Riley denies he's quitting

The Baltimore Sun

Pat Riley has no definitive plans to go anywhere, dismissing published reports that he was leaning toward vacating his coaching role with the Miami Heat after the season to focus on his front-office duties. Riley said before Miami's game last night against the Milwaukee Bucks that he was being philosophical when talking about the dual roles he holds, and about potentially stepping aside.

"I always re-evaluate," Riley said. "I'm one of those guys, a good old Irish Catholic who worries a lot, so I re-evaluate all the time. I throw the ball up in the air and 10 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers and hope that it works out. That's how I do it."

Riley, under contract through 2009-10, dismissed about a half-dozen questions on whether he would fulfill his contract as Miami is in the basement of the Eastern Conference.

In August, Riley said he planned to coach the Heat for the three remaining years on his contract, an announcement that ended months of speculation about his future. He said last night that he had not thought about his future when he spoke to a reporter at a South Florida newspaper.

Suns -- Forward Grant Hill had an appendectomy yesterday evening and is expected to miss two to three weeks. Hill felt ill after arriving at the US Airways Center for practice yesterday morning, a Suns spokeswoman said. At first, most people assumed he had the flu. But after Hill was taken to a physician, his illness was determined to be more serious.

Hornets -- The team and the state of Louisiana agreed to changes in the team's arena lease that could allow it to leave New Orleans early but also would keep it in the city longer if fan support improves. The new lease runs through 2014, an extension of two seasons. It also allows the Hornets to opt out after next season, albeit with penalties ranging from $50 million to $100 million.

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