Luke's Gospel: Fire Erik Spoelstra
|Image via Miami Heat/NBAE|
|Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.|
So here's the first installment:
I've been a Miami Heat season ticket holder since day one. I used to sit next to former Miami City Manager Joe Arriola and his kids. Joe and I got thrown out of a couple of games. He got kicked out one time because he cussed out film director/New York Knicks fan Spike Lee. I had told Joe that I didn't like that motherfucker because he had gone on Arsenio Hall talking about me like a dog. But I digress.
The biggest mistake Heat president Pat Riley made was when he screwed over now-Orlando Magic/then-Miami Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy. He was the coach that Riley developed. It wasn't current Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. You see what Van Gundy is doing now in Orlando. You saw what Van Gundy did when he had D-Wade, Caron Butler, and Lamar Odom. He went to the playoffs. He almost got to the championship in Shaq's first year with the Heat.
One thing about the NBA is that it is a good-ol'-boy system from the players' standpoint. A guy like ESPN analyst and former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson commands respect to a large degree. Charlotte Bobcats head coach Larry Brown is the best. If he was able to get the best out of Allen Iverson for all of those years, he can get it out of any player. But when you have a guy who is young and inexperienced like Spoelstra (who never played or coached in the NBA), players are not going to respect him.
Today, Riley is the one holding back the Heat, but it will be hard to move him. You have to do it in stages. First, get rid of Spoelstra and bring in an experienced coach. Then, you gotta bring in some help for Dwyane Wade. If the Heat is not successful after that, Riley needs to go.