When the off-season comes and it is time for teams to turn their attention to the free agents around the league, there are a variety of ways to grab their interest. Dinners, limos, bringing in team legends, there’s no shortage of ways a team can leave their mark.
But sometimes, the biggest impression can be left by the simplest of acts. Apparently, that was the case when Lebron James and Chris Bosh decided to join the Miami Heat.
Pat Riley, master recruiter and hair gel extraordinaire, talked the talk while recruiting the two star free agents back in 2010. According to ESPN, he then walked the walk by showing them exactly what they could expect by coming to Miami.
He (Riley) pulls out one of the nine championship rings he has won as a player, executive, head coach and assistant coach.
And he proposes.
Riley dropped a bag full of title rings on LeBron’s table in Cleveland during their 2010 meeting. He has flashed at least one of them to a few other free-agent targets over the years.
“He gave me one of his championship rings from 2006, and was like, ‘You give me that back when you come here and win yours.'” Bosh said. “So I took it. I was like, ‘Oh, man!’ Don’t tell me to take something if you don’t want me to take it. I’ve still got it, too. But I told him I’d give it back after this year.”
Take note NBA GM’s, that is exactly how you entice players who want to win. Riley obviously knows what he is doing once he gets a player in a meeting, and he has two rings with Bosh and James to prove it.
This is the exact reason Knicks fans are so excited to have Phil Jackson in the fold, and Laker fans are so angry their organization let Phil go anywhere else.
For Riley, he will have to pull out all of the stops in his recruiting this summer if James and Bosh decide to opt out and hit free agency. Here’s guessing Pat will be more than adequately prepared.