The president of the Heat Pat Riley said goodbye to the 2019-2020 season before the members of the press, although for the first time he did so in October and by telematic means as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As usual, he reviewed what happened and the plans for the next campaign, after a great job, which exceeded all expectations.
Riley began by crediting his staff for assembling the Heat roster, and then to coach Erik Spoelstra for leading this team to the NBA Finals, adding that he had nothing to do with the bubble.
“For me Spo was the coach of the year and will be a member of the Hall of Fame one day,” said The Godfather. “I cannot thank you enough. It was a great year and a great season. I feel very good with this team, seeing what we have ahead. Contrary to what many people think, the closet is fuller than ever ”.
Riley acknowledged that the Heat system and Culture were beneficial in the bubble and how he saw the Finals.
“Culture is not for everyone. But we all entered there the same ”, he recalled. “You can’t look back, injuries are an excuse, we just didn’t have enough and the Lakers were great. They were a great team and they have the best player with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. ”
He also explained how the Miami team was made with the arrival of several young players and Jimmy Butler and that from there Spo, and his staff, created a great program. Then highlighting the great qualities of Butler.
“I love Jimmy Butler. I think he loves being here because we don’t bother him much, ”Riley said. “I have never seen such a good player, who can do so many things, be so selfless. It was Superman, those two games he had are two of the best games I’ve ever seen.
Riley will have this offseason to weigh with Spoelstra, general manager Andy Elisburg and all the assistants if this team is good enough to grow on its own or if it needs a boost.
“I’m going to kick that. If we are good enough or if we have to move on to the next thing first? ”He said. “Since we did the February exchange, we always had flexibility in mind. We will delve with Spo, Andy and others about how good we are right now. “
The president revealed that he will stay in the Heat until owner Micky Arison wants and what the team plans to do in the 2020 Draft, where the team will choose in 20th place, and in free agency.
“We will use the national team, but I cannot guarantee that we will keep the player,” he said. “My way of thinking has not changed. If there is something that takes us to the next level, I am open to it, but first it would be good to know what the salary cap numbers are. “
Although he pointed out that the priority is to take care of the current boys, especially Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo.
“We value Bam, but I don’t want to get into any kind of discussion right now about it, “he said. “I really didn’t know I would be an All-Star that fast. We just knew his character. “
He also had words of praise for rookie Tyler Herro.
“He will go to another level when he is older. He just turned 20 and had a great year, ”he said. “How he grew up, he grew up listening to the veterans, who in turn took him under their wing, because they saw something special in him.”