In Pat Riley's first interview since LeBron James announced that he decided to leave the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Riley acknowledged that he was surprised by his superstar's decision.
"I went into it with the notion he was coming back, so I was selling that to players," Riley told reporters Wednesday. "I let him know that. He never said, 'Don't do that.' "
Even though Riley was disappointed, he said that he thinks that the Heat will remain a powerhouse even without James, a four-time MVP.
"No doubt we lost a great player," Riley said. "I don't get hurt. ... The hurt didn't last long. We picked up the phone and went to work. Sometimes, things happen that you don't like, but you have to move on. I feel really good about where we are right now at this moment. I feel we are up to the challenge and will be as competitive as anyone in the Eastern Conference."
James signed a two-year contract worth $42 million with the Cavs. He has the option to enter free agency again after next season.