June 25, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley (left) and Heat owner Micky Arison (right) celebrate the 2012 NBA championship during a rally at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Riley Pushed For Tax Break On Big 3

The Miami Heat are taking the brut of the luxury-tax implications formed under the new collective bargaining agreement, and team president Pat Riley made it known in a report by the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he thinks the NBA should protect some of the team’s larger contracts, namely those of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this,” Riley said on his Friday conference call, “but I was always a proponent of any of the teams that had signed players to contracts that were under the old CBA should have had some consideration with the new CBA as to how the tax was going to be charged to them over the years, until their contracts ran out, that there should have been some consideration for that.”

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison is taking a $33 million risk that his team will win a third-straight title. That’s how much he will pay in luxury-tax penalties this season.

The Heat declined to use its amnesty option (as of now), deciding to instead keep Mike Miller and even Joel Anthony in order to retain all the parts of a championship team.

But that doesn’t mean Pat Riley isn’t trying to get some tax relief for Arison. According to the report, Riley pushed the NBA to consider different tax penalties on contracts signed before the new CBA was adopted in 2011, such as the hefty near-max deals of the big three.

Riley said that he believes his veteran team remains hungry for another championship. For Arison’s sake, that hunger equals a $33 million meal ticket.

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