Pat Riley thinks the Heat had a good chance to win more championships if LeBron James remained with the team.
James left the Cavaliers to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in July 2010. The trio made four finals appearances and won two titles together before James elected to return to Cleveland before the 2014-15 season.
Riley, the longtime Heat president, reflected on James leaving the team during a recent interview with ESPN.
“When LeBron made that call, I saw a dynasty fly out the window,” Riley said. “I didn’t blame him, but I knew that was a 10-year team. It was just a sad day for me and 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. But, I don’t have any rancor towards him, at all.”
— ESPN (@espn) February 19, 2019
James, a 15-time All-Star and four-time MVP, went on to make four more trips to the finals and won another championship with the Cavaliers in 2016. He became a free agent this summer and signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Lakers.
The Heat have made two playoff appearances in the four seasons since James departed. They entered play Tuesday in a virtual tie with the Pistons for eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.