Miami Heat: Would Pat Riley ever try to get LeBron back to South Beach?

LeBron James and Pat Riley Miami Heat(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
LeBron James and Pat Riley Miami Heat(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

There are rumblings that LeBron James may seek a trade if the Lakers “whiff” in free agency. Would Pat Riley ever look to bring him back to the Miami Heat?

As the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors are underway, every other team is gearing up for next season. While the Los Angeles Lakers are among those teams prepping for next season, could they eventually be doing so without LeBron James in tow? According to Bill Plaschke, they might, but could this open the door for a potential Miami Heat return?

Per Plaschke, if the Lakers don’t succeed during the free agency period and by whatever standards they may be, LeBron could look to leave the Lakers. Here are a few of the transcribed quotes from NBC Sports as told by Plaschke as he appeared on “The Sedano Show” of ESPN LA:

"I’m hearing that, if they whiff on free agency, and if they whiff on a trade – which I don’t know how likely that is, but if that happens, they’ve got big trouble with LeBron. Why would LeBron – I mean, the LeBron era could be over before it starts here"

Here is another:

"I heard this for the first time yesterday. Somebody very connected said “You know what, if they whiff, LeBron’s going to say either, ‘I’m out of here’ or ‘Get me out of here,’ or the Lakers better just might as well just get him out of here."

If these rumors and quotes are indeed true, it would mean ultimate doom and more ridicule for Los Angeles Lakers. More importantly though, what could they mean for the Miami Heat? Would a possible reunion be fully in play?

From the perspective of the Miami Heat, I am sure they would welcome James back to South Beach if he made it known that he wanted to return. Pat Riley would move the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon if he had to in order to bring the megastar back to a place that he called home for four years while winning two titles along the way.

From the perspective of the Miami Heat and Pat Riley, Riley was quoted in Ian Thomsen’s book The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown between LeBron, Kobe, Doc and Dirk that Saved the NBA in saying that he believed LeBron made the “right decision” when he chose to return to Cleveland in 2014. LeBron, who was also approached by Thomsen as a condition of Riley choosing to speak with him for the book, would also acknowledge that there was a chance that they could repair their relationship as well.

According to reports and to Thomsen himself, before Riley would speak to him about the Lebron-Miami Heat Era, he required the author to approach James and let him know that Riley would not be dishing dirt on him. It is reported that LeBron responded with “a nervous chuckle” while saying he was listening. Thomsen reportedly said that “Pat is going to talk to me” for the book and that “he would only talk to me if I told you myself and he wanted you to know he’s not looking to give you any crap”, to which  LeBron responded with “Pat’s great, Pat’s great.”

Thomsen would also go on to say that Pat Riley and LeBron hadn’t spoken at that point since James had left the Miami Heat, which is ultimately a good sign. Not only was it a good sign as to the relationship between two of the most important and influential people in the entire history of the NBA, but especially a good sign in relation to the topics such as the one at hand.

If LeBron James were ever truly made available by the Lakers or expressed his desire to leave LA, the Miami Heat would surely be interested. LeBron is familiar with Miami, familiar with the front office, familiar with the head coach, and obviously comfortable with the celebrity lifestyle as indicative by his time in Miami and his move to LA.

Pat Riley believed the Big 3 could’ve made ‘finals eight times’. dark. Next

With the full-out comedy-drama that has been the Los Angeles Lakers over the past few months, these reports come as no surprise. Even at 34 years old, LeBron James is still one of the best and if not the very best player in the NBA, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down that much. If Miami has a chance to grab him again, they should and will surely look to do so and here is to hoping it all happens exactly as such.