Heat president Pat Riley held court with the media today for the first time since July, and offered insight on how the 66-win Heat were built, as well as a few hints about his plan to keep the defending champs together. Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com all provide detail. We'll round it up here:
- Riley suggested the team may need a new, high-dollar local television contract to absorb the tax hit necessary to keep LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together beyond 2014, when they can all opt out and become free agents. A report last summer suggested the team was in talks with Fox Sports about a deal that would pay them $80MM-$100MM per season, but both the team and Fox denied it.
- Riley thinks keeping the team together is "doable" and said the front office has already begun to craft its plan for doing so, but said it's ultimately up to Micky Arison to decide how much he wants to shell out.
- Coach Erik Spoelstra was the driving force behind the team's midseason acquisition of Chris Andersen. "If I got another text from (Spoelstra) about getting Chris Andersen, I was going to put my hands around his neck," Riley quipped.
- Riley declined comment on Spoelstra's contract, which runs out after next season.
- The team believes Wade can handle point guard duties in case Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole goes down, and that's why they didn't seek more depth at the position this season.
- It doesn't seem as though the Heat will fully embrace analytics anytime soon, as Riley said proponents of advance metrics "make me squeamy a little bit," Haberstroh tweets.