“Both of those guys, of course, they want to beat each other. Why wouldn’t they?”
Those were the words of Dwyane Wade when asked by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith about the possibility of LeBron James’ Lakers meeting Pat Riley’s Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals. The former Miami superstar attempted to downplay any sort of rivalry because Riley is the Heat’s president, not their small forward. As Riley has often said, “Keep the main thing the main thing,” and that’s basketball.
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And yet, while Riley won’t have any direct impact on James’ stat lines in the upcoming series, you can bet there will be some added motivation to win for both sides.
James had four incredibly successful seasons as a member of the Heat, capturing back-to-back championships and MVP awards in 2012 and 2013. During his time in Miami, James went from