When bad things happen and adversity hits a sports team, fans always want someone to blame. People love to point fingers and they love to have a scapegoat. Some Miami Heat fans are trying to blame Pat Riley for LeBron James‘ departure from South Beach.
Are you kidding me?
‘Riles was too harsh in his post-Finals press conference,’ they say. ‘He shouldn’t have called out LeBron like that,’ they cry.
Sure, maybe Riles would like to alter a few of the things he said in his post-Finals press conference. Maybe he would go about things differently if he had another chance. But to say that Riley is to blame for LeBron leaving town, is completely foolish.
For starters, James would have never ended up in Miami in the first place if it weren’t for Riley being the team’s president. He was ultimately the one who made the Big Three a reality.
As far as LBJ’s decision to leave the Heat and head home, it’s clearly more about wanting to return to Ohio and make things right. The King said it himself in his essay explaining his decision: “I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Riles didn’t get along.”
The Big Three era in Miami was clearly coming to an end, one way or another this offseason. The 2014 Heat looked like the 2010 Cavs, and far from the super team they were back in 2010-2013.
Pat Riley is an all-time great coach, basketball executive and leader. Don’t disrespect him and blame him for LeBron James leaving town, as Riles said himself — for wanting to go home.