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Pat Riley says signing Shaquille O'Neal was his best Miami Heat moment

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For all of his faults, Pat Riley has brought a lot of success to the Miami Heat.

Their offseason has been less than ideal following a campaign that saw them become surprise contenders in the Eastern Conference, and their success over the next year will depend heavily on how their young stars develop.

However, a quick trip down memory lane shows Riley made the Heat into three-time champions having been the team president since 1995, and spent two separate stints as head coach.

He oversaw the drafting of Dwyane Wade, added Shaquille O'Neal, coached the team to their first title in 2006, brought in LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and saw them go back-to-back in 2012 and 2013. Quite the list of achievements.

But what, in his mind, is his biggest achievement? Well surprisingly it is not snapping up James when he was deliberating over his future in 2010, it was signing the most dominant big man in NBA history.

Charlotte Bobcats v Miami Heat

Riley told the Sun Sentinal: "I'll say this, and I mean this. Shaq's acquisition was bigger than any acquisition that we ever made, including the Big Three.

"Zo was big but getting Shaquille changed everything for our franchise."

With the big three, Miami reached four consecutive finals, losing to the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in 2011 and 2014 respectively before James returned to Cleveland.

NBA Finals Game 6:  Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks

But the soon-to-be Hall of Famer really made the franchise into a serious competitor. They won their first conference title after his arrival and won thei inaugural ring. He made a huge difference.

Topics:
Shaquille O'Neal
NBA
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Miami Heat

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