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Pat Riley: ‘No more smiling faces with hidden agendas.’ That’s totally about LeBron, right?

LeBron James, Erik Spoelstra, Pat Riley

In this May 5, 2013 photo, Miami Heat NBA basketball player LeBron James, left, holds his NBA Most Valuable Player award as he poses with team president Pat Riley, in Miami. Before James makes his next decision, Riley will get a chance to convince him to stay in Miami. Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press late Sunday night, July 6, 2014, that James will meet with the Heat president this week before making a decision about where to play next season. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)


Things got weird between Pat Riley and LeBron James last summer.

Riley probably just made it more awkward.

Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald:

If this isn’t about LeBron James, it’s a non-story. So, if you believe it refers to someone else, feel free to move along. For the rest of this post, we’re going to suppose it’s about LeBron.

If LeBron had a hidden agenda, it was hidden only from Riley.

LeBron had one clear agenda: Do what’s best for LeBron. It’s why he left Miami for Cleveland last summer – and why he left Cleveland for Miami four years before that. Riley, as well as anybody, should have known LeBron’s priorities.

The Heat president has mostly taken the high road, but I’m flummoxed by him repeatedly saying how surprised he was to see LeBron leave. For a while it seemed likely LeBron would re-sign with the Heat, but eventually, warning signs appeared.

Riley is usually sharp. A smile threw him off this much?