The license with which Jordan and Kobe made Riley richer

When Pat Riley was coaching the Lakers in the '80s, he bought a license to earn even more money with NBA merchandise ...


In the NBA, salaries are not made public by League policy but are filtered within minutes of signing and in the end it is in the public domain how much each player charges. But in this competition and sport, as in many others, players receive money apart from other types of agreements associated with their public image, exploiting it with clothing, ads and other communication strategies. Therefore, players earn more money than they are supposed to if you only look at the salary provided by the team they play for. And the coaches, more of the same. Pat Riley, one of the most honored in the NBA on the bench and then in the offices, is an example of this but still more acute.

In the 1980s Riley was the Lakers coach. Those of 'Magic' and Abdul-Jabbar, those of the mythical duels against the Celtics, those of the show-time. And he wanted to get all the juice out of that string of hits. Riley, who had been champion with the Lakers in his time as a player, went from assistant to principal of the Los Angeles bench in 1981, when one of the epochs dressed in the brightest gold in his franchise began. And the first year under his command, victory. The disagreements between the young star of the team, Earvin Johnson, and the previous coach, Paul Westhead, had given way to a close relationship between the two pillars of the franchise, closely watched by the versatile Dr. Jerry Buss. And it was Riley who took over wisely, enough to launch a new family within a team that was already dynastic. And it came up. He also won in 1985. He only failed in the 1986 Finals, as those Lakers entered seven of eight consecutive series for the Ring. The duel with the Celtics was more than forged, revived and elevated, and the Lakers felt powerful against their most important rival after winning the titles of 1987 and 1988. And there appeared the most cerebral Pat Riley, that of business, to scratch more money than I already had as a technician.

Months after the Lakers won that second championship in a row and before the 1988/89 season began Riley went to the United States Patent and License Office to register a trademark: 'Three-Peat'. He saw the possibility that his team would win the treble and wanted to exploit those rights, to see money every time someone used that tag in a public way. The funny thing is that he did not do it under his tutelage, but it was two other teams with which he was not associated that allowed him to earn that extra money.

The 80s Lakers saw their streak interrupted and did not complete the treble, the 'Bad Boys' Pistons beat them and they also took two consecutive championships. The Michael Jordan Bulls were the first to complete the three-peat after the Riley maneuver and they did it twice: from 1991 to 1993 and from 1996 to 1998, withdrawn from the star through. He also got money from the Lakers but when he was no longer running them: from 2000 and 2002 they won the treble at the hands of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and others. These two teams, the 1990s Bulls and the 2000s Lakers, have Phil Jackson as their common denominator. The award-winning Spurs were unable to do so, but they did prevent Riley from making his dream come true - to earn that fortune on his own merits - as a manager, because the Heat of LeBron's big-three won in 2012 and 2013 but not in 2014.

During the years the company that Riley founded to knead all this heritage, Riles & Co, registered other variants to # 1552980 such as '3Peat', '3-Peat' or 'ThreePeat'. He even pursued with his lawyers other attempts at variation of it, such as that of the American football coach Pete Carroll and his 'Three-Pete'. The legend about that term emerged in the Lakers, with Wes Matthews claiming that he had invented the term and Byron Scott saying that he was saying something similar that ended up being modified by the coach. Be that as it may, Pat Riley became the owner of licenses that earned him money for successes that were not his own.

After the Bulls' first hat triplet earned about $ 300,000. With the second, double: about 600,000. Considering the rise, the treble of his beloved Lakers must have provided him with a similar money with which he already approached, with only that, two million. In any case, Riley assured in 2005 that an important part of all this economic flow of royalties was donated to charitable causes.



Photos from as.com
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