Miami Heat team president Pat Riley recently sat down to talk with ESPN’s Dan LeBatard for an in-depth interview.
While the full interview is set to air this Sunday, fans got a taste of what topics Riley and LeBatard discussed on Monday night.
In the sneak peek video, Riley candidly discussed what emotions and thoughts went through his mind when he discovered that LeBron James was not going to re-sign with the Heat and was instead going to head back to Cleveland to join the Cavaliers in 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 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.
“I don’t have any rancor towards him at all. It’s instantaneous insanity. You’re angry and you’re hurt and you get the call you don’t want to hear. That happens to you a lot in life.”
It seems Riley has been able to come to terms with James leaving while still understanding what a missed opportunity it was.
Since James left Miami, the Heat have struggled to find an identity and rather than battling for championships, they’ve found themselves battling for playoff berths.
For James, he’s won just one championship since leaving South Florida. Now, as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, it looks as though this season will be the first since 2009-10 that James-led team won’t advance to the NBA Finals.