You can’t write the history of basketball without dedicating a couple of chapters to LeBron James and Pat Riley. They’re born winners who dominated the NBA in their own ways, and it’s pretty clear that they’ll continue to do so for a very long time.
And now, years after being together, they could be on the opposite side if the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat end up facing in this year’s NBA Finals.
Both teams are just one win away from clinching a trip to the Finals. The Lakers have to finish the job vs. the Denver Nuggets after jumping to a 3-1 lead, while Miami has to take care of business after going up 3-2 vs. the Boston Celtics.
So, when asked about the possibility of this LeBron-Riley matchup in basketball’s ultimate stage, Heat legend Dwyane Wade said that it’s pretty clear that both of them have strong feelings towards the rival organization:
“We know the personal feelings for both guys when it comes to both organizations,” Wade told ESPN.
Dwyane Wade speaks on a potential LeBron James vs Pat Riley finals matchup
“We know the personal feelings for both guys when it comes to both organizations.”
(🎥 ESPN) pic.twitter.com/YijsD73wIy
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 25, 2020
For those who lack context, Pat Riley is a Los Angeles Lakers legend. He won multiple Championships there as a player and a coach and it was there where he cemented his legacy and presence as one of the greatest basketball masterminds of all time.
It was also Pat Riley the one who recruited LeBron James when he decided to ‘take his talents to South Beach’ in 2010. There, he’ll finally become an NBA Champion after years of struggles with the Cleveland Cavaliers. So yeah, there’s definitely a lot of feelings involved in this hypothetical Finals matchup.