Pat Riley isn't over LeBron James. The Hall of Fame architect of the South Beach Big Three recently expressed confusion over why LeBron left Riley's Miami Heat for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers last summer, making the point that core groups of players who've won championships and accomplished great things at elite levels (he mentioned Magic and Kareem as examples) usually don't jump ship. He saw LeBron's Heat, and what they did during those four years, as the next historic set to come along under his watch.
Today, Riley continued to sprinkle salt on the Heat's LeBron-sized open wound. When asked about the upcoming NBA Draft, he told the Miami Herald something that sure as hell sounds like a dig at LeBron:
Pat Riley on the draft: "No more smiling faces with hidden agendas, so we'll be going in clean."— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) April 20, 2015
Riley refused to clarify though:
Pat Riley on #SmilingFacesHiddenAgendas comment: "That could be anyone across the board."— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) April 20, 2015
Which, given the context, seems to only confirm obvious suspicions. Riley is still pissed that LeBron basically told the Heat who to draft, publicly campaigned for his pick, and then bolted after the fact. Remember this?
My favorite player in the draft! #Napier— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 27, 2014
And how this happened minutes later?
Confirmed Heat will acquire Shabazz Napier from Hornets and give Hornets the 26th and 55th picks.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) June 27, 2014
Lol, so petty on all fronts. Nobody is naive enough to think that drafting Shabazz Napier would've guaranteed LeBron's stay in Miami, but what is clear: Riley sure as hell didn't appreciate what went down last summer.
Pat Riley is all in his feelings these days.
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