The next morning, the Heat representatives arrived early to prepare. Riley, Elisburg, coach Erik Spoelstra, Alonzo Mourning, owner Micky Arison and his son, Nick, then a vice president, showed up 45 minutes before James. Riley paced the hallway with nervous energy. The velvet bag with the rings came out again. During the presentation, Mourning shed tears talking about the organization’s support when he needed a kidney transplant and the joy of later winning a title.
But two pieces anchored the pitch: the explanation of playing in Florida, where there’s no state income tax (and what that would save in salary and endorsement income), and the plan to unite James, Wade and Bosh.