Pat Riley Reportedly Expected to Monitor Heat 'From a Distance' in NBA Restart

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2020

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 22: President of the Miami Heat Pat Riley talks to the crowd on February 22, 2020 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Miami Heat president Pat Riley reportedly will not be among the team's 35-person traveling party should the 2019-20 NBA season resume amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday that Riley, 75, is expected to "monitor the team from a distance" because of his age if the organization travels to a neutral site such as the Disney World complex in Orlando to continue the campaign, which was halted March 11.

The Heat are only expected to include one executive in the group, and it's possible general manager Andy Elisburg will be held back as the team works on offseason planning, which could leave former NBA forward Shane Battier, the team's VP of basketball development and analytics, to fill the spot, per Winderman.

Riley took a leave of absence while serving as the team's head coach in 2007 to deal with health issues.

Miami owned the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 41-24 when play was halted March 11 after the 2011 NBA Executive of the Year had expressed confidence in its outlook.

"We're planning on making the playoffs and making some noise," Riley told reporters March 9.

ESPN's Baxter Holmes reported the health of older coaches and staffers was among the chief concerns as the league sought a plan to resume the season.

"I don't want to put them in harm's way," a general manager told Holmes.

Teams have started to reopen their facilities for individual workouts, but the NBA hasn't announced formal plans for a restart. National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said the players "really want to play" but are seeking more information soon.

"It's time. It's time," Roberts told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "It's been two and a half months of, 'What if?' My players need some level of certainty. I think everybody does."

An NBA Board of Governors meeting Friday could shed further light on the path forward.