The president of the Miami Heat has been hit with a $25,000 fine after he alluded to having a space for LeBron James on his team if he wanted to come back. During a YouTube stream on Friday, Pat Riley was asked about “leaving a key out,” a reference to a 2016 newspaper headline about Dwayne Wade, who at the time left the Heat for the Chicago Bulls. Riley seemed to misunderstand the question, and instead thought it was about LeBron James, who had spent four years with the team and led them to two championships. “I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know that he’s coming,” Riley said about James. “LeBron is, look he’s one of the greatest of all time... So I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, then I’ll put a new shiny key under the mat.” He then joked, “This will just get me fined for tampering.”
The NBA indeed fined him $25,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule.