Posts Tagged ‘Pat Riley’

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Everyone in the league has their own solution to address tanking, but Miami Heat president Pat Riley’s suggestion might be the most entertaining.

Riley wants non-playoff teams to play a tournament for the right to select first overall, instead of having a random lottery with weighted odds determine their fate.

“What I’d like to have is a two-out-of-three lottery playoff … The lottery teams play a tournament for that (No. 1) pick,” Riley told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel on Monday.

Riley added, “No more tanking at the end … so play for it. Let’s have a little playoff for the top pick in the draft.”

The current rules reward those at the bottom and penalize teams that come closest to making the playoffs. A franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers that had no aspirations of winning landed the second pick for a third straight year, while a team like the Heat that refused to tank after a 11-30 start got the No. 14 selection following a brilliant finish.

Under Riley’s structure, there would always be an incentive to build the strongest roster possible. The Heat didn’t make the playoffs, but their roster would have ranked as a favorite to win the lottery sweepstakes and take the top pick. At the very least, it would create an entertaining product.

But there are flaws, too, with Riley’s plan. Low playoff seeds might choose to tank into the lottery if they prefer a strong chance at a pick over a small chance in the postseason. This structure might also leave poor franchises without any chance of upward mobility through the draft.

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The Miami Heat announced they have officially waived power forward Chris Bosh. In a move of pure class, the Heat have also decided to retire Bosh’s jersey.

“He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise,” said team president Pat Riley. “The No. 1 will never be worn by another player and we can’t wait to someday hang his jersey in the rafters.”

By waiving the 33-year-old, the Heat will enter the NBA’s official free agency July 6 with roughly $34 million in available cap space. Removing Bosh from the roster saves roughly $25 million for each of the next two years.

Bosh will, however, receive the remaining $52.1 million on his contract “with insurance paying a substantial chunk of that,” according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

The former Toronto Raptor signed with the Heat in 2010 helping initiate their “Big Three” movement alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The trio would go on to win back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.

Unfortunately, Bosh’s significant health concerns came to light in 2015. A blood clotting diagnosis midway through the season cut his campaign short after just 44 games.

He would go on to play 53 games the following year, but again saw his season stifled by the diagnosis. This time his health concern was deemed “career-ending.”

Bosh’s most recent NBA action came February 2, 2016 against the Sacramento Kings.

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The Miami Heat, while under the watchful eye of Pat Riley, have always been lauded as a top-flight organization that operates with the utmost class.

But the departure of LeBron James in 2014 put all of Riley’s patience to the test. When James ditched South Beach for a happy homecoming, the Heat president had to be restrained from unleashing a letter similar to the one Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert did when The King signed with Miami.

“I was silent,” Riley recalled of James’ departure in a brilliant tell-all interview with ESPN’s Wright Thompson. “I didn’t say anything. My mind began to just go. And it was over. I was very angry when LeBron left”.

“It was personal for me. It just was. I had a very good friend who talked me off the ledge and kept me from going out there and saying something like Dan Gilbert. I’m glad I didn’t do it.”

Gilbert’s rage-induced comic sans-font letter released in the wake of “The Decision” remains a source of constant ridicule. It exposed the unbalanced power structure in sports, wherein a player exercising his free agency was met with fury and resentment over what was owed in terms of loyalty and sacrifice. Evidently, that episode nearly repeated itself in the case of Riley.

With three years gone by, Riley now understands why James left his side. It’s his conclusion that James went home to clear the “scarlet letter” off his back, as if doing so was his responsibility and not Gilbert’s.

“He went home because he had to go home,” Riley said. “It was time. It was really time for him to go home, in his prime. If he’s ever gonna do anything in Akron again, this was the time to do it. Otherwise, he’d have had a scarlet letter on his back the rest of his whole life.”

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MIAMI – Pat Riley has plenty of thoughts.Resting players is a travesty that the NBA needs to address. Having a head-to-head tiebreaker with Chicago for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, despite his Miami Heat playing the Bulls only three times instead of the customary four, was ridiculous. Boilermakers should only be made when shots of high-end tequila are dropped into beers.

All that and more was revealed Wednesday in Riley’s annual end-of-season address, a rambling smorgasbord of comments from the Basketball Hall of Famer and Heat president who just finished his 22nd season with the franchise. And, as per usual, there was a clear sense of optimism for what’s next with the Heat.

”I do love this team,” Riley said. ”And I love what we have built.”

Riley said he was gutted by Miami missing the playoffs this season, one where the Heat won 30 of their final 41 games. Even that wasn’t enough to fully overcome an 11-30 start to the season, and Miami didn’t reach the postseason for the second time in the past three years.

But he clearly wants the core of this team back, including free-agents-to-be like James Johnson, Dion Waiters and Wayne Ellington. Johnson and Waiters are going to command significant raises this summer, and Ellington’s option is controlled by the Heat. They are three of the four biggest question marks on the Heat roster going into the offseason, and those questions might have been answered Wednesday.

”We’re going to hopefully make the right selections,” Riley said. ”I hope that Dion and James and the rest of our free agents like it here enough that we’re going to be fair with them and they’re going to be fair with us.”

Riley also addressed his own future, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

”I just want to have a great summer, come back and have a great team and try to win the championship, contend for championships,” Riley said. ”I don’t know how many more non-playoff years I can take or I want to take. I’m not so sure that if we have non-playoff years I even deserve to be here.”

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Having spent more than two decades with the Miami Heat, team president Pat Riley is more than familiar with the history of the franchise.
 

While there have been a number of significant moments since Riley joined the team in 1995, the Heat president says that nothing has been more surprising than LeBron James‘ sudden departure in 2014.

“Since I came here, we’ve had the same owner, same president, two coaches, same support staff,” Riley told The Vertical’s Harvey Araton. “We’ve got a bunch of guys working for us who played for us. Players come and go, great players. When LeBron left, that was the most shocking thing to me – not to say he was right or wrong – and the most shocking thing to the franchise.”

James was nothing but spectacular during his four years in South Beach, capturing two MVPs, two Finals MVPs, four All-Star appearances, and two championships with the Heat.

Although losing James was a massive blow to the franchise, Riley believes the Heat have been successful in maintaining their identity without him.

“Our culture is the same,” Riley said. “You have your up years and your down years, but what can’t change is the way you do things.”

While Miami has seen more wins than losses since James rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers, it has yet to come close to recapturing its success, reaching the postseason just once since 2014.

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MIAMI – Pat Riley has never doubted Magic Johnson, and isn’t about to start now.

Riley believes Johnson will succeed in what looks like a daunting task of getting the Los Angeles Lakers back to prominence. After the Lakers cleaned house this past week, Johnson and Riley are contemporaries – Riley as president of the Miami Heat, Johnson in the same role out in L.A., where they won four titles together in the 1980s.

Trade talks, he cautioned, will be dangerous for both sides.

”He’s going to try to rifle my pockets and I’m going to try to rifle his,” Riley said. ”But I’m happy for him, and I’m also happy for the Lakers.”

The news took Riley back to 1991, when Johnson delivered the shocking word that he was HIV-positive and had to retire from basketball. Riley was gone from Los Angeles by that point, and was then coach of the New York Knicks. But it resonated deeply within Riley, who has maintained a very close relationship with Johnson.

Hearing Johnson speak about taking over the Lakers this past week moved Riley as well, albeit in an obviously different fashion.

”Back then, all of us and I think everybody in the country not knowing exactly what HIV was all about, we all sort of looked at that as a very difficult time and possibly a death sentence for the kid,” Riley said. ”Now 25 years later, he stands at the press conference saying that he’s president of the team. Deja vu, you know?”

Riley said Johnson didn’t seek his counsel on what life is like as a team president before taking the Lakers job. Riley said Johnson already knew the answer to anything he would ask, simply from being around his former coach so many times in recent years.

The news wasn’t entirely easy for Riley to digest, since he also holds now-former general manager Mitch Kupchak in high regard. Kupchak, who played for Riley, was let go as part of the front-office sweepout by the Lakers this past week.

But he sounded completely confident in what Johnson will accomplish.

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Dwyane Wade is the greatest player in franchise history and it was a given that Wade would be a Miami Heat lifer.

But after a second straight year of strained negotiations, Wade did the unthinkable. The 35-year-old shocked the world by taking his talents to the Chicago Bulls and both Wade and the Heat came out looking worse for wear.

Wade claimed at the time that he was drawn by the idea of playing in his hometown, but in speaking to Adrian Wojnarowski on the Vertical Podcast with Woj, Wade revealed that what truly drove him away was the way Heat president Pat Riley handled negotiations.

“I did feel at the end of the day it’s Micky Arison’s team but it’s Pat’s show,” Wade said, as transcribed by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “I love Pat and I know he loves me. The fact that we didn’t talk, that hurt. That was my deciding factor when it came down to the end of the day and he didn’t show he wanted me there. I know the Arison family loved me and wanted me there. I know Spo (coach Erik Spoelstra) wanted me there.

“At the end of the day, I didn’t hear from the guy I needed to. I expressed this to him later. That right there hurt me. It showed me … it was time to remove myself from the situation. … It’s a business. But I’m human as well. I was waiting for him to step up and meet me, call me, do something, and it just never happened.

“That’s not the Pat I know. You can find me quicker than anybody. You want to be wanted. Everyone wants to be wanted. I didn’t feel like I was wanted from the person I wanted to be wanted from. … I was waiting for him to step up and meet me somewhere. Call me. Do something. It just never happened. That’s not Pat. That’s not the Pat I know.”

Wade was hurt by how the Heat gave max contracts to the likes of Goran Dragic and Chris Bosh – yet he never got the same courtesy despite being a far more accomplished player.

“All these players deserved the money they got,” Wade said. “My (gripe) is not with any of them. I love all of those guys. I’m sitting over here with my hands (open). Everyone is talking the future, the future. My future is running out. I’m still a good player in this league. I’m not asking for something I don’t think I deserve … Did my feelings get hurt some? Yes. At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for you.”

Wade delivered three championships in his 13 seasons with the Heat. He is the franchise-leader in points, assists, minutes, field-goals made, free throws, and steals.