UPDATED: Heat’s Pat Riley lapping Phil Jackson’s success in front office

Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson and Head Coach of the Miami Heat Pat Riley share a laugh before the game on December 25, 2005 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Lakers 97-92. (Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson and Head Coach of the Miami Heat Pat Riley share a laugh before the game on December 25, 2005 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Lakers 97-92. (Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Being a successful NBA player does not always mean you’d make a successful NBA executive.

Why? Because for every Pat Riley, there is a Phil Jackson.

Both Riley and Jackson were good NBA players who became great NBA coaches. Both coached the Los Angeles Lakers to multiple NBA championships, and Jackson won 11 rings overall when you include the six he won with the Chicago Bulls.

But they have fared differently in the front office. When comparing their front-office careers, Riley has longevity over Jackson, but it’s fair to say that, so far, the “Zen Master” has nothing to compare to the calming hand “The Godfather” has used to steer the Heat through good and bad times.

And today, Jackson’s time as an executive came to an end when it was reported that he and the Knicks are parting ways. Jackson, 71, likely is  done as a top executive given his disastrous run in N.Y.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how they’ve fared:

Phil Jackson

  • Became President of Basketball Operations of the New York Knicks in March 2014.
  • Leaves with the Knicks going 80-166 in his three full seasons as team president, losing at least 50 games in each season.
  • Hired one of his former players, Derek Fisher — who had recently retired and had no head coaching experience — to coach the Knicks after firing Mike Woodson, who had gone 109-79 in parts of three seasons in New York.
  • Re-signed Carmelo Anthony in the 2014 offseason to a deal that included veto power over the Knicks trading him without his approval.
  • In the 2014-15 season, the Knicks set a franchise mark with 16 straight losses and went 17-65, their worst record ever.
  • Drafted Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall in 2015.
  • Fired Derek Fisher in Feb. 2016 after a 1-9 stretch left the Knicks with a 23-31 record.
  • In a surprise move, hired Jeff Hornacek in June 2016 to replace interim coach Kurt Rambis. Hornacek had been fired earlier in the year by Phoenix.
  • Has used Twitter and other passive-aggressive means to ridicule and undermine Anthony.

Pat Riley

  • Stepped down as head coach of the Heat to turn his full attention to being team president after the 2002-03 season.
  • Drafted Dwyane Wade fifth overall in 2003.
  • In 2004, traded Caron Butler, Brian Grant, Lamar Odom and a first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Shaquille O’Neal, who was disgruntled with the Lakers.
  • Took over as head coach again during the 2005-06 season after he pushed out Stan Van Gundy.
  • With O’Neal and Wade, the Heat won their first NBA championship in June 2006, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 4-2.
  • In 2008 after the Heat finished 15-67, Riley stepped down as head coach again but remained team president and promoted Erik Spoelstra to head coach. Spoelstra has proven to be an inspired hire and is now the second-longest-tenured coach in the league behind Gregg Popovich.
  • In 2010, Riley signed free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team up with Wade, forming a trio that would play in four straight NBA Finals and win two championships.
  • Won the 2011 NBA Executive of the Year award.
  • Did not re-sign Wade, the face of the franchise, in the summer of 2016, instead opting to rebuild the team around a young core. Miami entered the week with a 24-31 record, but had won 13 of their last 14 despite a roster shortened by injuries to its young stars and made up of castoffs, journeymen and unproven players.

Picking the five best Miami Heat uniforms over the years

miami-heat-2012-2013-white-hot-heat-alternate-jersey-uniform“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.”

Those wise words from the inimitable Deion Sanders explain, in many ways, the need for multiple jerseys if you’re a professional sports team these days. You see, busting out the same old home and away jerseys are a thing of the past.

The Miami Heat are just one of the teams with a plethora of uniform options.

Here’s my list of the five best Heat jerseys:

5. Although the Heat have no formal affiliation with the old ABA squad, the Miami Floridians, the franchise paid tribute to Florida’s original basketball team with this look in 2005-06. The black uniform with an orange and pink stripe running down the left side is eye-catching but subtle, stylish yet relaxed. This uniform screams “Miami!”mia-heat-floridians-away


4. With Latinos making up close to 70 percent of Miami’s population, it was imperative for the Heat find a way to honor that piece of the community. The NBA created a Latin night promotion for which the Heat became “El Heat.”el-heat-intro-uniform-0


3. In 2001, the Heat made some changes to their alternate, all-red uniform. For the first time, the uniform stated the city name on the front, and never again would fans forget where the Heat are from.thumb


2. You can never beat the classics. The original Heat uniform — in white with red and orange trim on the side — is a tad plain, but it’s quite striking in its simplicity. The bold font, taken from the original Los Angeles Lakers jersey, put the NBA on notice that a new force was emerging in South Florida.throwbackfront


1. Every team in the NBA now has playoff jerseys. These babies, nicknamed “White Hot,” were first introduced in 2013 when the Heat were promoting their back-to-back championships. 226dadd6a618d5f71a501afe66c367fe