Pat Riley's State-of-the-Heat Address: Here Are The Most Important Things The Man Said
-LeBron Has To Get Away For A Little While
In talking about LeBron, Riley said that, as of now, James needs to get away and think about things. But Riley is confident the Heat has what it takes to keep giving him what he wants.
LeBron was restless and wanted to get away with his family, Riley says. But they did have a conversation before he left -- though it wasn't a conversation about free agency.
"You don't pander, and you don't punish," Riley said about dealing with his players.
Riley remains optimistic that LeBron -- as well as Wade and Chris Bosh will be back with the Heat.
"They've invested heavily in this city, they've changed, they got married. It isn't just about how a team grows as players. But how you grow in the community. Players are Godfathers to each others' kids. They truly are friends."
-So What's The Selling Point For the Big Three?
"I'm not dropping championship rings on the table for those guys, they can drop their own."
(Translation: They came here not champions, they are now champions. You do the math from there)
-No Preference If The Big Three Opt Out Or Not
LeBron, Wade and Bosh have the option to opt out of their current contracts to become free agents and/or re-sign with the Heat.
Riley says he has no preference on what they do, as long as they stay in Miami.
"The four years we've had with LeBron we hope will turn to another eight," Riley said.
Riley also made it clear that Micky Arison has never asked any player to take cuts to avoid him having to pay the league's luxury tax.
Riley then added, "However we can keep those guys together. Whatever it takes, we're ready for it. That's my objective."
-The Heat Will Have Options In Free Agency
Riley guaranteed that other players want to come play for the Heat.
-So Does That Mean There's A Possibility Of A Big FOUR Forming?
*cough* Carmelo Anthony? *cough*
"That's a pipe dream," Riley said.
And then he added, "But everyone thought 2010 was a pipe dream too."