Miami Heat president Pat Riley is open to fully rebuilding a bridge that once seemed to be burnt to a crisp.
Appearing this week on “The Dan Le Batard Show,” Riley was asked if he would be open to former Heat star LeBron James returning to the team. Riley said of James:
“I’d leave the key under the doormat if he would call and let me know he’s coming I would do that, but I doubt very much if that key … that key’s rusted now. I wish him nothing but the best. And if he ever wanted to come back, then I’ll put a new shiny key under that mat.”
The 76-year-old Riley also called James “one of the greatest of all-time.” He then said James’ four years in Miami were “the best time for the Heat.”
Riley’s stance here is pretty significant because he had a longstanding feud with James after the four-time MVP’s departure from the Heat in 2014. But Riley has been much more complimentary of James in recent years. After the Heat faced James’ Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals last season, James even had a compliment of his own for Riley.
As the end of his career draws closer, James seems pretty unlikely to leave the Lakers. If he does, it would probably be to return to only his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in order to retire. But getting back on good terms with Riley and the Heat is something that could benefit James long after his playing career is over.
H/T Heat Nation