During the 2011 NBA lockout, Micky Arison tweeted to a fan, “You are barking at the wrong owner,” in response to frustration over the tense labor negotiations. Then-commissioner David Stern fined Arison $500,000 for that tweet.
Now, has another social media post from Arison provided a window into his thoughts?
After Miami’s season unceremoniously ended without a playoff berth despite a 30-11 finish, the Heat owner posted an Instagram photo saying that the Miami Heat’s future looks very bright.
The photo, of course, features Arison with James Johnson and Dion Waiters, two journeymen Miami signed last summer who emerged as vital cogs of the Heat’s season turnaround. Both Johnson and Waiters will become free agents July 1. And we don’t know how Pat Riley plans to build one more championship contender in Miami before retiring.
Former Heat player Luol Deng signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer. Johnson and Waiters can demand similar or perhaps even higher figures this summer after their productive seasons.
The NY Daily News’ Frank Isola reported last month that there are “whispers” that Riley could sign Gordon Hayward, who averaged 22.9 points per game this year and was the subject a piece from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer that calls him “a superstar in the making, hiding in plain sight.” If Riley can sign Hayward, will he sign James Johnson? Dion Waiters? Will he look to trade Justise Winslow?
Riley will make the final call on all personnel decisions, but Arison liking Waiters and Johnson can’t hurt their chances. The off-season will be exciting.