Considering what was supposedly said when LeBron James left Miami to return to Cleveland in 2014, he certainly isn’t waiting for a good luck text from Heat president Pat Riley as he prepares to play in his seventh consecutive NBA Finals.
Riley was given the opportunity to wish James well on Saturday, and his message was lukewarm at best.
Caught on camera by TMZ.com when Riley was in Malibu, Calif., on Saturday, Riley was asked if he was rooting for James against the Golden State Warriors. The series opens Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
Golden State owner Peter Guber, who walked Riley to his sports car, told Riley, “Don’t answer that question.”
James delivered two NBA championships in his four seasons in Miami. With the Cavs seeking to defend their title, this will be James’ eighth Finals appearance in his 14-year career.
Riley did answer, but with a twist, as the Hall of Famer made reference to the Los Angeles Lakers teams he coached.
“The Lakers with Magic Johnson went to the Finals during ‘Showtime’ nine times in 12 years,” Riley told TMZ.com.
Pressed on if he was rooting for James, Riley said, “I’d like to see a great Finals. I’m about a great Finals and I think it’s going to be one of the best ever. But I love LeBron, we all do, he was part of our team for four years.”
Riley finished with, “You think this is a big scoop?,” ignoring a question about Chris Bosh’s future as he closed his car door.