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Pat Riley Demanded Udonis Haslem To Sever Friendship With LeBron James

Udonis Haslem and LeBron James. Photo courtesy of Heat Nation

Pat Riley didn’t want Udonis Haslem or any of the Miami Heat players to continue contacting LeBron James after the latter left the team. The departure of the then 29-year-old caused a rift between him and Riley.

Pat Riley Warned Udonis Haslem

The Heatles era with James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh was quite a titan in the NBA back then. However, it all had to end sooner or later.

After earning back-to-back rings with Miami, the forward left for the Cleveland Cavaliers again. This didn’t sit well with the Heat’s president, who made that clear.

Haslem and Norris Cole spoke about their tense situation shortly after James left on the OGs Show. Apparently, the heavy atmosphere stayed with the team for a season after the departure.

“It was tight in the building for a season. [Haslem talks as Riley] ‘Get y’all s–t together, the King ain’t here no more.'”

Udonis Haslem

Meanwhile, Cole chimes in by discussing Riley’s threats of possibly rebuilding the team. The president wouldn’t spare anyone as no one was excluded from his sights.

“Everybody can go, everybody expendable at this point, excluding nobody.”

Norris Cole

However, the three-time NBA champion disagreed with Riley as he wouldn’t end a friendship with his ex-teammate who helped him get two rings. Moreover, he wouldn’t end it because of Riley’s petty squabbles.

“He ain’t want us to be friends with ‘Bron, none of that s–t. We won two championships with the man, you want me to hate the motherf–ker? I can’t hate him, I can’t do that.”

Udonis Haslem

Riley Wanted To Egg James On

Mar 4, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour (13) reach for a loose ball during the third quarter at the Target Center. The Heat defeated the Timberwolves 97-81. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A user posts an old press conference that showed Riley talking about the team post-James. During this time, the forward was still with the Heat, but it was all-but confirmed that he was moving to another team.

While he doesn’t say any names, it’s clear who he was trying to convince to stay. Instead of asking him to stay, Riley tried reverse psychology to keep James on the team. It didn’t work, of course.

“This stuff is hard, and you gotta stay together if you’ve got the guts. And you don’t find the first door and run out of it if you have an opportunity. I didn’t come down here 19 years ago for a quick trip to Sout Beach and get a sun tan.”

Pat Riley

This brings up an interesting idea of Miami’s big three staying together. Would they have dominated and won against the Golden State Warriors and its dynasty? Was Cleveland a better fit for James?

What would have happened if James stayed in Miami?