Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 5/12/12

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Miami Heat Team President Pat Riley watches on the sideline prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
MIAMI The big fellows record is in jeopardy. Thats the word from Pat Riley, a guy who should know. Riley once coached Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with the Los Angeles Lakers and hes now president of LeBron James Miami Heat. With James having won his third NBA Most Valuable Player awardon Saturday, Riley believes he could end up breaking Abdul-Jabbars mark of six such honors. Hes 27 years old and hes got 10 more years at least ahead of him at a very high level, Riley said of James. So you just know his competitive nature and how he prepares himself and how he plays theres a possibility that could be out there for him. Absolutely. James became the eighth player in NBA history to win a third MVP, and the second youngest. Abdul-Jabbar was just shy of his 27th birthday when he was handed his third trophy in March 1974. James won his first two with Cleveland in 2009 and 2010 before becoming a free agent and being lured away by Riley. With Saturday marking the first time the Heat have ever had an MVP winner, it was a special day for the organization. With that in mind, Riley spoke to the media about the Heat for just the second time since the lockout ended last December, the first time being shortly after its end. Riley mostly touched upon James but he also was asked how confident he feels about the Heat winning the NBA title this season. We got a shot, thats it, said Riley, whose team faces Indiana in an East semifinal starting Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Thats all you want. Every year you want to be able to have a shot and be in the game. Were in the game, and I think well be in the game for a long time with these players. And if were healthy, thats what you want. Every single playoff (series) takes on a different form. Im from the old school so Im scared to death of everything. The trap doors, land mines, all these things that ex-coaches worry about. Thats why I try to stay away from (Miami coach Erik Spoelstra) because Ill get him worrying. Riley won the franchises only title as coach in 2006 before moving exclusively into the front office in 2008. It was around that period when he began in earnest clearing cap room for the big free-agency summer of 2010. The prizes he landed then were James and Chris Bosh to join a re-signed Dwyane Wade. With James being handed the Maurice Podoloff Trophy on Saturday, it was a perfect time for Riley to reflect back. Contrary to somebodys opinion, we worked very hard to maintain the cap space and build the team (through) free agency, Riley said. So it wasnt easy to get LeBron and Chris to come. It was very hard work. I think the fact that Dwyane was here, and they had a relationship from the Olympics and things of that nature, (James) wanted to be with somebody that he had achance to win for a long time. It says a lot about Dwyane. There are not many guys in this league that are going to give up the platform, their platform. But he wants to win, and I think it takes pressure off Dwyane. I think we all know that Dwyane is LeBrons biggest supporter. Riley had an interesting comparison about James, who formally will be handed his latest MVP trophy before Sundays game by NBA commissioner David Stern, arriving before last season to play with fellow superstar Wade. It would be equivalent to me to have somebody ask me, Would you want to go on the same bench with Phil Jackson and the two of you could be co-coaches? said Riley, who has won five rings as head coach while Jackson has 11. How would that work? Bringing stars together on the Heat worked out well enough last year that they made it to the Finals before losing 4-2 to Dallas. The goal this season is obviously a championship. Wade has already won one, having been Finals MVP in 2006. James is still seeking his first title. He will get his championship and there might be a lot more there, too, Riley said. Thats what I want to shoot for. While Riley didnt predict James first ring will come this season, he has James under contract for perhaps four more years. James does have the ability to opt out in the summers of 2014 and 2015. Riley lauded the regular season put together by James, who joined Wilt Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone to become the fourth player to win the MVP with two different franchises. He averaged 27.1 points, a career-high 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting a career-best 53.1 percent from the field. He was one of the few players in the NBA that absolutely was ready for a short training camp and a 66-game season, and thats who he is, Riley said of the work put in before the lockout-shortened season while some players might have slackened off due to all the uncertainty. James field-goal percentage went up for the fifth straight season. Riley sees that as a big positive. (James has) defenses that are absolutely centered around him that at times will try to maim him too, Riley said. His numbers are reflective of a guy that has gone above and beyond his greatness . . .As players get older, their percentages (usually) just drop, and I like this. Next year it will 55, 57, 59. Im going to challenge him to be a 60-percenter by the time hes 30. That will be a good challenge for him. If James is shooting 60 percent when he hits 30, Abdul-Jabbar really better be keeping a close eye on how many MVPs hes collecting.
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