Pat Riley says he didn’t think LeBron was leaving, Heat can turn around quickly
Pat Riley thought LeBron James was coming back.
Riley spoke with the Miami media Wednesday as Chris Bosh inked a deal to become the Heat’s focal point, but the conversation quickly swung to what Riley thought happened with LeBron choosing to return to Cleveland. Riley didn’t expect it.
Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel has the quotes, starting with Riley talking about his meeting in Las Vegas with LeBron where he still thought LeBron would stay with the Heat.
Riley said he went into free agency selling guys on playing with LeBron in Miami next year.
When LeBron chose Cleveland, Riley tried to jump into the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes.
Now the Heat are retooling. They brought in Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts, who with Bosh and what Dwyane Wade can give is a Heat team that will play its space-and-pace system and is likely a playoff team in a wide-open East.
Riley thinks the Heat can go swinging for the fences again in 2016 and will be back on top quickly.
Riley remains one of the smartest and best executives in the league, one who can sell Miami as a destination. He’s a competitor. Don’t bet against him turning Miami around sooner rather than later.