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Riley takes exception to way some have ripped Heat
It seems to be fueling both of them.
Speaking at length with reporters for the first time since the Heat acquired James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade this summer, Riley revealed he thought some critics of Miami’s roster moves should “get a life.” He is also certain it’ll be a motivating point for his team throughout the season.
“I know one thing,” Riley said. “We will show up and we will play games. And our team will be ready. And I think that’s the way we can answer all the critics.”
Riley specifically cited Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith and former NBA star turned analyst Charles Barkley as examples of people who took what the Heat president thought were unwarranted shots at the way the Heat went about business this summer. He also mentioned Magic coach Stan Van Gundy _ Riley’s former protege in Miami _ as well.
Riley responded to that Friday, saying Smith made, “an absolutely stupid remark. He never made any kind of comment like that when he signed Rashard Lewis and he brought him down from Seattle with an $128 million contract.”
Barkley went a step farther, saying James “is never going to be the guy” in Miami because he’ll have to share the spotlight with Wade and Bosh. James responded a month later on Twitter, saying “Don’t think for one (minute) that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!”
“I take a little bit of umbrage to some of the things that came from people in our game that all of a sudden have become the moral conscience or moral authority on the decisions that every team or some individual might make concerning his life or his career,” Riley said.
Riley reiterated that he does not plan to hover over Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Yes, Spoelstra and Riley will continue talking and strategizing, but even with the talent he assembled this summer, Riley doesn’t envision becoming a teacher again on the practice floor.
For his part, Wade isn’t surprised by that.
“I think he’s going to sit back and watch,” Wade said. “I think he has the coaches he believes in. I think he has the team he believes can do it. I think he’s going to sit back and watch it unfold.”
There are more pressing matters for the Heat to deal with before the Sept. 28 start of training camp, namely figuring out how all the new pieces like James, Bosh, Mike Miller, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Juwan Howard all fit into place.
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