Pat Riley On Heat Offseason

Heat President Pat Riley spoke to reporters today via a teleconference in regards to Miami’s offseason, losing LeBron James to the Cavaliers, and the franchise’s prospects for the upcoming season and beyond. Ira WInderman of the Sun Sentinel recapped the interview, and here are some of the highlights:

Discussing his re-tooled roster:

I feel very good about where we are right now, at this moment, with the 12 guys under contract. Unlike a lot of the prognosticators . . . I feel with all the conversations I’ve had with these players, that we’re going to be up to the challenge.”

On the departure of James:

You recover. I don’t want to go back in history, but after 45 years of being in the league, I think I’ve been around 15 transcendent players that walked out the door . . . and you move on. We were shocked, but we recovered. It was a tough blow to take, but we’ve recovered very well, and I think we will continue to recover.”

Discussing his plan entering this year’s free agency period:

I went in with the notion that he [LeBron] was coming back. So I was selling it to players. I let him know that prior to free agency, that was the direction I was going. He never said to me, ‘Don’t do that‘.”

Discussing re-signing Dwyane Wade despite his recent injury history:

When it comes to Dwyane, we’re just going to see where we are with him. And we think with what he’s done this summer, there’s the possibility of Dwyane can return to where he was before he ceded a good part of his game to LeBron, and the same thing with Chris.”

On re-signing Chris Bosh:

He’s the most versatile big man in the NBA. And that’s what the market was for him, and Micky [Arison] stepped up to the plate. . . . I’ll be [expletive] if I was going to let him walk out the door.”

On signing Luol Deng late in the free agency rush:

I think the first day that I met with him, I truly believe if we could have signed him, he would have signed. At that time, we were an exception team. We were sort of dealing with the thought we were an exception team. . . . So that discussion had to take a number of meandering roads. But he knew that we wanted him, that we would do whatever we could to get him.”

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