Pat Riley claimed the Heat had “no more smiling faces with hidden agendas.”
If that was directed at LeBron James, the punch didn’t land.
Not only was the Cavaliers star who departed Miami last summer unmoved by the comment, he claimed not to have even heard it.
LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I’m unaware,” James said. “Whatever he said, for me, it’s not my concern right now. My concern is Game 2. I have no notion of what transpired yesterday.”
“I don’t care about nonsense,” James said. “There’s too much nonsense out there. This is a time where I lock in right now and I don’t need nothing creeping into my mind for no reason that don’t need to be there. I put all my energy and effort toward this team, that’s all that matters.”
LeBron missed a good chance to more directly rub in that he’s in the playoffs and Riley’s Heat are not, but that might just speak to LeBron’s focus.
LeBron said he has again undergone his annual social-media blackout during the postseason, which would explain why he didn’t know what Riley said (and would probably please Kevin Love). Considering LeBron asked Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick to explain Riley’s comment, this is probably genuine ignorance rather than exaggerated focus.
Either way, LeBron knows what it takes to advance through the playoffs. Engaging in a public battle with his old boss is not part of the plan.
If you’re a Comcast subscriber in Boston, you can stream tonight’s Celtics-Cavaliers game here.