CLEVELAND —- Miami Heat President Pat Riley was not first but it didn’t stop Riley from getting a head start the daybefore the Heat’s scheduled meeting with LeBron James. The meeting takes place Friday morning at the IMG building on the corner of East 9th and St. Clair in downtown Cleveland.

The New Jersey Nets were the first team to meet with James on Thursday morning, followed by the New York Knicks. The sessions began the most anticipated free-agent period in NBA history —- and James leads the class.

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Riley leads a group that includes Managing General Partner Micky Arison and Andy Elisburg, senior vice president/assistant general manager of basketball operations. They gathered Thursday evening near the far right corner in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel lounge.

The atmosphere was casual. Riley and members of his group were barely audible from a distance of six-feet away. The discussion was certainly

about Friday’s meeting with James.

When approached, Riley asked for a moment while he continued to conduct business.

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