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Dwyane Wade: Pat Riley not going anywhere, and I'm not replacing him with Heat if he does

By Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

Dwyane Wade said Wednesday that he envisions Pat Riley continuing on with the work he has done as Miami Heat president no matter the result of these NBA playoffs, and that even if the job became vacant, it is not one he would pursue.

Asked if championship success could bring the Riley era to a close after a quarter century of stewardship of the Heat, Wade said on 790-The Ticket that he sees the 75-year-old icon as game for more.

"I don't think so," Wade said of Riley moving on after a potential fourth championship under his Heat watch this postseason. "I think we're going to have to roll him out.

"Look, I've heard him say a lot of things over my time. He said he wanted to build a team to get back to the championship. I see Riley just being there. That doesn't mean someone else won't eventually come in."

Wade said the Heat is so closely identified with the Riley way that there is no clear successor.

"Like, who's next?" Wade said. "Who's going to be the next person to be president of the team? They got to get to that point where they start molding somebody. Because I don't think they're going to bring anybody in from the outside. So it has to be somebody inside.

"So who's next? I don't know if they're molded someone yet or not."

Wade retired from the Heat at the end of 2018-19, but has remained in contact with several of the players in the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. He sees Riley maintaining at least that level of contact, if not more, even if there comes a point of downsizing his role.

"I think he's going to still be around," Wade said. "His office is going to still be his office. And even if he's not in that position, he's still going to come into practice every day. This is his life. This is what he loves. This is him. I don't see him going anywhere."

 

Wade then was quick to remove his name from any succession plan.

"I live in California, man," he said. "I'm out here right now."

Wade has been credited with being the influence that helped deliver fellow Marquette alum and former Chicago Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler to the Heat during the 2019 offseason in free agency. But he said he has no designs on being a personnel guru.

"Listen," he said, "I've sent Pat over the years a lot of people that like, 'Ooh, I think this guy is going to be good.' Let me just say that I'm glad that Jimmy worked out. Because a lot of them didn't work out. You just never heard of 'em."

As for the business of basketball, Wade said that exceeds his basketball scope.

"When it comes to being president, you've got to learn that business," he said. "I can text Riley and say, 'Hey, I like this player. You should look at him.'

"This goes way bigger than that. You've got to know so much about the business. As players, we don't know about all that. I don't want that life right now."

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