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Somewhere, Stan Van Gundy Smiles

You know what's sad is that Pat Riley, health problems and all, is still a better dancer than I.

His leave of absence from the Heat, I'd imagine, will be forever. Or at least until the team is performing well again, when he can rip replacement Ron Rothstein from power and hog all the glory again.

But Stephen A. Smith, between handfuls of Cheez Doodles, reports that the Heat players could not be happier that the old man is ducking away for a while.

On the part of the players, however, they talk about the three-hour practices, they say the Riley of old has returned ... The Riley that exists now is the Riley that was there years ago. He's pushing them too hard, he's running them into the ground. From everything I was hearing, it was damn hear mutiny.

A lot of guys were simply not happy with his coaching methods, his coaching style. They felt that he was overzealous, they felt that he was too paranoid, you know, too neurotic to some degree, and just really really pushing them. And so they had a lot of problems with that ... the players were extremely happy that he was going to [take a leave of absence].

I can see how that would cause a rift. The Heat are a veteran team who don't want to be pushed around. However, their performance on the court indicates that they could use a swift kick in the rear; they just reek of complacency after last year's championship run.