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#pounditFriday, May 24, 2024

Pat Riley gets meme treatment after Heat lose out on Damian Lillard

Pat Riley smiling

Sep 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley address reporters during a press conference at AmericanAirlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Few are holding a bigger L right now than Pat Riley and the Miami Heat.

The Heat, who were reported for months to be Damian Lillard’s only preferred trade destination, officially missed out on the seven-time All-Star guard. On Tuesday, Lillard was stunningly sent to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a multi-team blockbuster deal.

That led to a flood of memes about Riley and the Heat fumbling yet another potential acquisition for a superstar. Users on X united to dunk on Riley for seemingly being too cheap, asleep at the wheel, and/or totally washed as an executive. Here were some of the best posts.

Indeed, this continues a troubling trend of Miami whiffing on superstars who have interest in joining their team. The Heat got a meeting with Kevin Durant in 2016 and were linked to him in a possible trade with the Brooklyn Nets in 2022 (but couldn’t land him either time). They were in hot pursuit of Donovan Mitchell last summer and were even named as one of his preferred destinations (but lost out on him to the Cleveland Cavaliers). Miami was an apparent finalist for Bradley Beal in the early months of this past summer (but got beaten to the punch by the other finalist, the Phoenix Suns). Now they had a superstar in Lillard who had said he was ONLY interested in joining Miami (but they still somehow let him slip away and to an in-conference rival in the Bucks to boot).

Of course, this might not entirely be the Heat’s fault as the Portland Trail Blazers never really seemed interested in seriously engaging with them. But even the one superstar that Miami was able to land in the last half-decade (Jimmy Butler) doesn’t sound pleased about this turn of events with Lillard.

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