Knicks hoping Riley will ring in new era

May 23, 1991|By Peter Finney Jr. | Peter Finney Jr.,New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- As secrets go, this was less confidential than a wiretapped phone call.

Megaphone, anyone?

The New York Knicks yesterday made their Pat Riley intentions official by formally offering their head coaching position to the former Los Angeles Lakers coach. Knicks president Dave Checketts said Riley, who won four NBA titles in the 1980s, would be given a "reasonable amount of time" to decide if he wants to accept the long-term offer.

"Pat Riley is the choice," Checketts said. "We are going to offer him the job. There is no time frame, but we are going to give him a reasonable amount of time to make his decision."

In reality, the Knicks never would have publicly acknowledged ,, making an offer to Riley unless he already had agreed in principle to the deal. Just think of the public relations backlash if the deal were to fall apart.

"We're hoping he accepts it, of course," player personnel director Ernie Grunfeld said. "Otherwise, the offer wouldn't be extended. Pat's a proven winner. He has four championship rings. You just don't get that by accident."

The only loose end appears to be when Riley will reciprocate and make things official. He was traveling yesterday and was expected to return to New York today. Neither Riley nor his agent, Ed Hookstratten, returned phone calls yesterday.

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