Pat Riley On LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Tax

June 19 at 4:00pm CST By Chuck Myron

Heat president Pat Riley today characterized last year’s amnesty waiver of Mike Miller and the January trade that offloaded Joel Anthony to the Celtics as moves that were about creating cap flexibility for this summer and not about sparing the team luxury tax penalties. James doesn’t see it that way, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who reported yesterday that James feels some bitterness about the maneuvers. Riley pointed to the contracts for Miller and Anthony, which run through next season, as the motivationm and the architect of the past four Eastern Conference champions had plenty more to say in his press conference, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel details. We’ll hit the highlights here:

On the notion that owner Micky Arison wants to curb spending:

“He will do anything to get those guys to come back. There has been a perception he doesn’t want to pay the tax. That’s B.S. He isn’t asking anyone to take a cut to pay the tax. That’s a voluntary thing from the player. We are not asking them to do that. Micky will do whatever he has to do to keep this team together.”

On whether he’d ask James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to take discounts:

“I’m not going to get down on my knees. I wouldn’t do that to a player.”

On the prospect of adding a fourth star:

“That’s a pipe dream. But everybody thought 2010 was a pipe dream, too. I don’t harbor that thought. That’s not where we are headed. That’s not what we’re thinking about.”

On how the team can return to championship form:

“All of a sudden, people say we need to improve at every position. We need to get our core back, OK? We need to organically grow from within. The Spurs, after they lost last year, went home, licked their wounds, went off into the summer and they made one move.  They got [Marco] Belinelli, who had a great year for them, didn’t have much impact in the Finals except for one three[-pointer] that he hit against us that was big. But it was Patty Mills from within the organization. It was Boris Diaw from within the organization. It was [Manu] Ginobili being better at [36] years old this year than he was last year. It was Kawhi Leonard all of a sudden, the bloom was off the rose for him from that standpoint. He was given the green light and he showed what he could do. I think first and foremost, we want to try and do that. And whatever and what’s available out there that will complement our players and our style is who we’re going to go after. You can always upgrade your talent. You can never have enough.”

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