MIAMI — This wasn’t a scheduled or organized session with the media, but Pat Riley was asked the question many want him to answer this week.
TMZ cameras caught up to the Heat president on Saturday in a parking lot in Malibu, Calif., as he walked toward his car alongside Warriors part owner Peter Guber.
“LeBron James has made his seventh straight Finals appearance, are you rooting for him to win?” Riley was asked by TMZ.
Riley sidestepped the question at first, referring back to his former player Magic Johnson’s accomplishments instead.
“The Lakers with Magic Johnson went to the Finals during ‘Showtime’ nine times in 12 years,” Riley said.
When asked again by TMZ if he will root for James to win back-to-back NBA titles with the Cavaliers, Riley answered by verbalizing his appreciation for the four-time MVP.
“I would like to see a great Finals,” Riley said. “I’m about a great Finals and I think it’s going to be one of the best ever. But I love LeBron, we all do. He was part of our team for four years.”
James made it to the Finals in each of his four seasons with the Heat from 2011 to 2014 and won championships in 2012 and 2013. He left Miami to return to Cleveland in the summer of 2014 and had now led the Cavaliers to three state Finals appearances.
As Riley got into his car, TMZ tried to ask him a question about Chris Bosh’s health situation. But Riley ended the interview right there without an answer.
Riley seemed amused by the impromptu question-and-answer session.
“You think this is like a big scoop?” he said with a smile.