Given Pat Riley‘s history as a coach and executive overseeing star-studded rosters, it’s somewhat unusual that the Heat don’t currently have any players that have made an All-Star team. However, as he said this week during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Riley believes Miami has players that qualify as “stars,” even if they’ve never been recognized as All-Stars.
“I was asked this question earlier and I was a little bit taken aback by it, that, ‘How do you think you can win when you don’t have any All-Stars?'” the Heat president said, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “And when you think about All-Stars, there were 12 All-Stars last year in the Eastern Conference and there are 225 players in the Eastern Conference. So we had a lot of stars on our team last year, we had All-Stars on our team last year, they simply weren’t selected.”
Although Riley is happy with his current roster, he also made it clear that the Heat won’t hesitate to pursue superstar-caliber players should they become available: “When it comes to ‘one step away,’ where are we in the rebuilding process, we’re going to always chase the most talented players that we can that are superstars, that we feel have the ability to be a superstar, and to really carry a team when a team can’t carry itself.”
Here’s more from around the Southeast division:
- After bouncing around from Denver to Portland to New York to Sacramento over the last several seasons, Arron Afflalo is happy to be back in Orlando. And, as Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes, his Magic teammates are happy to have him on the roster. “He’s a really great vet to have around,” Aaron Gordon said of Afflalo. “Not only is he extremely talented and a skilled basketball player . . . he’s very good in the locker room. He’s always positive. He’s always encouraging. He’s looking to get everybody involved.”
- John Denton of NBA.com takes a closer look at new Magic swingman Jonathon Simmons, the club’s biggest free agent signing of the offseason.
- Wizards head coach Scott Brooks believes John Wall can be in the MVP conversation this season, and Wall admits that he’s set the same goal for himself, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
- Wall and the Wizards are looking forward to getting Markieff Morris back with the team, though the veteran forward won’t be healthy to start the season. Hughes has the details in a separate article for NBC Sports Washington.