MIAMI (AFP) – Miami Heat president Pat Riley admitted Saturday that the departure of veteran Dwyane Wade ‘‘floored’’ him and he regretted not taking a more active role in talks to retain the star.
Wade, a three-time champion with Miami, accepted Chicago’s two-year, $47 million contract after turning down an offer of two years for $40 million to return to Miami.
‘‘What happened with Dwyane floored me,’’ Riley told reporters at the team’s AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday. ‘‘I’m not trying to fall on the sword for anybody. I have great regret that I didn’t immerse myself in the middle of it.
‘‘My responsibility was to make it happen. Dwyane left and the buck really stops here,’’ he said.
In 855 regular-season games with the Heat, Wade averaged 23.7 points and shot 48.8 percent.
He averaged 19 points in 74 games last season after missing a combined 48 contests due to various injuries the previous two seasons.
The departure of a player who has been their lynchpin was part of a ‘‘tough summer’’ for the club, Riley said.
He said the Heat still aren’t sure when veteran center Chris Bosh might return to action after missing portions of the last two seasons due to recurrence of blood-clotting issues.
‘‘It’s always fluid and it always has been,’’ Riley said of the 11-time All-Star’s health. ‘‘I know he wants to play and we would be open to that.’’