Miami Heat president Pat Riley admitted Saturday that he regrets letting Dwyane Wade leave the franchise during free agency.
During a press conference to discuss the state of his team at this point in the postseason, Riley opened up about his feeling that he didn’t do enough to convince Wade to stay in Miami, where he had spent his entire career.
Riley admitted that he was surprised that Wade signed with the Chicago Bulls.
“What happened with Dwyane floored me,” Riley said. “I’m going to miss the fact of what I might have had planned for him and his future and how I saw the end and my thought process in how I could see his end here with the Heat... It’s my responsibility to sort of make that happen. I didn’t make it happen. Dwyane left, and the buck stops here.”
Riley said that he should have pulled out all the stops to re-sign the player that has been the face of the franchise, but said the Heat will move on.
“I have great regret I didn’t put myself in the middle of it and immerse myself in the middle of it and get in a canoe and paddle to the Mediterranean if I had to, be in New York when he arrived on [July 6] and greet him at the airport,” Riley said. “I wasn’t there in the middle of the negotiation, and that’s my job. It's not going to be the same without him. We will forge ahead.”