While much of the basketball world loses its collective mind over LeBron James opting out of his contract, Miami Heat president Pat Riley has a message: Chill.
That was the essential thrust of Riley’s statement Tuesday, after James’ agent indicated the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player would exercise his early termination rights. The move was entirely expected by anyone who has been paying attention, and Riley most certainly has.
Riley issued this statement amid the hoopla:
“I was informed this morning of (LeBron’s) 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.”