Pat Riley speaks about why he believes Heat can improve this season
It doesn’t sound like Heat president Pat Riley plans on retiring any time soon.
In a clip released from an interview with ESPN’s Dan Le Batard, Riley referenced a Dwyane Wade moment from Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals against the Mavericks when Wade turned to Riley and said, “I ain’t going out like this,” with the Heat facing a 3-0 hole.
“Maybe that’s why I’m not going to retire,” Riley said in the ESPN interview. “I ain’t going out this way, until we win another title.”
Riley turns 74 on March 20. He’s in his 24th season with the Heat, and served as Miami’s head coach from the 1995-96 season through 2002-03 before stepping back into the role in 2005-06, when he guided the organization to its first NBA title, and coached through 2007-08.
Riley has been the Heat’s president since he joined the Heat in 1995.
With Riley still determined to win another title, his comments make it sound like retirement is still years away. The Heat is currently not considered a title contender, with a 26-30 record this season.
The Heat will be over the cap this summer but is poised to have more than $40 million in space in the summer of 2020.
In Riley’s interview with ESPN, he also spoke about LeBron James’ departure from Miami in the summer of 2014.
“When LeBron made that call, I saw a dynasty fly out the window,” Riley said. “I didn’t blame him. But I knew that was a 10-year team. It was just a sad day for me and for our franchise because I wanted that dynasty. I wanted this city and this team to go 10 years and maybe be in the Finals eight times. I don’t know how many championships we would have won. But I don’t have any rancor toward him at all.”
The full interview with Riley will be aired Sunday on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. as the first episode of “The Art of Conversation with Dan Le Batard.”