The man who inspired Gordon Gekko looked back on the summer of 2010 by reflecting on the preparation that it took before hand. “Dwyane [Wade] had accepted his extension [in 2006], and it was a three-plus-one,” Former Heat Coach and current General Manager Pat Riley told ESPN. “And it was Dwyane and LeBron James and Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire and a bunch of other guys that signed their extensions and they’re all three years with one option. And I [asked then-manager Andy Elisburg], ‘Well, who are the other guys?’ And he gave me the list. And I said, ‘Well, we’re going to be players in 2010.’”
Riley, who rose to fame as the coach of the Showtime Lakers after an unremarkable run as an NBA player, reminisced about how the team had cleared the books in order to make a strong push at the stacked free agency class. “Everything we did from 2006 to 2010 was to be able to sit down at the table with LeBron and Chris and Amar’e and Boozer and Mike Miller,” Riley recalled. “We were fortunate that they came, but we also planned for it.”
With the Miami Heat potentially poised to have over $70 million tied up in just seven players for the 2014-2015 (James, Wade, Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Chris “Birdman” Anderson, and Justin Hamilton), it’s going to be a tight squeeze to build the required twelve-man roster. And that’s Riley’s greatest challenge — now that he’s assembled the Heatles and watched them win, can he keep the band together?