When LeBron James talks, should Heat, Pat Riley be listening? – The Denver Post


Q: LeBron James just stated that he could have an immediate impact on the Heat or the Warriors. Do you think there is any way Pat Riley would consider bringing back LeBron? Is a short-term chance worth mortgaging the future for? – Bob, Davie.

A: First, that is not nearly the context of what LeBron James was talking about when asked by associate Maverick Carter on “The Shop” about which of the four conference finalists which he would want to play for. So it’s not as if he picked the Heat from the 30 NBA teams, but rather from the reduced list of the Heat, Celtics, Warriors and Mavericks. And even then, he grouped the Heat and Warriors together. LeBron, in fact, tried to initially duck the question, before saying his preference remains the Lakers. Then, after saying if there was “one” team he thought he could make a difference on, of the four that remained in the playoffs at the time of the taping, he listed the Heat and the Warriors. Of course, when a shortened version of the clip surfaced, it surfaced with a different context. While LeBron did circle back to the Cavaliers, that was with the goal of delivering a title to his home region. From there, he has been nothing but forward thinking. So, if anything, the next step either would be the proposed ownership stake in a potential Las Vegas expansion team or playing with his son, if that is possible. So there is no reason to postulate on a Pat Riley-LeBron James reunion, because there has been no indication of that as a possibility.

Q: Are there annoyances within the Heat brass that Tyler Herro went public, wanting to be a starter next season? It appears Pat Riley was annoyed by having to bring that up. In the past that got players a ticket out of Miami, such as Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow. – Rodney.

A: First, that had nothing to do with Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow being excised. Granted, Hassan perhaps spoke too often about statistics, and Winslow too often about being the leading man. But both, in the end, were dismissed due to lack of all-around productivity and salary-cap issues. Beyond that, you want players motivated, as long as it also is toward team success. If Tyler Herro believes the Heat will be a better team with him starting, then that very much should be a goal. All Pat Riley said was to go ahead and prove that. The runway, with the roster as currently constructed, is there.

Q: So far the NBA Finals have proven that Miami’s current team is as good as there is in the NBA. Disappointed? Yes. It has been said, in a game, someone has to lose, though, Miami was every bit as good as Boston. – Rich.

A: Yet I’m not sure that necessarily reduces the sting of two weeks ago. What this season has shown is that there is no super team in the NBA at the moment, and that the Heat are as close to contending as any team. Now the question is whether the growth of other contenders will leave the Heat behind. That is why the degree of satisfaction at 601 Biscayne also needs to remain somewhat muted.



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