This was disrespect to the players he mentioned.
OC Register: Did the Lakers have an influence on LeBron James heading to the Miami Heat to join forces with free agent signees Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh?
Who knows? Many believe it was a fait accompli, that it was a plot hatched years ago by the three former Team USA teammates to reunite when they became free agents.
But Miami Heat president Pat Riley, a former Lakers coach known for his powers of persuasion, mentioned past and present Lakers superstars during his sales pitch to LeBron.
“LeBron would be Magic (Johnson), Dwyane would be Kobe (Bryant) and Chris would be (Kevin) Garnett,” Riley said in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, repeating what he told King James during Miami’s three-hour presentation in downtown Cleveland on July 2.
“He actually liked that conversation. He lit up and he said that would be great if ‘I didn’t have to score’ (a lot), that he could be maybe the first guy since Oscar Robertson to be a (consistent) triple-double guy.”
SI also reported that Riley’s strategy involved tossing a bag of his seven championship rings on a table — one as a Lakers player (1972), one as a Lakers assistant (1980), four as Lakers coach (1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988), one as Miami coach (2006) — so LeBron could check them out.
“Hey, try one on,” Riley said, perhaps tempting, perhaps teasing LeBron.
Riley later conceded he used the rings as a “weapon.”