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Pat Riley releases statement on LeBron’s exit

Jul 11, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT

Miami Heat president Pat Riley released a statement on LeBron James leaving to return home to Cleveland:

While I am disappointed by LeBron’s decision to leave Miami, no one can fault another person for wanting to return home. The last four years have been an incredible run for South Florida, HEAT fans, our organization and for all of the players who were a part of it. LeBron is a fantastic leader, athlete, teammate and person, and we are all sorry to see him go.

Over the last 19yrs, since Micky and I teamed together, The Miami HEAT has always been a championship organization; we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others. Micky, Erik and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We’ve proven that we can do it and we’ll do it again.

There have been reports all day that the Heat were largely blindsided by this decision (LeBron did call Riley and Arison before the story went public, he learned that lesson the hard way). The Heat have handled this about as well as can be expected, at least publicly. Better than some Heat fans.

The Heat on the court are going to be a version of what they were — small ball. They are bringing back Chris Bosh on a max deal and will play Josh McRoberts at the four. They are working on a deal to bring Dwyane Wade back and while Chicago has reached out it’s hard to imagine Wade bolting Miami, too. With that the Heat should make the playoffs in the East (plus they are going hard at Luol Deng, which makes them very interesting).

But it’s not near the same without LeBron. Riley understands that.

  1. rdrfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    Stink to your guns Cav fans. Your being used again. Don’t have a short memory. He’s going to screw you guys again. It’s all about $$$$ new jersey’s, hats, shoes and broken promises. All us fans are pawns these days they use us and spit us out.

  2. seasickcecil - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Rdrfan 4 year 88 million dollars. Please do some research before you make a fool yourself with idiotic posts. I am so tired of stupid posts

  3. seasickcecil - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    @SamAmicoFSO: Cavs closing in on deal with free agent G Mike Miller, source tells @FOXSportsOH. “Unless something unforeseeable happens,” Miller will sign

  4. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Riley is getting his comeuppance from 1995 and how he did this to the Knicks. I will never feel sorry for him. Love LeBron.

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:39 AM

    Riley is getting his comeuppance from 1995 and how he did this to the Knicks. I will never feel sorry for him. Love LeBron…

  6. thethrill1111 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:21 AM

    Takes a man to issue that statement, no matter how pissed he may have been this morning. Riley and Arison can’t be too angry with how solid their team has been the last four years. I’m actually slightly torn for how I feel for the Heaties. I want to mock them because now the bandwagoners won’t sniff a championship anytime soon (and like lots of people, I hate to see the heat bandwagoners enjoy the satisfaction of winning), but on the otherhand, the organization handled this in such a professional fashion. Makes me slightly hope that they find success in the post-Big 3/D-Wade era sometime down the road (not that my opinion really matters).

  7. rdrfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:37 AM

    seasickcecil : your the fool. More is always better. Read between the lines.

  8. elcapitan1019 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Riley and Arison’s response is a FAR CRY from Dan Gilbert’s tasteless, classless public rant at a player who was exercising his right as a free man in the United States.

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