Pat Riley did not use his 15 exit interviews with Miami Heat players to talk individually about the future of the team.
Instead, he addressed them – and anyone else who was listening – en masse on Thursday.
“You’ve got to stay together, if you’ve got the guts,” Riley said. “You don’t find the first door and run out of it if you have an opportunity. This is four years now into this era, this team. Four finals – it’s only been done three other times before – and two championships. From day one to the end, it was like a Broadway show. It sort of ran out of steam. And we need to retool. We don’t need to rebuild. We need to retool.
“And that’s what we’re going to do.”
Riley spoke for nearly an hour, and was passionate on his message, which ranged from everything to James Ingram songs to high-end scotch to the direction that the Heat will have this summer.
Riley opened his remarks by saying that he was angry about what he calls a lack of perspective about the Heat, who have been to the NBA Finals in each of the last four seasons and won two of the last three championships.
Most of his words were about LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who can all become free agents this summer.
Riley said he saw the team’s mental fatigue this year, but he doesn’t accept it.
He pointed out that winning makes everything easy, and create a bond among players. But then Riley added, “What really cements a forever bond is going through what we went through this year and staying the course.”
Updated June 19, 2014