Miami Heat president Pat Riley couldn’t wrangle a commitment out of LeBron James during their Wednesday sitdown in Sin City. For now, the prevailing theory is that James has all but booked his return flight to Cleveland. And for what it’s worth, there’s a published report claiming that LeBron wasn’t at all amused (or motivated) by Riley’s impassioned presser following the Heat’s NBA Finals humiliation. Per Bleacher Report:
Miami’s approach with James has been respectful to the point of reverential, while stopping short of coddling. James had appeared to respond well to the team’s culture, embracing more leadership responsibility with each passing year. Most importantly, he improved as a player, especially in terms of his efficiency.
But he also showed some signs of discomfort and even discontent this season. He wasn’t able to hide his frustration with Micky Arison’s decision to use the amnesty clause on his friend Mike Miller. Nor with Wade’s frequent absences, made worse by Miller not being around to offset them. Nor with some of Erik Spoelstra’s strategic decisions, especially during the NBA Finals.
Nor, according to multiple sources, did he receive Riley’s “get a grip” end-of-season press conference (the one that challenged the Heat stars not to run from a challenge) especially well.