The executive didn’t bash James a la Skip Bayless. In fact, Riley’s remarks were quite flattering ― that James would be welcomed back to the team if he wanted to return. The Heat won the 2012 and 2013 NBA titles with James, now a Los Angeles Laker.
“I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know he’s coming,” Riley said on “The Dan Le Batard Show” last week. “I would do that, but I doubt very much that key … That key is rusted now.”
“LeBron, look, he’s one of the greatest of all time, and for four years down here, if we want to go back and just remember what those four years were like, it was four years in the Finals, four years of excitement ... two world championships. ... It was the best time for the Heat. So I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, then I’ll put a new shiny key under that mat.”
“This will just get me fined for tampering,” Riley predicted.
Sure, enough, the league announced Wednesday it had ordered Riley to fork over $25,000 for essentially recruiting his former star.
Maybe it was worth it.
Check out Riley’s remarks about James at 15:38: