This is it. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for.
Every decision that has culminated in the current Miami Heat roster was made by a Pat Riley who already had his current strategy in mind. He has no excuses.
It took a lot of patience for Heat fans to get to this point. We sat idly by as the best player in team history utterly wasted three years of his prime. We suffered through a 15-win season. We watched the rest of the conference improve around us.
We did it all because Pat asked us to trust in him. He convinced us it was all a means to an end. He had grander visions in mind – visions of rebuilding in the summer of 2010.
We didn’t always agree with the decisions he was making. There were several that infuriated us along the way.
When James Jones was signed in July 2008, the partial guarantee was dubbed as one which ensures that Miami could still have maximum spending capability. After a starting role in the 2009 NBA playoffs, he was banished to the bench for all but 503 minutes of mop-up duty in 2010.
Daequan Cook’s fall from grace had already removed much of the luster from the 3-point championship he won at last year’s All-Star Game when Riley made a decision in October to pick up Cook’s option for the coming season. Pat had already been informed by the league of a projected 2010 salary cap as low as $50.4 million, yet he was willing to invest more than $2.1 million in a player with an uneven track record who, at best, would never be more than a quality backup to one of the best players in the game today.
Despite our hesitations, we believed in him. Because he had the resume to suggest he knew better. And isn’t it always easier just to assume that the people with the power have access to information we don’t?
Along the way, we overlooked some miraculous draft blunders. We overlooked several high-profile failed recruitment attempts, rationalizing that the team simply didn’t have the money to make an adequate pitch.
Now we do.
When Pat developed his vision, he couldn’t possibly have envisioned such a vast wealth of free agent talent. It had simply never happened before. Without question, the NBA’s free agent class of 2010 is the most talented in league history. Read more…