pat riley

In his first expansive comments since the July 1 start of the NBA lockout, Miami Heat President Pat Riley said Friday he is anxious to get back to the business of basketball.

While banned by the league from commenting directly on the lockout, Riley, during a Heat-organized event in commemoration of Veterans Day at United States Southern Command headquarters, spoke of being poised to pick up where his team left off in last season’s NBA Finals.

“(We) have been in the office getting ready to hit the ground running, when we can,” he said after addressing military personnel and their families at the youth basketball clinic. “So, we’re ready to roll when everybody else is.”

The Heat had been scheduled to host the New Jersey Nets on Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The NBA instead remains on indefinite hold, although Commissioner David Stern said Thursday night he is prepared for a Dec. 15 resumption of play and a 72-game schedule if the players accept the league’s latest offer, a proposition that remains very much in doubt.

– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel