Pat Riley says he watched a “dynasty fly out the window” when LeBron James bounced from South Beach in 2014.
Riley, however, holds no ill will towards James for his free agency decision to leave Miami.
The 73-year-old vows to remain at the helm as Heat team president until they win another NBA championship.
Per The Sun-Sentinel:
“When LeBron made that call, I saw a dynasty fly out the window,” Riley said in the clip posted Tuesday by ESPN.
“I didn’t blame him. But I knew that was a 10-year team. It was just a sad day for me and for our franchise because I wanted that dynasty. I wanted this city and this team to go 10 years and maybe be in the Finals eight times.
“I don’t know how many championships we would have won. But I don’t have any rancor toward him at all.”
Interviewed by ESPN personality Dan Le Batard, Riley, in a clip of the interview posted Tuesday by the network, referenced Dwyane Wade leading the Heat back from the brink of disaster against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, when Wade turned to Riley, then the team’s coach, and said, “I ain’t going out that way.”
With ESPN panning across those words outside the Heat locker room, Riley, who turns 74 on March 20, said, “Maybe that’s why I’m not going to retire. I ain’t going out this way, until we win another title.”
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