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Pat Riley releases statement on LeBron James' opt-out

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Pat Riley says he wasn't surprised by LeBron James opting out.
Pat Riley says he wasn't surprised by LeBron James opting out. (USATSI)

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

Miami Heat president Pat Riley released a statement on Tuesday, following the news that LeBron James would become a free agent:

"I was informed this morning of his intentions. We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise. 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 HEAT to one of the most unprecedented runs in the history of the NBA. We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together. 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."

First, why does the team insist on spelling it "HEAT" in all official releases? That's just irritating. Second, this makes sense. Opting out always seemed like the most logical route for James to take, even if he fully intends to stay with Miami, and it's smart for Riley to reassure the fans that this is nothing to panic about.

Carry on.

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