MIAMI — Pat Riley walked into the room to begin his end-of-season availability annoyed, and armed with history.
There have been franchises that have enjoyed prolonged runs of greatness during his 45 years as a player, coach and executive in the NBA — the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Spurs and his Miami Heat among them — and Thursday Riley pointed out each shares a trait.
They all lost sometime.
“I think everybody,” the Heat president said moments after smacking the table to begin the news conference, “needs to get a grip.”
With that, Riley was off and running on a message-sending session that lasted nearly an hour. No players were there, but they surely heard his themes: He saw his team’s mental fatigue during the year, but doesn’t accept it; he isn’t willing to let Miami fall from the ranks of the NBA elite, and the organization will do what it can to keep LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade together.
“We have a tremendous opportunity here for long-term success,” Riley said. “Don’t think we’re not going to get beat again, so just get a grip, everybody. That’s my message. It’s my message to the players, also.”
It was one of his many messages.
Riley, who gets a reported $75,000 when hired to deliver motivational speeches, worked in anecdotes on everything from sipping Johnnie Walker Blue to playing James Ingram records to how even at 69 years old he still finds himself dreaming big.
He was speaking with reporters, but clearly talking to players through the cameras.
“You’ve got to stay together, if you’ve got the guts,” Riley said. “You don’t find the first door and run out of it if you have an opportunity. This is four years now into this era, this team. Four finals — it’s only been done three other times before — and two championships. From day one to the end, it was like a Broadway show. It sort of ran out of steam. And we need to retool. We don’t need to rebuild.”
JUDGE DENIES SHELLY STERLING REQUEST FOR INJUCTION: In Los Angeles, a judge Thursday rejected an urgent request by Shelly Sterling’s attorney asking that husband Donald Sterling and his lawyers be ordered to stop harassing her legal team and doctors in their dispute over the planned sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.
A petition filed by Shelly Sterling’s attorneys quoted allegedly threatening remarks made by Donald Sterling in phone calls and a letter sent by his lawyer to two doctors who declared him mentally incapacitated.
Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas said the matter may involve “high emotions and some litigation posturing” and urged both parties to tone down their communications.
“The court does not feel that the statements set forth in the ... petition rise to the level of great and irreparable injury to a party as called for in the Code of Civil Procedure,” Levanas said in a written decision.
Around the league
Kansas center Joel Embiid, one of the top prospects in the upcoming NBA draft, has a stress fracture in his right foot and is scheduled to have surgery Friday. Embiid was widely considered to be the favorite for the No. 1 overall draft pick held by the Cavaliers. ... The newly named Charlotte Hornets unveiled their three new primary uniforms Thursday featuring white, purple and teal colors. The uniforms bear a strong likeness in color scheme to the old Hornets regime but have been slightly modernized.