Heat president Pat Riley famously put his championship rings on the table to recruit LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010. Riley apparently even let Bosh keep Miami’s 2006 championship ring with a challenge: Come here, win your own then return it.
In 2014, Bosh revealed he still had it.
Bosh said he planned to return it after that season. By that time, he had won two titles with the Heat and gotten his own rings. He was still playing for Miami. Returning the 2006 ring didn’t seem urgent.
And Bosh still has it.
Bosh, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
“Oh, yeah, Pat brought his rings out. It looked just like a Crown Royal bag,” Bosh said. “He puts it down, like boom. Big boy talk. When he ended the meeting, Pat gave me a 2006 Heat championship ring.”
“Take it. Keep it. Give it back to me when you win one,” Riley said to Bosh.
“I still haven’t given it back,” Bosh said. “I wonder if he even remembers that? I think I mentioned it once, like, ‘Yo, do you want that ring back?’ And he said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I kept it moving.”
I wonder whether Bosh actually has Riley’s ring. Organizations commission a lot of rings when they win a title. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were an extra, unassigned ring.
But it wouldn’t be shocking if it were Riley’s, either. Riley – who coached the Lakers to a title in 1985 (and 1982, 1987 and 1988) – doesn’t keep a close eye on his championship rings.
Twenty-one years later, in 2006, he mistakenly threw away the ring he won that night, along with all his Lakers rings, the real ones mixed together with dozens of worthless samples for the Heat championship ring he was designing. The company gave him exact replicas, but they felt too shiny, with not enough dents and scratches, so he put them in a bag and beat them against a wall. Instead of adding scars and patina, he just knocked loose a bunch of diamonds. When he got them fixed, he locked the replicas in a safe at home.