Pat Riley Is Making Sure The Miami Heat Never Come Up Klutch

Pat Riley prior to the start of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Pat Riley prior to the start of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

From the moment the clock struck triple zeros on the Miami Heat season, all of their seasonal achievements were reduced to a ball of offseason speculation. Label it a combination of Kyle Lowry‘s direct and blunt statements and what Pat Riley had to say at his year-end press conference.

The Heat had a great season, but when a team is in win-now mode there is no success if championship rings are not involved. Anything else constitutes falling short of the overall goal.

In turn, comes the annual Tyler Herro for Bradley Beal trade rumors, the ridiculous thoughts of Joel Embiid and the calls for Donovan Mitchell, even though the Utah Jazz are likely more inclined to move Rudy Gobert.

The guesswork has been so heavy that it has even trickled over to stars like Zach LaVine. That is until the basketball world notices that the chances of Miami acquiring the unrestricted free agent are as slim as Isiah Thomas wearing a Michael Jordan jersey.

The Miami Heat are open to it all this offseason, based on the architect’s words, but could Pat Riley’s grudge make part of the league forever unattainable?

light. Must Read. Pat Riley Doesn’t Do Hidden Agendas, Even On Kyle Lowry

In a normal world, imagining Riley kicking the tires on LaVine should never elicit such a vitriol-filled comparison. But this is not a normal world.

This is an NBA where players, executives, and owners do not take kindly to even the thought of possibly being slighted.

When it comes to Riley, everyone knows the player that tugged at his feelings and the almost seven-year-old quote that ensued. You know—the one about “smiling faces and hidden agendas” that came after the team was scrubbed of any remnants of the Klutch Sports Group.

Nothing was ever officially said, however, the manner in which LeBron James left Miami placed an unspoken ban on dealings between Rich Paul’s agency and the Heat organization.

Just follow the timeline.

James leaves in the summer of 2014. A month later, Norris Cole signs with Klutch Sports and is discarded in a trade six months after.

If you comb through the seven seasons that followed and the agency is devoid of any players donning a Heat uniform. And not because there were no opportunities.

During the 2020 draft, a Klutch player, Tyrese Maxey, dropped into Miami’s lap—only for Precious Achiuwa to be the pick. The talent differential was evident before either played an NBA game.

And that was even to the fans who tried hard to overstate Achiuwa’s potential presence. The biggest thing Maxey had going against him was his Klutch affiliation.

The same thought process should be applied when whittling through rumored trade and free agency targets for the Heat—à la LaVine.

Next. Miami Heat: One Key Improvement For Max Strus Next Season. dark

Klutch Sports has a roster of stars and role players, for which Riley is stubborn enough to shun them all in his quest for success. No one knows if it will work, but who better than The Godfather to try.