Pat Riley says Heat is ahead of their rebuild with team of ‘young stars’
Miami Heat president Pat Riley has been fortunate enough to be involved with lots of great NBA talent that has led to multiple NBA championships through his own coaching or front office moves.
He has been on the winning side of lineups that included legendary stars such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and more. What he has to show for it is six NBA championships throughout his career and a healthy amount of respect around the league.
The current Heat roster doesn’t boast any lineup as the above mentioned, but Riley is slowly chipping away at working his way back to the top, even if it means going an atypical route. South Beach’s best players are Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, but Riley believes that’s an important ingredient to what he’s cooking up to get the Heat back into contention.
Riley made an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio to give his take on what it takes to build up a winner:
“We have a team of young stars. We have some veteran players who are stars. Will the internal growth of the team transcend having to have a Big Three, and then that will take care of itself? And then out of that, I can assure you that players will rise up and become noted as stars or All-Stars or superstars. So we’re ahead of the process of having to rebuild by not having to draft young players. It just takes time with young players and that does mean you’re going to probably lose and you’re going to have to accept losing sometimes if you’re going to rebuild through the draft and I’ve never been a proponent of that. …
“This group of players that we have I think is one step ahead of having to rebuild that way because I think we can win. I think we proved that the second half of the year last year, but I think we’re one step away from where we are going to finish.”
No matter how wide open the Eastern Conference was last season, it took some gut-wrenching wins to qualify, and the Heat rallied to make the cut by going on an unbelievable 30-11 tear before losing players to injury and missing out altogether. The Heat finished with a 41-41 record, and although it was a huge confidence builder, they have to capitalize on how they competed last year if they don’t want to taste the disappointment of not qualifying for the postseason this year.
Riley believes the team is up for the task, now it’s just a matter of proving it and continuing to build on what they already have.