MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat organization has been going through their end of the season process over the past few days and on Thursday it was Pat Riley’s turn to address the media.
With so many questions circling around the status of LeBron James and the rest of the team’s core, Riley was pretty clear on how he feels about the sudden swarm of concern and opened up his press conference with exactly how he feels about it.
“You wanna trend something? I’m pissed. Get it out there.
“I think we need to have a perspective about things,” Riley went on. “I think everybody needs to get a grip. Media, Heat players, [the Heat] organization, all of our fans…you gotta get a grip.”
James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can all opt out of their current contracts and become free agents if they so choose. Even if they do opt out, the Big Three could do so in order to sign lesser contracts and free up cap space to attract new free agents to join them in Miami.
Expectations are that they will elect to stay with the Heat and continue to contend for championships but without any kind of verbal commitments yet, the growing concern from fans and speculation from media that the team will break up is far from the thought process that Riley shared with us today.
“I’ve been a leader and a decision maker and that’s my level of expertise and I’ll do everything I can to retool the team but everybody just get a grip.
“We will find out what we’re made of here,” added Riley. “It’s not about options, it’s not about free agency, it’s not about anything. It’s about what we have built over four years here and we have a chance to do something significant but losing is just as much a part of it as winning is and when you’re a team you deal with it.”
The Heat has shown that regardless of what happened in the previous season, when the summer rolls around there is always an emphasis on going after the best available players that will upgrade the roster into something even better.
During the four years since James, Wade and Bosh decided to join forces in Miami the Heat have reached the NBA Finals every year, winning a pair of championships in 2012 and 2013. Each season the supporting cast has been slightly altered, both in adding pieces and subtracting them, but always with the intention of putting the best possible team around the Big Three.
“I think all of those guys that have come here have gotten exactly what they wanted,” Riley said. “They got the best competition on the biggest stage and we won two [championships].”
The one drawback to the Heat’s season lasting deep into the month of June is that now that it’s over, there isn’t much time until free agency begins on July 1. There wouldn’t be any discussions about offseason plans until after the season ends and now that the time is upon them, the clock is certainly ticking.
“All three of them have opt outs and it’s their choice,” explained Riley. “They’ve created the flexibility, they’ll think about it and then sometime, I hope by next week…we both have to do some business here. They’ve gotta do some business and we’ve gotta do some business. We’re not walking around on eggshells anymore like we were during the regular season and not talking about it. We need to talk about it now and that’s the way it is.
“Whatever it takes to keep them together we’re ready for.”