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News » Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-11-17

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-11-17

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-11-17Amid continued focus on 2010 free agency, Heat owner Micky Arison, in a rare sit-down with the media, said enough is enough.

Arison said he felt compelled to discuss the state of the franchise because of concerns that the luxury tax and salary-cap planning for 2010 free agency had overwhelmed the on-court product.

"Honestly, I think we haven't done a very good job positioning that issue," he said, as the Heat looks ahead to Thursday night's game against the Oklahoma City. "It's not an issue for fans. It's not their problem. What they want to see us do is get better and contend for a championship, and that is what we are trying to do.

"The issue in '10 is flexibility and getting better. There's a lot of great free agents available in '10, and that's why we want flexibility. But if we could get one or two of those players in '09, wouldn't we? So it's not about '10, it's about the players and getting better and getting better players.

"I think there's been this focus on '10, and I think that's been misguided. It's about getting better and about getting better players. And if we can do it this year, we'll do it this year."

Arison also addressed this being the final year on Pat Riley's contract as team president.

"Pat can be here as long as he wants to be here," said Arison, who brought Riley to the team in 1995. "We haven't discussed it, but every indication I have is that he'd like to keep going."

While Arison acknowledged he was tempted to sell the Heat during the period that preceded the team's 2006 NBA championship, he stressed the plan now is to eventually hand over the team to his son, Nick, who currently is serving as an executive in basketball operations under Riley.

"I thought it was a great asset to keep for my family," he said.

HEAT 81, NETS 80: Dwyane Wade's 3-pointer with one-tenth of a second remaining salvaged the victory and prevented the Heat from becoming the first team to fall this season to the Nets. Wade finished with 22 points. The story for the Heat, however, was the contribution of forward Udonis Haslem, who tied his career high with 28 points and set a career high with 12 baskets.

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Added: November 17, 2009


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