Blog Entry

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 2:54 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Some of the biggest issues with the Miami Heat this past season included arrogance. The lack of self-awareness. The ego. The taunting, the preening, the crowing. The Heat threw itself a celebration party before the players even had a practice together, and they started talking about seven championships and basically acted like they'd obliterate the league.

That's why this Pat Riley quote today from his exit interview wrapping the season should come as absolutely no surprise.

"The greatest thing in the history of South Florida sports was those guys coming together," Riley said. "With the exception of the [undefeated 1972] Dolphins. Maybe."

"Those guys" obviously being LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. (Not Erick Dampier, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire, if you were wondering.)

Clearly, Riley might have exaggerated a bit here. He might have overstated the importance of those three players, just a tad. Possibly, there's a hint of hyperbole here. Especially when he corrects himself momentarily by saying the exception is the '72 Dolphins, then uncorrects himself by adding, "maybe."

Maybe? Maybe the greatest team in professional sports history was a bigger deal than three players deciding to play together? I don't know Pat, do you think the moon landing was a bigger deal than Justin Bieber's debut album? Maybe the fall of the Berlin Wall was a little greater than the return of the McRib. I'm not sure though.

What about your 2006 NBA title, Pat? Did you forget about that one? Or the other Super Bowl the Dolphins won? Or maybe the two World Series trophies the Marlins won? Or even the five national championships the Miami Hurricanes won in college football. (Though maybe those weren't so great. We all saw The U.)

And note this as well: Riley didn't say, "Them winning will be the greatest thing in South Florida sports history." He simply said just them playing together is. That statement sums everything up about the Heat better than anything. Celebrating something before the work is done. Lifting up a free agency period as a championship.

I get that people tend to speak in hyperbole ("Transformers 2 was the greatest movie ever!") but you'd expect someone as deft and smooth as Riley to keep himself in check. The arrogance that leaks from the Heat is repulsive. They just can't shut up.

I agree with Riley too -- they're going to have their time. That roster is too talented not to win. In the end, the signing may indeed be the best thing ever. Maybe they will win four, five, six, seven championships. But don't count your chickens, Pat. Let your game do the talking. For once.


Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:33 am

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

I think the Miami Heat signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh was great for the NBA.

It created excitement. It created pomp and circumstance. It certainly created money in the coffers of the Heat ownership and the NBA in general.

It also created a sense of hope, if not outright championship expectations for the fanbase of the Miami Heat,

Of course we know what it did not do. It did not create an actual championship season for the Miami Heat.

What the Dallas Mavericks did was more akin to what the 1972 Miami Dolphins did. An unexpected run to a championship in the manner in which they did. The Dolphins went 17-0. That had never happened. The Mavs dispatched the two-time champion Lakers in 4 (with 2 hardcore thumpings) and handled both a hot Oklahoma City Thunder team, and outplayed the favored Heat with gutsy play and teamwork.

What the Miami Heat did was more akin to what the 2007 New England Patriots did. Sign a great player, Randy Moss (or 2 in Miami's case) and look like the sure thing, only to be upset in the end.

What have the Patriots done since then?

0-2 in the playoffs.

What will the Miami Heat do?

How about...

ZERO Championships.

Sorry Heat fans. I'm not trying to be an A-Hole. I just can't see this team with LeBron James winning anything of significance. If the Heat were to trade James for a decent Small Forward and decent Center then it could happen. Wade is still a premiere Shooting Guard. Chalmers is fine at Point. Bosh can bulk up a bit and be a real good Power Forward. Miller and Haslem are quality backup, The Heat have a good team. James is just not the answer for what this team needs.

Not that I would want this to happen, but if the Heat traded James to Dallas for Caron Butler and Brendon Heywood, I would bet the Heat would be the team you want them to be.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:52 am

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

@cusefan56 You, Obviously are a disgruntled Ny'er like most people from up north. There are TONS of Dolphin fans all throughout Florida, amongst other states.....but, you are partially right about Miami, and that's only because "REAL" Floridians know :-) New York City is one of the WORST places to live in the USA, that's why in Miami they don't have much support because "REAL" Floridians moved out of there to get away from the New Yorkers who have moved away from their crappy town and are like cock roaches infesting our once Great city. IF New York City is so damn great why don't ALL of them move back and do the rest of the ENTIRE country a favor !!!!! Leave our states and go back and gripe at each other so we don't have to listen to your constant whinning, complaining about how you did it up in NY city. Hell, I know for a fact most of the state of NY doesn't like people from the city either. Now of course you'll try to argue the facts....but, I made the valid points and have better things to do then go back and forth with an imbisile. :-)

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:03 am

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

So have you ever heard a car salesman while handing over the keys for the car you just bought say this is an ok car but you should have seen last week's? Riley had just pulled off one of the greatest sales jobs in the NBA. Hyperbole was his selling point. Championships were his currency. The thing is - he believes he will win multiple championships with these three. They came within 2 wins on their first try!

No, the Berlin wall was much more important at the time than the McRib. Now, I like the McRib! But the piling on against Miami this year has been amazing. I get the impression you don't like these guys! They are earning hundreds of millions of dollars for the NBA by their attitudes. From the beginning it was clear that their intent was to turn the country against them. It has resulted in LeBron being the highest paid player in the Association and Wade and Bosh earning far more than previous. China thinks they walk on water. And China has hundreds of millions more consumers than the USA.

This is a huge con job and it is working to perfection. The NBA playoffs were the best television audience in its history. The merchandise sales have skyrocketed (yes, LeBron was the top selling jersey). This is GOOD for the league. And Pat Riley is laughing all the way to the bank.

Since: Mar 7, 2011
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:19 pm

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

The Heat certainly have 2 future 1st ballot hall of famers in their prime & an every year all star in his prime...They have Haslem who is all heart & is a solid role player...James Jones was their best 6th man all yr. but didn't get on the floor in playoffs..Why?..He only had a minor injury & said he can play....Lebron has pulled a Houdini act 2 yrs in a row when it counted most....It's almost like deep down he doesn't feel worthy...It's too simple to call the unstoppable 2 time MVP a choke artist...On paper the Heat should win the title every year...But on the floor, they have Lebron who needs a Leshrink...

Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: June 21, 2011 10:50 pm

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

Riley's just tooting his own horn. Remember that Riley has as much responsible for the Big 3 as those three guys themselves. He wants to let us all know how big of a success his plan has been and that he did not make any mistakes (with the Big 3 or Spoelstra, who is also one of his decisions).

Since: Sep 29, 2010
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:26 pm

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

Riley is a punk who sold out the Knicks to come to Miami, a fairweather uneducated unpassionate sports town. Even the football teams you talk of arent really that highly esteemed and followed, The dolphins had a playoff game blacked out not so long ago and the U is no longer what it was at the orange bowl. Miami is a crappy sports town.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2011 7:53 pm

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

Anything the Dolphins do in terms of championships will always be considered greater than what the Heat does because Miami is football-first, any other sport second.  Between the Fins and Miami U football, this city eats, lives, and breathes football.  The Dolphin and U fans are real fans who stick with the team through thick and thin.  The Heat fans are mostly frontrunners or LeBum bandwagoners who moved with him from Cleveland. And this is not to criticize any of the real Heat fans who have stuck with the team from the days of the bitter playoff battles with my Knicks through the down years, to the championship with Shaq, through some more down years, and even now with the current resurgence.  Those are the Heat fans I respect, not these "fake" ones who jumped ship b/c of LeQueen and were probably Cavs fans last year and if he were to leave tomorrow, they'd claim to be fans of that team.  But all of this arrogance all season by Prince James, Wade, Bosh, and now Riley, they have given everyone else yet ANOTHER reason to hate them.  These guys need to get it through their heads that the more they talk, the more they will be hated.  And as a Knicks fan, I have hated them since the playoff battles, but LeQueen and now Riley's comments put this hatred and my desire for them to lose at an even higher level than before.  I hope this new labor deal forces them to have to part ways with one of the Big Three, and that would probably be Bosh.

Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: June 21, 2011 7:32 pm

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

The point is that the Mavs did not go and collect three NBA stars to group together and proclaim themselves champions for the next seven years. Who did Dallas sign in the free agent market with their combined team salary of 85.8 million dollars with the stature of Bosh, Wade or James? Furthermore, did the Mavs throw a party at American Airlines arena proclaiming dominance over the rest of the NBA? Yes, Dallas was the better team, but the Heat placed themselves in the position of NBA villians. That lies at the feet of Pat Riley and his "Big" 3. So yes, the Heat did try to buy a championship.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 7:01 pm

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

So if any other team or player loses in the NBA Finals thats a failed season? If LeBron and the Heat failed what did the other 28 teams in the NBA besides the Heat do?
The point is the other 29 teams in the league did not hold a celebration BEFFORE winning the title.  They did not predict 6 titles, they did not even predict, for the most part, 1 title like Lebron and company did...nor are they calling "almost" winning a title as the "greatest thing" in an entire state's sports history.  That is the point -- and yes, for a team like the Heat, Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, that much talent, not winning the title is a "failed season"...still good, but ultimately a "failure" and not the greatest thing in the history of sports in Florida, California, Massachussets of Illinois.

Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: June 21, 2011 6:52 pm

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

I think it's interesting that you keep referring to the Heat trying to "buy" a championship, yet the Mavericks combined team salary of $85.8M while the Heat had a combined team salary of $65.3M.  Dallas won the championship and proved to be a better team, but don't try to cloud the picture by saying the Heat tried to buy a championship when Dallas had a higher team salary by $20M and they are typically in the Top 5 in salaries in the NBA.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or