On the day LeBron James attended a “Welcome Home, LeBron” rally in Akron, his first public event in Ohio since returning to the Cavaliers, the Heat showered fans with optimism, including the release of a Pat Riley video and the tweeting of an old photo showing Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem holding the Larry O’Brien trophy.
In the three-plus-minute video released on the team’s website and Twitter account, Riley said: “I will guarantee you this: You will see one of the most competitive, one of the most entertaining teams you’ve seen in a long time. I am as excited as I’ve ever been to let you know we are a contender. You cannot ever look at the Miami Heat and not think of us as being a contender. … We are not going to be satisfied with anything that doesn’t come close to winning a championship.”
Riley acknowledged James in the video, saying: “We had a player here who we will never forget, LeBron James. He for four years, along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, created an incredible frenzy … in Miami. …
“While we enjoyed those four years, we can also expect there might be another four or five more of those years in front of us also. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
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A team spokesperson said the Riley video was the first of several Heat videos that will be released this summer. But he said he did not know whether it was designed to coincide with James’ event at the University of Akron, which was being held as part of his annual Wheelers for Education family event.
The Heat said the deadline to renew season tickets came before James left in free agency, and the renewal rate was very high. Individual tickets are not on sale yet.
The regular-season schedule will be released at 6 p.m. Wednesday.