President Pat Riley does not plan to end his Hall of Fame career anytime soon. During Monday's annual end-of season press conference, he made this clear.
“I am 77 years old, and right now I can do more pullups than you right now.” Riley made the challenge to a reporter for a pushup contest. “If your goal is to get to the mat, then let's go …”
This proud and determined attitude has been a hallmark in Riley's nearly three decades of service with the Heat. This was also the hallmark of the latest Heat team, which came only a few seconds from another Finals appearance before falling to the defending champions.In Game 7 of Eastern Conference finals last Wednesday.
Riley stated that he felt an obligation to complete the build. “And so, if we're already three years into this build, then I don't feel the need to spend three more years building this team. We're at that point of internal improvement. We had a great, tremendous, great player.That is what we know.
“We have a lot experienced veterans so we put together an Eastern Conference finals team and it was bitter, that was a bitter loss. I haven't felt the dragon leaving my body since that loss. I was shocked, frustrated, angry and all that for the past week. But now, I am beginning to get over all that.
Riley, who was named coach of the Heat in 2006, and helped to build the roster that won back to back titles in 2012 and 2013, acknowledged there are still many moments when he can sit with his staff and is invigorated to try to get back at the top of the game.
Riley stated, “There are nights I'm so excited watching this game and its evolution and the players.” It's so much different from what it was 20 years ago or 30 years ago, or 40 years ago when we coached in L.A. It's a new game and a different time. We have to keep one step ahead of our posse in order to remain one step away from — street. We'll continue to do that.
Riley said that while he strives to improve his team's performance, he prefers the core of those who finished with the Eastern Conference's number one record during the regular season.
Riley stated that Riley had an “absolutely great year.” It was a great story, Riley said. The season was remarkable. We overcame a lot and got to the Eastern Conference finals.
“I thought that they did an outstanding job. I am sorry that it ended in that manner.”
Riley answered questions about whether the Heat could add another difference-maker to the Heat's Jimmy Butler. However, Riley acknowledged that the Heat will continue to examine the options, but knew how many factors went into creating a championship caliber roster.
Riley stated that if there is one available, Riley would be happy to take it. You can always use more but it must be a good fit. However, not at the expense of doing something that might be prohibitive. So we will continue to look, we will investigate, it's part our business, and whatever the outcome of that season brings, then you might think we need another this or that, depending on how the league plays, and how certain teams are matching up with them. That's the equation. We'll talk about it.”
Riley seems to enjoy the fact that the Heat's core of Butler and veteran guard are both there.Veteran While their team is more experienced, they also have a great mix of young players such as , To even out your roster.
Riley said, “I like our team.” “I like the core so let's look at where we can take it internally, and see what we can do if anything comes up. If this is a viable option. However, I am not concerned about their age. Because there are more people in this league who are at the top, so it's hard to rely on them. That's why I recommend you get your other guys.
Riley touched on many other topics while he was with the media.
* After Herro said last week that he would like to start next season, Riley said he had no issue with the sentiment, but that Herro would have to “earn” the job in training camp.
Riley stated, “As far a starter goes, come to training camp. And win it.” “Come to training camp, and win it. Sometimes it's so easy. Other times it's difficult. Erik Spoelstra (Heat coach) discussed over the past two to three years that it was better for us to come into training camp, balancing our energy and having someone that can control the ball. We'll find out in October if he is interested in being a starter. This is something you can earn. He has all the qualities that are required to be such a person.
Riley acknowledged that Herro's defense had improved over the previous season, but added that “he just needs more leverage.”
Riley said, “I don't even believe that he's really here yet, as a fully-time player,” “And that is about a player with an average of 20 and an average of 37, 38 percent for three. He can score in groups, at the rim, on floaters, on pull-ups and on threes. He is 22 years old. The next step, which I believe we are seeing in the league, is to become a 2-way player. You have to work on certain aspects of your game.
* Riley also made it clear that he wants to see Lowry, 36, come into training camp in better shape next season.
“Kyle had an extremely difficult year due to many reasons. They are personal and not necessary to be discussed. However, he had a difficult year due to the move, some injuries and missed time. There were also personal issues. I believe that the only way to get the best from a player is to be in great shape. You don't have to be.
It's something that you will find as you age, you have a point where your returns are less than when you were younger. He was not in the same condition he is now, but it's something he will have to address. He can get in better condition. I believe he can. I also think the loss and the reminders about it might make him reconsider his decision. But I believe he will be better next year. * When asked about the emotional verbal back and forth between Butler and Spoelstra during a March 23rd home loss to theRiley said that Butler's intensity reminds him of himself.
RIley stated, “I think there's a tremendous respect on our team towards each other, but we got some real dogs in that locker room, as Bam calls them,” They get into a lot of squabbling when things don’t go their way. It can't happen often, but it did happen publicly. It's happened before to me… It's not something I would do. It didn't appeal to me. It was not liked by them. Spo didn't like it. It was not liked by anybody.
“But, you should take a look at the current championship series. I believe these teams are desperate to win that the sparks have just started to fly. But there will be a winner. It won't necessarily be the one that shouts the loudest or fights the hardest. It's going be the best.