Well, Pat Riley knew it was coming.
In a radio appearance with Dan Le Batard over the weekend, the Heat president said some interesting things regarding LeBron James, who is currently under contract with the Lakers, which is, well, problematic.
The Association took notice of Riley’s comments and slapped him with a hefty tampering fine on Wedenesday to teach him a lesson.
James is under contract with the Lakers through the next two years, which means any kind move to the Heat will mean a (really unlikely) trade, which means the NBA doesn’t like the business being conducted over the airwaves.
The ever-self-aware Riley knew the fine was coming, though: At the end of the interview he said he expected the fine to come down.
“This will just get me fined for tampering,” Riley said.
Here’s what Riley said that made him a little lighter in the wallet:
What did Pat Riley say about LeBron?
In a June 4 radio interview on the “Dan Le Batard Show,” the Heat president said he would “leave the key under the doormat” should LeBron James want to return to Miami for the twilight of his career.
Riley’s full comments on the situation:
I would leave the key under the doormat, if he would call me and let me know that he’s coming. I would do that, but I doubt very much that key — that key is rusted now. LeBron, look, he’s one of the greatest of all time. And for four years down here — if we want to go back and remember what those four years were like — it was four years in the Finals, four years of excitement, two world championships. The LeBron, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Udonis (Haslem), it was the best time for the Heat. So 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 question that earned the response was actually in regards to former Heat legend Dwyane Wade and not LeBron James, meaning Riley could have easily avoided being fined a juicy $25,000.
Maybe he can get Le Batard to pay for the fine.