When the report came out that a frustrated Pat Riley called Tom Thibodeau a “m—– f—–“ and hung up on him when Thibs tried to change the terms of a Jimmy Butler trade that Miami thought was all but done, it sparked a little debate around the league. Would Riley really say that? It’s a great sensationalized story, and you can be sure Riley was frustrated and said a few choice words behind closed doors, but to Thibodeau? People close to Riley said that’s not really his style.
Friday, the Heat released a statement with Riley denying he used the phrase.
This is out of character, the Heat don’t often comment on rumored trade talks. It could be Riley trying to keep things cool with Thibodeau, because he wants to keep the Butler trade talks going. Interesting side note: Riley’s statement is the first time the Heat have officially acknowledged trade talks with the Timberwolves about Butler.