SBD/Issue 122/Franchises

Heat Owner Arison Says Riley's Future In His Own Hands

Arison (l) Says Riley Will Decide His
Future As Head Coach Of Heat
Heat Owner Micky Arison said that President & coach Pat Riley's future as head coach "does not need [to] be addressed now," but acknowledged that he trusts Riley "will make the right decision for himself and the organization," according to Sarah Rothschild of the MIAMI HERALD. Arison: "He's going to do what is best for the team. If he thinks that it's best for him to continue to coach, I have no problem with that. If he thinks that it's time for him to step back and put somebody else (behind the bench), I'll have no problem with that. We'll sit down after the season and talk about it."

WADE: Rothschild writes one question that no longer looms is "whether the Heat should shut down" G Dwyane Wade, who Tuesday had a nonsurgical procedure to help relieve tendinitis in his left knee, leaving his physical activity "limited" for the next month. Arison: "I'm happy he's taking the rest of the season off. I think it was the right decision." Arison added that he is "not concerned about Wade competing'' in this summer's Beijing Olympics, adding that he supports Wade's decision to participate in the Games. Arison: "We hope he brings back a gold medal."

LOTTO: The Heat also are hoping to select a "franchise-changing player'' in June's NBA draft. Arison said that the pick will be the team's "most important draft choice since selecting" Wade in '03. The Heat (11-52) are "on pace to have the worst record in team history, eclipsing the 15-67 record" of its inaugural '88-89 season. Arison, referring to the possibility of finishing with a franchise-worst record, said, "I could care less. I would like to win every game, but I would like the Ping Pong balls to fall right" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/14).  

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