You want to talk about being stuck in between a rock and a hard place, welcome to Pat Riley’s world. He was in the spotlight right before the NBA trade deadline because he needed to do something or make like he was to appease his young superstar Dwyane Wade. Speculation around Miami is 50-50 that Wade will stay after the season with the Heat or bolt to another team that can give him the max deal. Wade can make the most money by staying with the Heat, but the feeling is unless they can land one of the top dogs in free agency this summer he will leave. So that puts a bunch of pressure on Riley. He has to make Wade happy because if Wade bolts this would be a bigger disaster then when Alonzo Mourning got hurt after signing for over $100 million years ago. This would be bigger.
Wade is a top 5 player in the NBA right now playing on a team with decent players, but are nowhere near title contenders. More like on the playoff bubble, while Lebron, Carmelo and others are on championship contenders. Wade has already tasted a championship ring and wants to be near that again. He isn’t right now with this squad. Now they do have a young up and coming guy in Michael Beasley, but that’s not enough. Riley tried hard to get Amar’e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer before they deadline, but failed to get either. So now Riley has to prove to Wade in the off-season that Wade, Beasley and whomever they can land are championship contenders otherwise the sun might have set on Wade’s tenure in Miami. That would be a disaster for Riley.
Pat Riley joined Joe Rose on WQAM in Miami and talked about the trade deadline, the off-season with Dwayne Wade, and his other young superstar in the making Michael Beasley.
Asked if he ever felt it was close to landing Amar’e or Boozer:
“First of all trying to set the record straight on the real talk that goes out there that I mentioned is that there are a lot of names that get thrown out at the trade deadline. We really went after who we thought was the best talent on the board at the trading deadline. Even in the last couple weeks we have thought about it, I really don’t want to bring up his name, but I think it was pretty obvious who we were approaching. Not only from the standpoint of who we were going to acquire, but I do believe that player wanted to be here. If there were other players names that we involved throughout the process, they get thrown out there with the age today of the internet. Names get out there even before they are even discussed. People are always putting together the hypothetical, but anyhow we were very active Joe. We wanted to improve this team and at the trading deadline there is one difference between the trading deadline and free agency, it’s that the team at the deadlines is the one that gets to say no to you if they don’t like the deal. In free agency it’s you and the player, there are no assets you need to give up for that. We tried very hard to fast track this thing, but we cleared the space we needed to clear for cap position for a max player and that wasn’t our objective, so I didn’t have to give away assets to clear up cap space. We made sure we took care of that a year ago; we were trying to make a real basketball trade if we could have. We just didn’t get it done and we will just go on in the draft and go on to accomplish that.”
Asked if he has kept Dwyane Wade up with all things they think to be doing like a front office guy:
“Because he is electronically connected with all his T-Mobile stuff, every now and then he sends me a new gadget and gives me a pin number so he can directly call me. Yes I think that the landscape of the NBA has changed. I coached Earvin (Johnson) and Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and was around Jerry West and I knew what his relationship was like with his great players. I am sure at that time I knew for a fact that Jerry would talk with Magic and Kareem and find out about these guys and what they will need and what is this player like. I think it goes on in all sports. We have a very ultra competitive superstar, I mean ultra competitive. A fierce competitor and he wants to win. He is no different than myself, no different than Mickey (Arison), and this is what the franchise has been built on. Those kinds of players. So we want to add the kinds of players that are going to compliment Dwyane, Udonis, Beasley and Mario Chalmers and the picks that we make in the first round this year and hope that he is not just going to be pleased with him, but he is going to say I got more guys to go to battle with. He gets consulted, maybe not on a daily basis but on certain guys because I know he knows them.”