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Pat Riley: James Johnson dismissal ‘had to be done’

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Riley said that Johnson is “almost there” with regard to his conditioning requirements.

2019-20 Miami Heat Media Daty Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

At the opening of the Miami Heat Sports Medicine Center in Coral Gables, Pat Riley discussed the team’s decision to dismiss James Johnson from the team’s training camp.

Riley called it “something that had to be done” and that Johnson is “already almost there.”

Johnson missed all of the Heat’s training camp last week, as well as their scrimmage at AmericanAirlines Arena Sunday afternoon. He isn’t expected to play in Miami’s preseason opener against the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday.

During the Heat’s season-ending press conference in April, Riley spoke about “tightening the screws” after seeing some “slippage” from his players. He discussed “letting things slide, being a little bit late.” The Heat sending Johnson away from the team appears to be Riley tightening the screws.