Q: LeBron James just said he could have an immediate impact on the Heat or the Warriors. Do you think there’s any way Pat Riley would consider bringing LeBron back? Is it worth mortgaging the future for a short-term opportunity? –Bob, David.
A: First, that’s not the context of what LeBron James was talking about when asked by associate Maverick Carter on “The Shop” which of the four conference finalists he’d like to play for. So it’s not like he picked the Heat from the 30 NBA teams, but from the shortlist of Heat, Celtics, Warriors and Mavericks. And even then, he brought the Heat and the Warriors together. LeBron, in fact, initially tried to dodge the question, before saying that his preference is still the Lakers. Then, after saying if there was “one” team he thought he could make a difference for, out of the four remaining in the playoffs at the time of the taping, he listed the Heat and the Warriors. Of course, when an abridged version of the clip appeared, it appeared with a different context. While LeBron returned to the Cavaliers, that was with the goal of delivering a title to his home region. From there, it has been nothing more than a vision of the future. So, if anything, the next step would be the proposed ownership stake in a possible Las Vegas expansion team or playing with his son, if that’s possible. So there’s no reason to posit a Pat Riley-LeBron James reunion, because there has been no indication that that’s a possibility.
Q: Is there an upset among the Heat bosses that Tyler Herro went public and wants to start next season? Looks like Pat Riley was upset about having to bring that up. In the past, that’s gotten players out of Miami, like Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow. – Rodney.
A: First, that had nothing to do with the elimination of Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow. Granted, Hassan perhaps talked too often about stats and Winslow too much about being the lead. But both, in the end, were fired due to general lack of productivity and salary-cap issues. Beyond that, he wants the players to be motivated, as long as it’s also towards the team’s success. If Tyler Herro thinks the Heat will be a better team with him as the starter, then that should be a goal. All Pat Riley said was go ahead and try that. The clue, with the roster as currently constructed, is there.
Q: So far, the NBA Finals have shown that the current team in Miami is as good as the one in the NBA. Upset? Yes. It has been said, in a game, someone has to lose, but Miami was just as good as Boston. – Rich.
A: I’m not sure that will necessarily reduce the pain from two weeks ago though. What this season has shown is that there is no superteam in the NBA right now, and that the Heat are as close to competing as any team. Now the question is whether the growth of other contenders will outpace the Heat. That’s why the satisfaction rating at 601 Biscayne should also remain somewhat subdued.