LAS VEGAS — Pat Riley has gotten his chance at convincing LeBron James to stay in Miami, said a person familiar with the situation.
The Miami Heat president met with the four-time NBA MVP on Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas, the person told The Associated Press. James, his agent Rich Paul, Riley and Heat executive Andy Elisburg were at the meeting, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because neither side publicly announced who would be attending the meeting or when it would take place.
It was unclear whether James informed Riley where he would play next season, the person said.
The meeting took place more than two weeks after James opted out of his contract and elected to become a free agent and the day before free agents may begin signing contracts.
James spent part of his day before the meeting at his annual skills academy with some of the nation’s top high school and college players, interacting and observing workouts. That was part of the reason why Riley had to fly across the country to make the meeting happen, with hopes that he would return to Miami from the gambling haven with a huge win — keeping James in Heat colors for at least another season.
Several teams have met with Paul during the free-agent process, but it appears James has only one decision to make: Cleveland or Miami, the same choice he pondered four years ago when he decided play with the Heat. With James, the Heat won four Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships.
The Cavaliers didn’t sit idle waiting for James and Riley to meet.
Cleveland created salary-cap space earlier Wednesday with a three-team trade with the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, ensuring they have enough to offer the James a maximum contract.