Miami Heat President, Pat Riley joined the Joe Rose Show on 560 WQAM to discuss the state of the Heat and his plans for the future of the team. They also talk about the team’s current roster and how it’s being evaluated.
On the Heat’s season so far- “We’re all disappointed with our record. We’re going through some absolutely important growing pains.”
On evaluating the roster- “Over the next 6-7 months, we’re going to find out which of these young players will be with our team for a long time.”
On coaching the Heat- “I do think that right now that Coach Spo is going through the dilemma I had to go through that I had to go through many times. When you make changes to your offensive and defensive philosophy it’s not easy to just flip a switch a figure everything out.”
On the process of rebuilding- “We’ve done this twice, first with the addition of Shaq back in 2005. Then again in 2008. And we’re in it again. In this league, you need flexibility. And we have that, so we’re able to make a move quickly. We’ve rebuilt before and we’re going to do it again quickly.”
On second year player Justise Winslow- “Justise Winslow is a Udonis Haslem-type player. I call them a ‘hell hath no fury player’. If people are concerned about him they should be concerned in a positive way because he’s only 21 years old and we’re putting a lot on his shoulders.”
On retiring Shaquille O’Neal’s number- “It was all about respect. I believe very few people in Miami will ever forget the day we got the Big Diesel in here. He changed our whole world. Within two years of getting him we were World Champions. He is one the greatest players to ever play the game. There’s been some criticism as to why retire a guy jersey who was here for such a short amount of time. People forget Tim Hardaway was only here for 4 and a half years and we retired his number also. It’s all about respect. We did the same thing with Michael Jordan and Dan Marino, it’s about honoring great players. We’re very proud to do this. Shaq will always be part of our history here and we’re proud about it.”
On relationship with Dwyane Wade- “We’re fine. I don’t really want to talk about it anymore. Business really got in the way of it. It was a tough blow. It interrupts his legacy on his continuity down here with Miami. We’ll hang his number up one day, if he wants us to which I’m sure he will. Ultimately it was his decision to move home.”