Pat Riley, the president of the Miami Heat, expressed his regret at losing Dwyane Wade to the Chicago Bulls at a press conference on Saturday.
“What happened with Dwyane floored me,” Riley said. “I’m going to miss the fact of what I might have had planned for him and his future and how I saw the end and my thought process in how I could see his end here with the Heat… It’s my responsibility to sort of make that happen. I didn’t make it happen. Dwyane left, and the buck stops here.”
The 2011 NBA Executive of the Year has admitted that he should’ve been more involved in contract negotiations due to the financial differences that were apparent. The Chicago Bulls offered $47 million which the Heat ultimately decided not to match at their last meeting.
“I have great regret I didn’t put myself in the middle of it and immerse myself in the middle of it and get in a canoe and paddle to the Mediterranean if I had to, be in New York when he arrived on the 6th July and greet him at the airport,” Riley said. “I wasn’t there in the middle of the negotiation, and that’s my job. It’s not going to be the same without him. We will forge ahead.”
There was a clear admiration for the guard in Pat Riley’s words, as he acknowledged how Wade was the face of the Miami franchise and that he should’ve done everything in his power to keep him in South Beach.
However now D Wade has gone home to Chicago, questions are being asked of Riley’s treatment of stars, past and present. Players such as LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal have also seen their relationships with Riley break down and many are starting to spot a trend in the wake of Wade’s departure, a player who’d spent his entire career in Miami up until 2016.