Pat Riley Rumors
He also knew that he needed to circle back and connect with James again. The Cavaliers’ charter flight would be leaving soon for Atlanta, and he wanted one more face-to-face meeting. This time, he told James of the trades they were completing — and asked for his blessing to offer Wade the chance to return to Miami. Wade’s role would be minimized in Cleveland, and Altman wanted to afford him the respect of letting him return to his old team. Altman had called Heat GM Andy Elisburg with the Wade idea. He ran it past president Pat Riley. Sure, they told him. We’ll bring him home. Let us know.
Something special was happening. Riley was standing next to Abdul-Jabbar. On the surface, Riley was calm. But his mind raced a mile a minute. “I was thinking to myself, ‘We’re about to see something very unique here,’ ” the three-time Coach of the Year said. “Then the first words came out of his mouth, and he went on. Then he went in a different pitch. It was mesmerizing to me.”
First, let’s make this clear: Heat center Hassan Whiteside wasn’t complaining about the significant reduction in his playing time this season. But when asked how he’s dealing with it, Whiteside also made this very clear: It’s frustrating. And he hopes that it changes at some point during his Heat tenure, with more minutes alongside Bam Adebayo one potential solution that appeals to him. “It’s tough; I mean it’s tough,” he said last week when asked how he has dealt with his average minutes per game dropping from 32.6 last year to 25.7 this season. But Whiteside also said that front office decisions created this situation. “That’s what the GM wanted,” he said. “Pat Riley drafted a center [Bam Adebayo]. Kelly Olynyk, they gave him a big contract. That’s what they wanted – they wanted more people in the frontcourt. That’s what the Heat wanted.”
Manny Navarro: Spo: “I went up to Pat’s office right before practice, maybe 45 minutes just for a quick update and he said there’s a possibility that something might happen with Luke and something might happen with Dwyane. I was about to walk out the door and stopped and said what? Dwyane who?”
“This is definitely a playoff team,” Wade said. “This is a team that a lot of teams around the NBA respect because of the way that they play the game.” Heat President Pat Riley said that in the beginning of this reunion, Wade will likely come off the bench. “Don’t matter,” Wade said. “I can’t wait to embrace whatever role I have.”
Pat Riley on how the Wade deal came together with Cleveland: “This was a relatively short notice situation. There were at least a couple weeks into discussions about a lot of things. … When you do calling and talking and working, sometimes at the end of the process, when other teams are trying to trade for the same players you might be interested in, someone like Dwyane’s name might come up. It’s something that happens all the time when you’re active in the market.”
Pat Riley on getting closure on Wade after the contract talks two years ago: “I think you’re correct on that. For all of you who know me, warriors don’t live in the past. Life is now. And the future is waiting. Based on what happened with Dwyane and us the last couple of years, there’s no bitterness and no regrets. We’ve always talked about that. Micky [Arison] is very pro Dwyane. Coach [Erik Spoelstra] is very pro Dwyane. I am. It was a sad day when Dwyane left and it’s a beautiful day that he’s back.”