Some people may have forgotten, but Dave Checketts was the boss when he hired Pat Riley in New York back in 1991. And he was the boss when Riley left in 1995, bitter because he was denied in his own attempt to become Knick president. Checketts wouldn't relinquish that title for himself, even if he was already the MSG CEO.
Jump in the DeLorean and fast forward 16 years. The Miami Heat have already won a championship in 2006. They had the most successful offseason during the highly anticipated summer of 2010, landing two top 15 players in LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team with Dywane Wade. And they're now one win away from the Finals, a place they very likely will find themselves a lot in the near future. The Knicks? They just finished up one of the worst decades in basketball history for the 2000s, and haven't won a playoff game in over 10 seasons.
As for Checketts, he runs SCP Worldwide now. They purchased the St Louis Blues in 2005. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Deb. They have six children and four grandchildren.
As a Celtics fan, I don't care for Pat Riley at all. At the same time, I know a good basketball mind when I see one (and definitely know a bad one when I see one). If Riley had gotten his way, I'm very confident that the Knicks, not the Heat, would have had the more successful run since 1995. Kudos to Heat owner Micky Arrison for making it happen in Miami. For giving up that first-round pick they had to give NY for "tampering" (which became Walter McCarty).
The bottom line is Pat Riley wanted to be president of the Knicks, not the Miami Heat. And Dave Checketts said no.
So for any Knicks fans out there, ask yourself, was it more important to keep Pat Riley or Dave Checketts?