|Riley says Heat attitude must change|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2007 08:50|
He knows this, though: There's going to be a new attitude around the Heat next season.
One day after holding exit interviews with Heat players, Riley said Wednesday that the season was lost not because of injuries, but an overriding sense that players deemed the regular season to be irrelevant and insisted they could simply play their best basketball when the games counted most.
``We didn't do anything the right way this year,'' Riley said.
Riley said that the dismissive ways cost the franchise about $10 million - the difference between playing 12 home playoff games last year and the two postseason games the Heat hosted this season, which ended Sunday when the Chicago Bulls finished off a four-game first-round sweep of the defending NBA champions.
A different outcome against Chicago, Riley said, would have been ``a mockery.''
``We earned our championship,'' Riley said. ``We earned it. And we earned what we got this year.''
The Heat were 44-38 during the regular season, the second-worst record by a reigning champion in nearly 30 years, then were swept away by the Bulls in the playoffs. Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade missed significant time because of injuries, several other players got hurt along the way and even Riley missed 22 games for health reasons.
Yet Riley said he refuses to use any of that as an excuse.
``We're going to redevelop the culture here,'' Riley said. ``I'm looking forward to getting back to those days. ... We need the players to buy into an all-of-the-time, everyday routine.''
Riley also said Wednesday that Wade will ``chill for four or five days'' before deciding if and when he will have surgeries on his shoulder, which he dislocated in February, and knee - bothered by tendinitis. But Riley said Wade ``probably'' will need surgery, which would mean that the 2006 finals MVP wouldn't be able to play for USA Basketball in Olympic qualifying this summer.
``We would not want him to do that,'' Riley said. ``I don't think he is.''