Miami Heat: Why Pat Riley Should Tell LeBron James to Shut Up

Shawn MullerContributor IIFebruary 17, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 12:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat waits for a free throw against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 12, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LeBron James would be wise to steer clear of Miami Heat president Pat Riley after commenting that he wouldn't rule out a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers  after making his third appearance as the enemy in the city he shunned just two summers ago.

After a Heat practice at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday, James said of returning, "I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again."

He added, "I had a lot of fun times here.  You can't predict the future.  Hopefully you continue to stay healthy.  I'm here as a Miami player and I'm happy where I am now but I don't rule that out in any sense.  If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."

Come again?

The only fans that LeBron James needs to worry about right now are the Miami fans.  

And the only front office he needs to worry about pleasing is that of the Heat.

Even if James was just trying to extend an olive branch to the scorned Cleveland faithful, and meant absolutely nothing by his comments, he should not have said what he said.

His focus should be directly related to winning an NBA championship with the Miami Heat. 

That is it.

If I am Pat Riley, I am asking myself if bending over backwards to land James was worth it. 

He has been nothing but a distraction since he first stepped foot on the American Airlines Arena floor as a member of the Heat organization, when he proclaimed that he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would win multiple championships.

If James was in the final year of his contract with Miami and said what he said, fine. 

I wouldn't see anything wrong with him playing to the Cleveland fans about the possibility of his return. 

But James isn't in the final year of his contract and he hasn't won a couple of championships as promised.

So until he makes good on either one of those obligations to Pat Riley, his Heat teammates, and the Miami fans, pondering a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers should be the last thing on LeBron James' mind.


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