Did Pat Riley Take a Shot at LeBron James With ‘Hidden Agendas’ Comment?

by April 21, 2015

Miami Heat team president Pat Riley met with reporters Monday, and as usual, Riles had plenty to say during his exit interview.

Riley appeared to take a shot at former Heat superstar LeBron James, alluding to some kind of “hidden” agenda.

James famously pressured Miami into selecting guard Shabazz Napier in last summer’s draft before bouncing back to Cleveland.

Think Riley is still salty?

Per the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel:

“No more smiling faces with hidden agendas, so we’ll be going in clean,” Riley said. […] Asked to clarify if that comment was about James, Riley said, “that could be anyone across the board,” before adding, “I’ve already got about half a dozen emails from people I don’t even know recommending [a player], and somewhere in that email or text is always a smiley.”


In those seven words, Riley delivered the message everyone in his franchise has spent nearly a year avoiding. He didn’t question LeBron’s exit. He accused him of being dishonest and duplicitous in it. […] In those seven words, Riley simultaneously became the team leader who showed why the Heat will rise again, and the spurned president who suggested he’ll never quite get over what happened. As maybe he shouldn’t.


The idea behind those seven words is LeBron intentionally sabotaged the Heat’s offseason to neutralize a potential rival to Cleveland. Maybe that’s the case, too. Heat fans believe Riley and so believe it. […] There’s another way to view this, though: LeBron heard out the Heat. He gave them the respect of listening to their full spiel. He didn’t cover himself in glory during the exit, but no Heat fan would have had an issue with anything if he stayed.