MIAMI - Here's a surprise; Pat Riley is not a happy man right now.
The Heat President addressed the media on Thursday for the first time since the team's disheartening loss to the Spurs in the NBA Finals and didn't hold back.
"Want to trend something? I'm pissed!" Riley said to open the press conference at the American Airlines Arena.
In a wide-ranging discussion on various issues that Miami faces as they head into the offseason, Riley wanted to reassure the fans and players that all is not lost despite a disappointing end to the season.
"Everyone needs to get a grip, including the players," Riley said.
With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh holding the option to opt-out of their current deals to become free agents, Riley knows the franchise faces a crossroads, but doesn't believe the team needs to rebuild, saying it needs to "retool, not rebuild." and that it would be his "worst nightmare" if the Big 3 all opted-out and left.
While keeping Wade and Bosh are up there on the priority list, holding onto LeBron is Riley and the team's number one target.
"The four years of him (LeBron), we hope to turn to 8 or 9," said Riley. "I love LeBron."
During his postseason press conference on Wednesday, James made it clear that he hasn't made a decision on what his future plans will be. While most believe the 4-time NBA Most Valuable Player will resign with the Heat for at least one more season, the chances of LeBron remaining in Miami has a lot to do with what Riley does with the roster.
Riley touched on a meeting he had with James following the Spurs loss and said he wasn't as dark as he was after the Heat's 2011 NBA Finals loss to Dallas.
On Dwyane Wade's future with the team, Riley believes the 10-year veteran needs to adjust and rethink his role in the NBA after giving up so much of himself physically during his career.
At the age of 69, Riley's days as a fierce competitor off the court may be winding down, but says he's not done yet and neither is his team.
"I didn't come down here 19 years ago for a quick trip to get a suntan," said Riley. "And neither did the players."
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