While Newsday’s Alan Hahn wonders if Jermaine O’Neal’s recent trade demand isn’t the handiwork of Kobe Bryant, the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman has a scolding tone for the Miami Heat’s team president.

Pat Riley is expected back from vacation by the end of the week.

Since he has been gone, the Heat lost out on Mo Williams, Steve Blake, Juan Carlos Navarro, Derek Fisher, Steve Francis, Chucky Atkins, Jason Hart, Travis Diener and Jannero Pargo.

Not that we’re counting, mind you.

He did, however, nab Smush Parker with his international calling card.

Look, everyone deserves time off. And when Riley works, he works hard. And those six weeks off in January and February weren’t exactly spent idly while rehabbing from knee and hip surgeries. In fact, an argument could be made that some of the franchise’s most astute personnel decisions come from General Manager Randy Pfund, with Riley mostly serving as the face of the biggest moves.

So what should be on Riley’s “to-do list” when he gets back at it?

* Issue a statement that he is committed as coach for 2007-08. This has gone on long enough, and there is enough uncertainty already surrounding the franchise. If the commitment is not firm at the top, how can there not be uncertainty below?

* Offer assurances to Jason Williams and Parker, in that order, as his rotation at point guard.
As long as there is uncertainty regarding Williams’ status, how can the franchise expect an unceasing commitment toward his rehab?

* Clarify the team’s position at small forward. Is the plan Antoine Walker/Dorell Wright? Is there confidence in those two? Or is the three still a work in progress? A clue would be nice.

On a musical note, I’m always happy to read an article entitled “At The Intersection of Love & Basketball”, especially if it includes no mention of Isiah Thomas groping someone.