Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Miami Heat president Pat Riley said winning a championship is hard and everyone "needs to get a grip" on reality after his team's loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
Speaking at an end-of-the-year press conference Thursday, Riley discussed the recent past of four trips to the championship series in four years as well as what lies ahead with the potential opt-outs for the "Big Three" of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Riley spoke for nearly an hour and said all the great teams don't win every year. He cited his years with the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the Boston Celtics and other championship dynasties.
"The '80s Lakers -- five championships in 12 years. They didn't win seven times," Riley noted about the team he coached. "The Celtics of the '80s -- three titles in 12 years.
"This stuff is hard. You have to stay together, if you've got the guts, and you don't find the first door and run out of it if you have the opportunity."
James, Wade and Bosh, who joined forces in the summer of 2010, all have the opportunity to run elsewhere and opt out of their current deals. They helped the Heat to four NBA Finals and two titles during their current four-year run.
"Four years, four finals, two championships," Riley stated. "From Day 1 to the end, it's like a Broadway show ... you sort of run out of steam and we need to retool. We don't need to rebuild. We need to retool, and that's what we're going to do.
"Everybody get a grip. We had a great run."
Whether that run continues will depend on how the Heat are constructed this summer. Free agency starts in July and Riley said the team is ready for any scenario.
"We're prepared. Whatever it is we'll be ready," he said. "I don't think we have to recruit Chris, Dwyane or LeBron again. On July 1, we'll know what we have to do."
James, of course, is the focal point. He left Cleveland to take his talents to South Beach four summers ago.
"He has to get away and think about it," Riley said about James. "He has the right do what he wants to do. He knows how we feel about him. You really need to give him time to just get away."
As for Wade, Riley doesn't expect him to go anywhere.
"Dwyane's a Heat for life," Riley commented. "I would be very surprised that he would be anywhere else but in a Heat uniform next year."
Riley expects the team to make every attempt to keep the core intact.
"However we can keep those guys together, whatever it takes, we're ready for it. That's my objective," he continued.
The Heat this year became the first team since the 1984-87 Celtics to reach four straight NBA Finals.