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Pat Riley says Heat expected LeBron to opt out

Miami Heat president Pat Riley released the following statement to the media on LeBron James' decision to opt out of his contract and become a free agent.

"I was informed this morning of his intentions. We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise," Riley said. "As I said at the press conference last week, players have a right to free agency and when they have these opportunities, the right to explore their options. The last four seasons have been historic and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra have led the Miami Heat to one of the most unprecedented runs in the history of the NBA. We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together. At the moment, we are preparing for the opportunities in the Draft and Free Agency as we continue with our goal of winning NBA Championships."

Riley gave a fiery press conference last week, during which he told everyone -- players, media, fans -- to "get a grip" about the team's failure to bring home a third straight title.