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Riley puts Van Gundy to the test

Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy is in a sink-or-swim situation in South Beach, Ric Bucher writes, because Pat Riley put him there.

Updated: August 29, 2005, 10:54 AM ET
By Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine

How nice of Pat Riley not to throw Stan Van Gundy overboard earlier this summer and officially assume the Miami Heat coaching helm. After all, what fun would that have been?

That's akin to tipping someone out of his hammock into the briny deep in the middle of the night. No war of words battling for the crew's allegiance. No scuffle as the ship heaves wildly to and fro. No parting scream, punctuated by a final thunderous splash. Trust me, for entertainment value, this is going to work out ...

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