Max Strus recounts being ‘afraid’ of Pat Riley during his first 2 months with Miami Heat'
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Miami Heat swingman Max Strus revealed that he was “afraid” of Pat Riley the first few months he spent with the team.

“So my first month or two months there, I was afraid to say anything to the guy,” Strus said of Riley on an episode of the Five on the Floor podcast. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Pat Riley.’ I would just say hi and keep it moving.”

However, Strus learned quickly that even though Riley is an imposing figure, he’s a great person to be around.

“He’s just the nicest guy in the world, and he’s got stories for days,” Strus said. “He does a lot of that, ‘Make sure you’re in shape.’”

Strus revealed that Riley challenged him to come back in the best shape of his life for the 2021-22 season at his end-of-the-year meeting.

Strus appeared in 39 games last season for Miami. He averaged 6.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.

A pure shooter, Strus shot 45.5 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from 3-point range during the 2020-21 season.

The Heat and Riley certainly hope that Strus can carry over his impressive NBA Summer League performance to next season and make an impact in the rotation.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.