Pat Riley: Heat will overcome adversity

Updated: January 21, 2011, 12:39 AM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- After months of silence, Miami Heat president Pat Riley has spoken to the public. And he doesn't sound all that worried about his team's recent four-game losing streak.

"We're not playing very well right now," Riley said Thursday evening. "We've had some injuries and some tough things, but you've got to deal with the adversity. I think that this team will deal with that adversity."

The former Heat head coach briefly spoke to the media in his driveway in Miami, which temporarily served as a red carpet for a star-studded charity event he is hosting at his home Thursday evening. It was his first public comment since the Heat's season began.

"We think that we have a very good team and we'll get through this," Riley said. "We start that process again and become even better than we were when we [won] 20 out of 21."

Riley went on to say the team's skid should make it stronger in the long run, echoing Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's recent comments to the media.

"You can't be perfect," Riley said. "You cannot expect that throughout the course of 82 games. You're going to have your ups and downs, and you're going to have to deal with it and deal with it as a team."

Riley hosted the charity event with his wife, Chris, along with Heat owner Micky Arison and his wife, Madelaine. To attend, couples paid $20,000 with all proceeds benefitting the HEAT Charitable Fund, whose beneficiaries include Jackson Memorial Children's Hospital, SafeSpace, the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community, and Home Strong.

The event's guest list included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the rest of the Heat's roster and coaching staff. Additional guests included New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, former Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning and singer Michael McDonald, who was the event's musical guest.

The Heat look to end their longest losing streak of the season Saturday night when they host the 13-29 Toronto Raptors.

"I think a lot times," Riley said, "when you go through things like this, it's actually better than always winning.

"But you don't want to lose too much."

Tom Haberstroh is a frequent contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN.com's Heat Index.

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