User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Riley speaks, insists Heat will rebound

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

MIAMI (AP) - One of the last things Miami Heat President Pat Riley told LeBron James before free agency began this summer was that he would be selling potential players on the notion of playing alongside a four-time NBA MVP.

Advertisement
And James never made him think otherwise, Riley said - until roughly the same moment that the entire world was made aware of his plan to go home.

Riley made that revelation Wednesday, shortly after the Heat completed the signing of Chris Bosh to a $118 million, five-year contract and essentially wrapped up their roster-rebuilding project for next season, the first of the post-LeBron era in Miami.

The Heat have 12 players locked in for next season, Bosh and Dwyane Wade foremost among them, and Riley expects the four-time defending Eastern Conference champions to compete once again this coming year. But much of his first session offering in-depth remarks about free agency revolved, predictably, about James - the MVP who got away.

''I went into it with the thought and the notion that he was coming back and I was selling that to players,'' Riley said. ''I believed that firmly so I was selling that to players. And that's the only way I went into it. I let him know that. . He never said to me, `No, don't do that.'''

Riley, however, noted that he did not feel misled by James during free agency.

James is now back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that he left for Miami in 2010, four trips to the NBA Finals and two championships ago. The Heat scrambled quickly to move on to Plan B, locking up Bosh (whose signing was agreed to weeks ago) and Wade before long and avoiding what could have been an absolute disaster otherwise.

Riley said he's become energized by the task of building a champion again.

''We are up to the challenge,'' Riley said. ''We're going to be as competitive as anybody, I think, in the Eastern Conference. I feel great, right now, today, making sure that we got Chris signed, got him under contract, and got D-Wade back and Udonis (Haslem) and the core of our foundation and we'll go from here.''

Before he announced his decision, James and his inner circle summoned Riley and Heat general manager Andy Elisburg to Las Vegas for a meeting.

Riley and Elisburg left believing they had done well.

A day later, James was meeting with Sports Illustrated, collaborating on the first-person essay that would come out and announce his decision to return to Cleveland. The Heat were told of the contents of that essay moments before it was released publicly.

''I don't get hurt,'' Riley said. ''This is business. This is all business. As soon as something happens in this business, I had to react, we had to react as an organization, and we did.''

Riley said Wednesday that once the Heat learned that James was leaving, it was too late to get involved in the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, who wound up re-signing with the New York Knicks.

Still, it was more than a salvage project. Wade and Bosh are both likely Hall of Fame players. The Heat wound up with some of their top free-agent targets in players like Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts, both of whom Riley raved about about.

Perhaps most importantly, the Heat not only figure to be good enough to compete now, but have the flexibility financially for Riley to go out in the already-anticipated free-agent summer of 2016 and try to build what he did when he got James, Wade and Bosh to team up.

And instead of blasting James - as Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert did when he left Cleveland in 2010 - the Heat have taken the high road, with managing general partner Micky Arison writing an open letter to fans this week reminding them that even without James, the franchise's goal of winning more titles hasn't changed.

''We're going to try to make it another generational team,'' Riley said.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Knicks sign forward Orlando Sanchez
Heat promote Fizdale, add two to staff
Mayor: Plenty of potential Hawks buyers
Arrest made in theft from Pacers star
'NBA 2K15' drafts 3-D face mapping
Rockets acquire Jason Terry from Kings
Timberwolves sign Glenn Robinson III
Nuggets' Hickson suspended 5 games
LeBron banner could rise in Cleveland
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 3067
Paul Bovi + 2374
Kevin Rogers + 2090
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Paul Bovi 58 %
Stephen Nover 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 2013
Michael Black + 1848
Kevin Rogers + 1579
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1320
Kyle Hunter + 1080
Joe Nelson + 993
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2114
Mike Rose + 1851
Kyle Hunter + 945
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest