There’s no denying the fact that the majority of the Miami Heat organization back in 2014 may have been a little cross with LeBron James after he decided to leave the Heat and head back home to Cleveland to try and win a title for his hometown, especially after the Heat had just lost in the NBA Finals themselves.
No one was more annoyed by the move back home than Heat President Pat Riley, who originally orchestrated the move that saw James join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in the summer of 2010. Riley was promised eight titles by LeBron during the big 3’s welcoming party in 2010, but the Heat only managed to win two in 2012 and 2013, still making the Finals but losing in 2011 and 2014.
Riley has taken multiple — albeit subtle — shots at James over the years for leaving the Heat during their most successful period, but may have recently come to the realization that a move back home to Cleveland was what was best for James and his family.
It took Pat Riley a while to get over LeBron leaving Miami.
— ESPN (@espn) April 9, 2018
It’s good to see Riley cast away the frustration of LeBron’s move back home and try to mend bridges, but you can’t really blame Pat for being a little angry, as Riley was certain that the Heat would have won 5-6 titles if LeBron stayed, which definitely could have happened considering James has made the Finals every single year after leaving Miami.
“I had two to three days of tremendous anger. I was absolutely livid, which I expressed to myself and my closest friends,” Riley said.
“My beautiful plan all of a sudden came crashing down,” Riley said. “That team in ten years could have won five or six championships. But I get it. I get the whole chronicle of [LeBron’s] life.
But who knows. Pat Riley is one of the smartest NBA presidents in the league, and maybe by trying to patch things up with LeBron, the Heat could again be in contention for his services after this season.