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Could a large, local television deal be in the works for the Heat to help keep the Big 3 together after 2014?
On Friday, Pat Riley suggested a deal such the Los Angeles Dodgers' mega $7 billion deal with Time Warner Cable might be what it takes to keep LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami. With the playoffs a few days away, Riley held a news conference for the first time since July and offered his opinion on everything from the Netflix series House of Cards to the Boston bombing to LeBron James' place in history and, of course, the future of the current team.
James' contract — he can opt out after next season — has been a hot topic around the NBA this season. Riley said keeping a competitive team around James is "doable" but added "I'm going to leave that up to Micky."
In other words, Heat owner Micky Arison might have to dip deep into his pockets to make it happen. Arison coughed up millions this season in luxury tax but will be hit even harder by the new collective bargaining agreement in 2014 and 2015.
“We’ve already had internal conversations about it—Nick [Arison], Andy [Elisburg] and myself and Micky—so that will all be tackled after the season," Riley said. "We’ll start talking about that, but it is doable."
The Heat can keep its future cap manageable financially but Riley its going to take "some strategic planning not only from that standpoint but just personnel wise over the next couple of years to deal with it.
"But, yes, when you have an opportunity to build a team like this, and as I’ve said in the past—if you take a look at the four or five teams that endured over eight or nine or 10 years, they did it with the same players and so it would be a shame if you couldn’t do that because this team, I would love to see them all end their careers together here at the same time, hang their numbers, all the players become godfathers of each others children and have one big happy barbecue in the backyard somewhere.
"I’d love to see that, but I don’t know if that’s reality in today’s game."
Some other interesting tidbits from Riley's 48-minute news conference:
On Chris Andersen...
"If I got another text from [Spoelstra] about getting Chris Andersen, I was going to put my hands around his neck."
Spoelsta is notorious for telling reporters "we have enough" as if the soundbite were on loop when asked about adding players.
On telling Danny Ainge to "STFU"...
"At 211 degrees water is just hot. At 212 water boils... and then it turns to steam and it can move a locomotive."
On watching LeBron in the playoffs...
""This is going to be better than watching House of Cards for 15-straight hours one weekend."
On Dwyane Wade post-Shaq...
"I really believed he was the best player in the world."
On fouling LeBron ...
"I think if you hit him harder and harder and harder, you're making a huge mistake."
On downplaying LeBron's season ...
"I think he's had a pretty good year. Let's see where he takes it."
Riley said no question that Spoelstra was the coach of the year...
"Erik has done an extraordinary job of creating continuity with this team, where they r ready for what's in front of them...don't penalize him because he has a good team."
On the Heat's White Hot marketing campaign combined with the team's elite level of play...
Riley said that the Heat is playing so well, that he feels like he's watching basketball in the Mormon Tabernacle and that he feels like he should "throw holy water on it."