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The Miami Heat franchise finds itself in unfamiliar territory a season after playing in its fourth consecutive NBA Finals.
On Monday team president Pat Riley addressed the media and was asked about several topics.
One thing that stood out was a comment he made that may or may not be about former Heat star LeBron James and his departure from Miami.
When asked about the NBA Draft, Riley's answer raised more than a few eyebrows.
"No more smiling faces with hidden agendas, so we'll be going in clean," he said.
Could that be about James saying one thing to Riley about staying with the Heat and then eventually leaving to return to Cleveland?
Could it be about the Heat drafting Shabazz Napier, the player that LeBron made clear that he wanted Miami to select?
It could very well be the latter. Riley went on to say:
"That could be for any player across the board. I get agents, parents, players [suggesting who should be picked]. I already have half a dozen emails from people I don't know."
It's very open to interpretation as to what, or who, Riley may have been talking about.
When the 2014 NBA Finals ended there didn't seem to be any question that James would be returning to the Heat so they could continue dominating the Eastern Conference and continue trying to add banners to the American Airlines Arena rafters.
That perception quickly changed however as slowly but surely it became clear that James wanted to return home to Cleveland.
That's all fine and dandy as LeBron can do whatever he wants with his career (and clearly he has) but it seems as though he may have led Riley and his former Heat teammates on regarding him remaining with the Heat.
The reason why it's a question instead of a fact is that James never came out and explained how everything went down and Riley has continuously said how surprised he was by LeBron's decision to leave.
Is Riley finally taking a jab back at LeBron? That's for you to decide, but it certainly wouldn't be that shocking if he did.
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