Heat’s Pat Riley fined $ 25,000 for comments on LeBron James

FILE – Miami Heat team president Pat Riley is interviewed by Stuart Scott as head coach Erik Spoelstra, LeBron James # 6 and team owner Micky Arison in Game 5 of the NBA Finals 2012 on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images / AFP

NBA fined Miami Heat president Pat Riley $ 25,000 for breaking league anti-tampering rule with comment he made about Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James .

The league announced the fine on Wednesday.

Riley’s comment came on June 4 when a staff member of media personality Dan Le Batard asked her to welcome Dwyane Wade, now part-owner of Utah Jazz, to the organization at one point. Riley mistakenly thought the issue was about James, who spent seasons with the Heat (2010-14).

“I would leave the key under the doormat if he called me and let me know he was coming,” Riley said of James in remarks taped to be shown on a streaming show The Batard. “I would do that, but I very much doubt this key… This key is rusty now.”

“LeBron, listen, he’s one of the greatest of all time, and for four years here, if we’re going to go back and remember what those four years were like, it was four years in the final, four years of excitement, two world championships. … It was the best time for the Heat. So I wish him all the best, and if he ever wants to come back, I’ll put a shiny new key under the doormat.

Riley then admitted that his statement would likely result in a fine.

James, now 36, signed a two-year, $ 85.66 million contract extension in December, which keeps him in Los Angeles until the 2022-2023 season. The Heat won back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013 with James, 17-time All-Star and four-time league MVP, on the roster.

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