As expected, Pat Riley delivered his season ending news conference on Thursday morning, setting a stern tone about the readiness of the Miami Heat organization this summer in terms of retaining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. All three players have the ability to opt out of their current contracts and explore the free agent market. Although many are viewing the end of the season for the Heat as extreme disappointment, Riley kept reiterating how successful this franchise has been over the last four years, going to all four NBA Finals and winning two championships in the process. He said:
“I think all those guys that have come here have got exactly what they wanted, and we hope that all those guys want to come with us. What cements a forever-bond is going through what we went through this season and staying the course.”
If James, Wade and Bosh want to be as successful as the franchise that just thoroughly beat them down in the most recent NBA Finals, maintaining loyalty to a franchise that helped bring them to back-to-back NBA titles is imperative. Riley’s strong words should resonate deeply with all of the Big Three, especially LeBron, who will have the biggest spotlight cast on his decision this summer.
Towards the end of his statements, Riley discussed how even though the Heat just lost on the biggest stage in the NBA, they just have to gut through it because it’s hard. More importantly, Riley mentioned that you shouldn’t find the first door and run out of it, pointing towards the notion that even though this group of players wasn’t able to achieve the illustrious three-peat this season, staying the course with this franchise will ultimately deliver all three of these players more titles. Fleeing for the first team that offers promises of such won’t.