Riley casually made the comments about James while holding a glass of wine during an appearance on Dan Le Batard’s live stream.
“LeBron, look, he’s one of the greatest of all time, and for four years down here, if we want to go back and remember what those four years were like, it was four years in the Finals, four years of excitement, two world championships… It was the best time for the Heat,” Riley said. “So I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, I’ll put a new shiny key under the mat.”
Riley seemed to realize that he said too much, acknowledging that a fine may be on the way.
James paired with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to lead Miami to four straight appearances in the Finals, winning two championships, from 2010-14. James then returned to Cleveland to make it four more straight appearances in the Finals, winning a title with the Cavs in 2016.
After eight straight Finals appearances in the East, James’ journey with the Lakers has resulted in missing the playoffs, winning a championship over the Heat in the Orlando bubble, and then the lone first-round exit of his career this year.
The question Riley answered about James was actually being asked about Wade, now a minority owner of the Jazz.