The NBA doesn’t play when it comes to “tampering,” and even complimenting another player can get you into hot water, too. The NBA has fined Miami Heat president Pat Riley $25,000 for tampering comments regarding LeBron James. Riley recently was a guest on Dan Le Batard’s podcast and was speaking of LeBron James’ greatness and that he’d be willing to have James come back to Miami if the opportunity ever presented itself.
“I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know that he’s coming. I would do that, but I doubt very much that key … that key is rusted now. […] 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. 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 said.
The comments could be taken as Riley trying to initiate a trade, which he wasn’t, but the NBA still had to keep Riley in check.
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/TkLd0pafJH
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 9, 2021
In other LeBron news, he will be switching jersey numbers again, according to ESPN, and will change from No. 23 to No. 6 for the upcoming 2021-22 NBA season.
King James initially requested the jersey number change when Anthony Davis was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. James was hoping to give Davis No. 23 at the time to welcome him to the squad, but Davis elected to remain No. 3 despite LeBron’s gesture. James wore No. 6 in the Olympics, then professionally as a member of the Miami Heat where he won two NBA titles with the team.