Pat Riley story via Jeff Van Gundy: O.J. Simpson slowed Bronco chase to hear Game 5 of 1994 NBA Finals

Getty Images
5 Comments

If you watched the fantastic documentary “June 17th, 1994,” you know O.J. Simpson’s low-speed Bronco chase coincided with Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Another excellent TV show, “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” dramatizes Simpson’s car chase.

Pat Riley – who coached the Knicks against the Rockets in the 1994 Finals – apparently has a story that adds details. Jeff Van Gundy, an assistant to Riley in 1994, relayed it during ABC’s telecast of Game 4 of this year’s Finals.

Van Gundy:

That summer, Pat Riley always went back out to LA. He had a house there. And he ran into the driver of the car, A.C. Cowlings, at a car wash. They both were getting their cars detailed, and A.C. Cowlings knew Coach Riley peripherally, waved him over and proceeded to tell them the story of why they were driving so slow was, O.J. wanted them to hear the end of the game on the radio before he pulled in. And when Coach Riley told us that story, I was mesmerized by what really goes on. I could just see him having the gun to his head, saying, “Turn up the radio, A.C., so I can hear the last few minutes.”

There’s a saying in journalism: “Too good to check.” It means a story is too tantalizing to research its veracity.

It applies here.