Warmth president Pat Riley backtracks after asterisk remark

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No, Pat Riley didn’t imply the phrase “asterisk” in the best way most individuals assumed he did.

The Miami Warmth president — simply days after saying there “will at all times be that asterisk” related to their NBA Finals sequence towards the Los Angeles Lakers this season contained in the bubble at Walt Disney World — backtracked on Sunday.

‘The Lakers have been the higher workforce’

The asterisk, Riley stated, belongs to them.

“The asterisk is subsequent to the Warmth’s identify, not the Lakers,” Riley stated, by way of the Related Press’ Tim Reynolds. “Their title is authentic. Our loss has the asterisk [next] to it.

“The Lakers have been the higher workforce. Interval.”

The Lakers beat the Warmth within the Finals 4-2 — behind a blowout win in Recreation 6 — to safe their seventeenth championship earlier this month. LeBron James and the Lakers, who have been dominant all season each earlier than and after the COVID-19 hiatus, undoubtedly earned their title.

But with the coronavirus pandemic altering the season and forcing groups right into a bubble in Florida, many mechanically caught an “asterisk” on the season just because it regarded totally different. 

That, although, isn’t what Riley was speaking about. 

The Warmth misplaced stars Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic to damage within the first sport of the sequence. Although Adebayo returned in Recreation 4 and Dragic in Recreation 6, the workforce was by no means the identical with out them. 

Had his workforce been at full energy, Riley stated, issues may have been totally different.

“They beat us truthful and squarely,” Riley stated Friday. “However there will likely be at all times be that asterisk. If we had Bam and Goran one hundred pc — Goran was our main scorer [entering the Finals] — it may need gone to a seventh sport.”

Miami Warmth president Pat Riley earlier than Recreation 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals. (AP/Mark J. Terrill)

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