Pat Riley, you salty, old hater. Are we still in our feelings over Lebron James & Dwyane Wade leaving the Heat in the past two years? Sure sounds like it. Despite all the attention and more importantly the titles that having guys like Bron & Wade brought to the franchise, Riley is saying that getting Shaq was bigger than both of them.


Riley is clearly still upset that both Bron & Wade decided to leave Miami in the past two seasons. His ego was hurt and that feeling is lingering even to this day. How could Shaq, who at the time was nowhere near the player he was with the Lakers, be a bigger acquisition than Wade and Bron? Well according to Riley, Shaq was the person who gave the franchise credibility.

“I’ll say this, and I mean this,” Riley told the South Florida Sun Sentinel recently. “Shaq’s acquisition was bigger than any acquisition that we ever made, including the Big Three.”

“The seminal moment to really make us really, really legitimate,” Riley said of the O’Neal deal. “He turned our franchise around. He gave us real legitimacy.”

O’Neal came to the Heat in a July 2004 trade that sent Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The move resulted in the Shaq & Wade duo winning a championship in 2006 but that was more so thanks to Wade than Shaq, who by then was a shell of his former self.

Wade, the greatest player in franchise history, also helped Miami win titles in 2012 and 2013 with LeBron – who might wind up the greatest player in NBA history. LeBron led the Heat to those two titles and four Finals appearances in his four years with the franchise.

While is may be true that getting Shaq did give the Heat credibility and respect, only a fool would try to convince us that he was bigger than Wade & Bron. Or in this case, a man who’s pride is still hurt that he failed in keeping the franchises two best players even in South Beach.