did you have doubts at all about going back to coach this team?

Coach Riley: I'm a true believer! I have no doubts. I have no fears. The only thing I think about is what it's going take to win, and these guys showed up and they played all year long. So we came together. And -- And I want to thank everybody, but that's -- it's all about these men and their wives and these families and everything we put into that big gold pit that we have in the middle of that locker room, folks. Thank you very much.

Dan Patrick: Alright, Riles. Congratulation, coach. Here to present the MVP award, let's bring back to the Commissioner.

Commissioner David Stern: He averaged 34.7 points, the third highest scoring honors for a player in his first NBA finals. He averaged 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He was very much the heart of an extraordinary team -- and I do mean team. Congratulations 2006 MVP, Dwayne Wade. 

Dan Patrick: Dwayne, congratulations. What's going through your mind?

Dwayne Wade: Uh, I mean, first of all I just want to thank God for giving us the strength, the courage, the tenacity to fight through all the doubters all year and come out on top. So, I just want to give God all the praise for this.

Dan Patrick: Are you surprised at all how Dallas tried to defend you in this series?

Dwayne Wade: No, not all all, man. I -- I done seen all the defenses. My coaches do a great job of getting me prepared. My teammates do a great job of spacing the court and making shots, for I can do what I do. And, this is a team award -- just like it's a team championship.

Dan Patrick: People can tell you what that championship ring is like. Coach Riley can tell you. Shaq can tell you. Now you have that feeling. What is that feeling like?

Dwayne Wade: Man, it's one of the best feelings -- next to my wife and my son. It's one of the best feelings I ever had in my life. So, I'm gonna live it up! 'Cause we deserve it!

Dan Patrick: Congratulation. Shaq, come on in. How's this one feel differently than the ones in L.A.?

Shaquille O'Neil: It feels good. I came to Miami because of this young fellow right here [Wade]. I knew he was a special player. I knew the first time I saw him I knew he was something special. So I knew it was my job to come here and make him better.

Dan Patrick: When you looked at his skill, when's the first time you said, "I got -- I can be Robin to his Batman."

Shaquille O'Neil: No, I knew that, you know, he was a young gunner. So when I came here I decided to let him go, and I was going be, you know, second option. And I was good with that and, you know, he's a great player, unselfish player. He's the best in the world, D. Wade.

Dan Patrick: You wanted to play for Pat Riley. You got a chance. What has he meant to your career?

Shaquille O'Neil: Pat Riley's the best coach I've ever had. Him, Dale Brown, you know, my father, you know they've been...telling me, you know, to just stay positive all year. And Coach -- Coach Riley told us on June 8th that we was going to win on June 20th.

Dan Patrick: Are you sleeping with that thing [championship trophy] tonight?

Shaquille O'Neil: No, I'm going to give it to D. Wade. I'm going to give it to Mr. [Micky] Arison, right here.


Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

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