Pat Riley Says Championship Buys the Miami Heat ‘Our Freedom’

by June 22, 2012

Pat Riley, the great architect of the Miami Heat, put the 2012 NBA championship in perspective. Riley says the hard-fought ring allows the players he brought together to be freed from the enormous pressure they’ve carried over the last two seasons, and they can now finally enjoy their journey. From the Miami Herald: “The champion architect smells like winning again as he emerges from the partying private suite, his white Armani shirt soaked in 2003 Dom Perignon and the scent of expensive cigars. ‘This buys us our freedom,’ Pat Riley says with a smile. ‘The things that locked them up? They evaporated tonight. Now we grow. Now we evolve. Now comes the fun. This finally allows these players to be free.’ […] One word to describe the last two years, Pat? ‘Harrowing,’ he says. ‘Every single night, I took the losses personally. These guys took less money to come here because of promises we made them. I don’t think I could have looked them in the eye if we didn’t win the championship. The idea of that actually made me sick.'”