LeBron James Opting Out Puts Pat Riley and the Miami Heat at DEFCON 1

By Shane Phillips
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

If I’m Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, I’m furious and ticked off. I would be the combination of a stinging bee and the horse that just got stung; at least that’s the best way to describe the emotions running through my veins and arteries. If I was Riley, I would be slinging every curse word and profanity known to mankind. I would be throwing the bird at LeBron James as I yelled “don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.” If I was Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, I would join in on the madness.

That’s exactly why I am not Pat Riley and instead writing about what has already been dubbed “The Decision 2”. Sure, we all knew that James would opt-out, but not on his lonesome. It was thought to be the “Big 3” would opt-out of their deals together in order to take less money and “retool” as Riley put it. Instead, James’ agent notified the team of his decision to opt-out into free agency, hence my reaction above.

The reason Miami should be at “DEFCON 1” is because the prospects of James remaining in South Beach seem slim. Between the epic NBA Finals collapse to the San Antonio Spurs and all the talk of a Carmelo Anthony – James super-duo, the Heat look like an afterthought, much like the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010.

I think it was pretty evident that Riley wasn’t exactly pleased with James’ decision, or rather the way the small-forward handled it. It can be presumed that Riley is worried, concerned that the fantasy era of the “Big 3” is over and so shortly lived. At this point, who really knows? I can see James burning another bridge, leaving another city in turmoil and finding a whole new set of band-wagoners. One thing is for sure; Riley will make it as difficult as possible for the King to leave.

Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for Rant Sports. You can follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.

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