Pat Riley: ‘Miami Has All the Elements of a Championship Team’

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Miami Heat president Pat Riley smiles during an end of season NBA basketball news conference, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Al Diaz) MAGS OUT

Miami Heat team president Pat Riley is looking to inspire his team just a few weeks before they start to get ready for the 2015-16 season by saying that the Heat have all the elements of a team that could win an NBA title.

Riley spoke those words on Dan LeBatard’s radio program, with the Miami Herald noting them in an online column on Wednesday. Riley also spoke about the drama involving the re-signing of Dwyane Wade, being with the franchise for 20 years and how he motivates himself after a career filled with success.

Regarding the outlook for the upcoming year, Riley said:

“I think this team has all of the elements of a championship team. Whether or not you can ever win a championship will depend on a number of factors. I can list them and you can list them. It’s going to come down to this, health… performance and this guy and that guy. It’s going to come down to can you make shots?”

Riley acknowledged that he had a certain amount of bias in that belief, saying:

“You know what I’m going to say. I was a coach, and I had five guys off the street, I would say we could win a championship. That’s either my naivety or competitive will.”

The situation with Wade was contentious once the offseason began, but the two groups worked out a one-year deal that satisfied both sides, with Riley saying:

“Deep down in my gut, Dwyane is a lifer here…It got a lot more personal in a good way because the owner got involved in it because that’s how much we care about Dwyane.”

Riley also spoke warmly of his relationship with Micky Arison, and was again very positive about the team’s chances, saying:

“I feel blessed to be in one city with great people I’ve been with for a long time, a great owner in Micky, his wife Madeleine. We’ve become more than just boss and employee. We’ve become very good friends.

“I’m excited about this season. I really am that we’re headed in a direction where we have a lot of firsts behind us and we’re going to start a new one.”

The comments were Riley’s first in over two months, but reinforced the idea that he remains focused on getting Miami back among the NBA’s elite. That push is no doubt also attempting to send a message to 2016 free agent Kevin Durant, the top prize in next season’s offseason grab bag.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.