As Heat President Pat Riley spoke Thursday about Amare Stoudemire without mentioning Stoudemire by name, as he spoke about attacking “the opportunity of going after who we considered the most talented player that was out there,” it was as if there was a revelation.
Would Riley have spoken that way about Stoudemire and the pursuit of the Suns forward at the trading deadline if he had any inside knowledge that Chris Bosh was poised to join Dwyane Wade in South Florida next season?
For months, with Wade and Bosh represented by the same agent, there was thought that Riley must know something through his conversations with Henry Thomas, must have an inkling about Bosh’s free-agent intentions.
Yet if Riley knew that South Florida was a preferred landing spot for Bosh alongside Wade, with the Heat hoarding cap space for just such an eventuality, would he have entered into such a public pursuit of Stoudemire?
On the other hand, if Riley knew — or knows — that Bosh isn’t coming, then there is plenty to be said about a very public courtship of arguably the next-best big man who could be available in the offseason.
“The player that we went after,” Riley said, “we went after very hard.”
That player was Stoudemire.
And Riley did it because he knew something about Bosh.
Or because, like the rest of us, he knows nothing at all.