Sounds like Pat Riley is kinda hating.
The Miami Heat’s Team President has won his share of championships while coaching the Los Angeles Lakers during the Showtime era. Riley is casting some doubt on the LeBron James & Anthony Davis anchored Lakers that secured the NBA’s first bubble chip. Speaking with Fox Sports, Riley said there will always be an asterisk next to the Laker’s 2020 championship, and it has nothing to do with COVID-19 impacting the season.
“They beat us fair and squarely. They were the best team. But there’s always going to be that asterisk, that caveat. If we had Bam and Goran—Goran was our leading scorer in the playoffs—at 100 percent, it could have gone to a seventh game. But I’m not going to look back on it. I’m just going to look at all the positive things.”
Riley is pointing to the fact that both his all-star center Bam Adebayo and veteran point guard Goran Dragic who were instrumental in the Heat’s cinderella bubble-run, both went down in game 1 with injuries. Adebayo would return, but he wasn’t fully the same, and Dragic gave it a herculean try attempting to play on a torn plantar fascia. Despite Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson’s best efforts, the Lakers would go on to win the series 4-2.
“Yes, I would like to see what it would be like with everybody whole,” he further explained. “But we’ll get that shot again. I’m just so proud of what our guys did… The Lakers were great; they were a great team, and they have the greatest player in the game today in LeBron [James] and Anthony Davis.”
Hmmm sounds like Riley is still a bit salty from Bron leaving South Beach. During the interview, Riley also touched on the Miami Heats offseason plans. Riley states the Heat plan to resign their current free agents and lure another big-name NBA superstar to Miami to give Jimmy Butler even more help.
You can watch the entire interview below.
Photo: Mike Ehrmann / Getty