Pat Riley not closing doors on LeBron James
MANILA, Philippines — Miami Heat President Pat Riley said LeBron James’ decision to opt out of the remainder of his contract has been anticipated but added that he was still looking forward to sitting down with the four-time NBA MVP.
“I was informed this morning of his intentions,” Riley said in statement Wednesday. “We fully expected LeBron to opt out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise.”
James becoming a free agent was confirmed earlier Wednesday. Fellow Heat players Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, who also have the opportunity to opt out if they wish, have yet to announce their intentions on the matter. Riley goes on to reaffirm that choosing to explore new possibilities is well within players’ rights.
“As I said at the press conference last week, players have a right to free agency and when they have these opportunities, the right to explore their options. The last four seasons have been historic and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra have led the Miami Hat to one of the most unprecedented runs in the history of the NBA.”
In the wake of James’ decision, involved parties have continually pointed out that opting out does not necessarily mean James will definitely leave Miami Heat.
“We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together,” Riley continues. “At the moment, we are preparing for the opportunities in the Draft and Free Agency as we continue with our goal of winning NBA Championships.”
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