Pat Riley enjoyed the afterglow of the Miami Heat season. He thanked everyone from scouts to coaches Friday for that storybook run into the NBA Finals. He said any talk of his retiring is now gone. Dead. Off the table.
"This is a dream for me, this late," he said of that Heat run.
There's just one question now: Who's traded to improve this team?
"If there's a next thing that can take us to another level, I'm open to it," Pat Riley said.
Surprised? Grow up. Which of course is the central question for the Heat this offseason. Do you trust this roster enough that it can grow into a sustainable contender?
"Do you just run it back without doing anything, if you got the cooperation (from the team's free agents to re-sign)?" Riley asked. "I think about that. We were in the Finals. Are we a Finalist?
"Can we get through the Eastern Conference next year with what's happening in Philadelphia? Or what's going to happen in Milwaukee or Brooklyn or Boston? We already know Boston's got their team together and three first-round picks.
"Toronto? There's a lot of very good teams. That's was the question I kick around in my mind ... are we good enough? Or do we need to get around to the next thing earlier."
That's his theme for this offseason: The Next Thing. It used to be "The Main Thing" back when LeBron James and Chris Bosh arrived in 2010. The Main Thing was winning. The Next Thing is ... well, Riley framed it as the next date was the coming draft.
Let's not kid ourselves, though. This is Pat Riley. He's not just looking at the No. 20 pick in the draft. If there's a next, big swing to be made, he'll take it. He's not going to sun himself on coming two games short of a title.