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Friday 5 p.m.: On day of LeBron rally in Akron, Riley and Heat go on PR campaign

On the day LeBron James attended a “Welcome Home, LeBron” rally in Akron, his first public event in Ohio since returning to the Cavaliers, the Heat showered fans with optimism, including the release of a Pat Riley video and the tweeting of a old photo showing Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem holding the Larry O’Brien trophy.

In a three minute, ten second video released on the Heat's Twitter account and web site, Riley said: “I’m really excited about the team we’ve put together. I am not going to make any guarantees. But I will guarantee you this: You will see one of the most competitive, one of most entertaining teams you’ve seen in a long time.

“I am as excited as I've ever been to let you know we are a contender. You cannot ever look at the Miami Heat and not think of us as being a contender. I’ve always been someone who believes in the big picture.... We have an owner who thinks big. We are not going to be satisfied with anything that doesn’t come close to winning a championship. That’s what we’re about.”

Riley acknowledged James in the video, saying: “We had a player here who we will never forget, LeBron James. He for four years, along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, created an incredible frenzy in the city of Miami…. While we enjoyed those four years, we can also expect there might be another four or five more of those years in front of us, also. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

“With Chris Bosh at center or power forward and Chris Andersen… and the addition of Luol Deng and Josh McRobert and Danny Granger. New additions we feel are going to help us…. With Dwyane Wade, our franchise player for the past 12 years,… at the two guard, Mario Chalmers, a player we feel very confident about, back at starting point guard. Along with… the backbone of team, Udonis Haslem, we’re ready to move on into the future….

“I’ve been one for 19 years proud to say this is my home. I’m going on my 20th year. One message I want to communicate to you, as Micky Arison has stated in his letter,… is we have something very unique and very special for you in the future.

“We’ve had a great four years. It was an historic run. It was a fun run. Two championships, four finals, a lot of great highlights, a lot of great moments, a lot of great feelings. I want to let you know there is a lot more of that ahead of us.”

A Heat spokesperson said the Riley video was the first of several Heat videos that will be released this summer but said he did not know whether it was designed to coincidence with James’ event at the University of Akron, which was being held as part of his annual Wheelers for Education family event. Nearly 30,000 were expected to attend the event tonight.

The Heat said that its aggressive public relations approach should not be taken as any indication that ticket sales have fallen off. The Heat said that is not the case and that the deadline to renew Heat season tickets came before James left in free agency and the renewal rate was very high. Individual tickets are not on sale yet. The regular season schedule will be released next Wednesday at 6 p.m.

### If the Heat wants to add a veteran shooting guard to back up Dwyane Wade, free agent options are now extremely limited.

Jordan Crawford, Shannon Brown, Leandro Barbosa, Toney Douglas and swingmen Chris Douglas-Roberts and Jordan Hamilton are perhaps the only ones available who would have a chance to crack the Heat’s rotation. Most are hoping for more than the minimum deals Miami can offer. (Same with free agent small forward Shawn Marion, who reportedly is considering Cleveland and Indiana.)

Though a late-September addition from that group (or another player) remains quite possible, the Heat could end up playing Danny Granger and starting point guard Mario Chalmers at backup shooting guard.

Please check back later for Heat-Falcons chatter... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

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Truth Hurts

Pat Riley the salesman strikes again...

Miami Penguin

Pat Riley sounds like Maria in West Side Story:

I feel charming, oh so charming,
It's alarming how charming I feel,
And so pretty, that I hardly can believe I'm real!
See the pretty girl in that mirror there?
Who can that attractive girl be?
Such a pretty face, such a pretty dress, such a pretty smile, such a pretty me!

Rat Piley

I love Pat Riley!

hitter

Pat seems a little pissed LeBron left. Constantly saying and doing things that aren't necessary for the fan base. We don't need a inspirational videos or anything to give us hope, especially on the same day as LeBron James gathering in Cleveland. We know the talent and what we have on this team. Man-up Pat and let it rest!

No Opinion

Man up Pat and let it rest? Who the heck are you?

He is pissed and should be. He is hurt and should be. He is trying to reassure the fan base and that is his job. Man up? Like you who are a nobody?

James knew he was leaving and left us out to dry. James is nothing more than a "ME FIRST" athlete. Is it wrong? not necessarily but I will take Wade and the players on San Antonio any time! Character matters. Going home my ass...He went back because he wants to win another championship and he felt that was the easiest way.

James is a POS...Jordan won and it wouldn't have mattered who was around him. Great players make everyone around them great...They don't ask for a great support cast to help them win.

I don't even like basketball at the pro level and this is why.

Rafiq Kinnison

Pat is right. This team will be right there again. He's putting this message out to defend against all the commentary out there that has the Heat a 5th seed since James has left. Thats all stupid but so many fans get their info from ESPN that they believe we will fall off the map with James gone. We are going to surprise the NBA and assert ourselves as being bigger than Lechoke and Kevin Love who is just a white version of Tracy Mcgrady that can't win even with all those points he scores.

U

Pat is crying, he didn't do this crap when LeBron was here and before he arrived. Why is he doing it now? Sounds like a hurt girlfriend by putting out a video and assuring the fan base of competitiveness. That being said, if he would have upgraded the roster every year instead of bringing in players to just sit on the bench all year and put hundreds of miles on the starters, he would have to put out a useless video. I am stating the facts.
James and Miami used each other and at the end of the day he decided to go home. Stop crying about it, you too Pat!

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