The asterisk deserves an asterisk.
Because Pat Riley deserves better.
Because to lose candor, spontaneity, passion is to lose the essence of conversations and interviews with the Miami Heat president.
So after addressing any and all questions during Friday's postseason state-of-the-franchise media session during a Zoom videoconference, Riley moved on to what might come next, with the NBA seemingly putting aside the notion of an offseason.
What he awoke to over the weekend were headlines such as:
"Pat Riley on Lakers' NBA Finals win over Heat: 'There will be always be that asterisk' " — Yahoo Sports.
"Pat Riley: Lakers' Title Win Will Always Have Asterisk Due to Heat's Injuries" — Bleacher Report.
" 'Lakers' championship will have an asterisk': Pat Riley takes dig at LeBron James and Co. after historic Bubble title" — The Score.
The thing is, Riley said nothing of the sort, in no way, shape or form denigrating what LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Frank Vogel, Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers accomplished in defeating his team in six games in the NBA Finals.
Yes, he did say "asterisk." The search engines took over from there. Context be damned.