UPDATED 10/25 at 2:45 p.m. ET: After being aired out for claiming that there's an asterisk by the Lakers' new championship, Pat Riley was forced to clarify his comments.
Pat Riley, on how his words Friday have been wildly twisted out of context: “The asterisk is next to the Heat’s name, not the Lakers. Their title is legitimate. Our loss has an asterisk (next) to it. The Lakers were the better team. Period.”
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 25, 2020
"The asterisk is next to the Heat’s name, not the Lakers," Riley said on Sunday per the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds. "Their title is legitimate. Our loss has an asterisk (next) to it. The Lakers were the better team. Period."
See the original story below.
Pat Riley is getting some heat (pun intended) after he said that he feels like the Lakers' 2020 NBA Championship has an asterisk next to it because some key players on the Heat's roster weren't at 100 percent during the Finals.
"They beat us fair and squarely,” Riley said to Fox Sports this week. “They were the best team. But there’s always going to be that asterisk, that caveat. If we had Bam and Goran—Goran was our leading scorer in the playoffs—at 100 percent, it could have gone to a seventh game. But I’m not going to look back on it, I’m just going to look at all the positive things.”
Riley continued by saying that he wishes he could've seen a Finals where all of the players Heat were healthy, but that he still gives the Lakers credit where it's due.
"Yes, I would like to see what it would be like with everybody whole,” he explained. “But we’ll get that shot again. I’m just so proud of what our guys did… The Lakers were great; they were a great team and they have the greatest player in the game today in LeBron [James] and Anthony Davis.”
Understandably, Riley's comments weren't quite taken with a grain of salt. While it's true that both Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic weren't 100 percent healthy during the Finals, both did play in the Heat's Game 6 blowout loss. Plus, this NBA season was unlike any other in league history, and was perhaps the most challenging season of all. For Pat Riley to suggest that the Lakers' championship deserves an asterisk because the Heat's health is a bit of a reach.
And the response on social media reflected that. Check out his full interview above, and see what the people had to say about it below.
There are plenty of champions that benefitted from injuries. Honestly, most of them do. Pat Riley’s teams have
But durability matters. The question isn’t “who has the best team on paper/peak.” The question is, who can survive the playoff gauntlet? The Lakers did. The Heat didn’t
— Samuel H. Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) October 25, 2020
still bitter about lebron leaving LMAO pic.twitter.com/4yUKklMa8B
— LECHAMPION RING 4 (@LeGoatJames___) October 25, 2020
I guess the 88 Lakers have an asterisk caveat because Isaiah was hurt
— Toaster463 (@toaster463) October 24, 2020
The Lakers were blowing out the heat by 30pts both games that Dragic and Adebayo played together and first one when they were both healthy before getting hurt
— Andrew (@AndrewG13) October 24, 2020
Not sure why coaches make comments like this. There's variables every year that change the dynamics. Draymond suspension. Kawhi's lucky ass bounce. That's basketball.
Imagine a healthy Lebron last year... should we asterisk last year's entire playoffs? Lol
— checks_mix (@checks_mix10) October 24, 2020
The Lakers were without their starting PG and best perimeter defender in Avery Bradley
— LeBrAnthony Dames (@TheBrowToLA) October 24, 2020
Pat Riley is drunk. Just tip your hat to the Lakers and keep it moving. pic.twitter.com/mccTKLqsqw
— Laker Central 🎙🎧🎥📝 (@LakerCentral365) October 25, 2020
ain’t no way pat riley said the lakers championship has an asterisk bc of the bam and dragic injuries 😂😂😂 when they got both back in game 6 they were trailing by 28 at half and lost by 13 in garbage time
— Liberation (@SmokingJayz) October 25, 2020
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