Pat Riley, unsurprisingly, has been fined for his borderline invitation for LeBron James to return to South Beach.
The NBA on Wednesday announced the Heat president received a $25,000 fine for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule as a result of his recent comments about James.
Riley, during a radio interview, expressed his support for the Lakers star to return to the Heat — where he played from 2010-14, and won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013, alongside Jazz co-owner Dwyane Wade and Hall of Famer Chris Bosh.
“I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know that he’s coming,” Riley said while on “The Dan Le Batard Show” on Friday.Pat Riley watches a Heat game from the sidelines.Getty Images
“I would do that. But I doubt very much that key’s … that key is rusted now.
“I wish him nothing but the best and if he ever wanted to come back, I’ll put a new shiny key under that mat.”
The 76-year-old Riley later added that his words “will just get me fined for tampering” by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. He proved to be correct.
James left Miami in 2014 to return to his hometown of Cleveland, the team that selected him with the first-overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.LeBron James plays with the Lakers in the 2021 playoffs.Getty Images
After delivering the Cavs with their first-ever championship in 2016, James signed with the Lakers. In December, James signed a two-year extension worth $85 million, keeping him in Los Angeles through the 2022-23 season.