It feels like just yesterday Coach Spo and the Miami Heat had the Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. But those days are long gone. In fact, not one of them are no longer on the Miami Heat. For years Coach Spo would get shit for winning with this bunch and seemingly never get any credit. I would hear things like “he has no control of LeBron” and “oh anyone can win with that team”. Maybe he and LeBron didn’t have a perfect relationship but hey they won 2 titles and 4 Finals appearances in just their four years together. Winning is more than just having a group of talented players and playing street ball. Winning is about culture. A culture created by Pat Riley and fostered by Eric Spoelstra.
If you take a look at the Miami Heat roster, its’s an embarrassment. It honestly may be the worst in the entire NBA, other than the Brooklyn Nets of course. Yet quietly the Heat have compiled a 16-3 record over the last 19 games and are ascending to a playoff birth in the Eastern Conference. Over this course, they have started the likes of Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Rudy McGruder, Luke Babbit, Goran Dragic, and Dion Waiters. Sure, there are some nice players in there. But Luke Babbit may be the worst player I’ve ever seen. Seriously, have you seen him play? He’s a power forward who can’t rebound. Gross. Rudy McGruder I’ve never even heard of until the Heat acquired him this year. Then Dion Waiters is a walking liability on the court. Yet somehow Waiters is making shots and even passing the ball! It’s a miracle! Spo has Waiters accumulating 4.4 assists a game.
As a Heat fan, I thought we were going to be pretty bad going in, and we were. When we were sitting at 11-30 I wasn’t even mad. I thought “ok we’ll grab Lonzo Ball or Josh Jackson, there’s our franchise player”. But nope, it took Spo just half a season to figure it out with this group of misfits. I can’t even wish tanking on them at this point. These players have bought into the system and the winning culture of the Miami Heat. They’re winning without talent and experience, which is near impossible. I have to tip my cap off to Spo for this. He could have looked at his roster and just said fuck it. We’re going to tank and get a top 3 pick. But he didn’t, he does what Spo does best and that’s work. Work his ass off.
Spo wasn’t handed anything in his life, in fact, he was hired as the Heat’s video coordinator in 1995. Through his work ethic and perseverance, he was promoted to assistant coach, followed by advanced scout, then director of scouting. Finally in 2008, after head coach now general manager Pat Riley stepped down from the position, Spo took over. He embodies what hard work and the American Dream are about. He doesn’t worry about the future or the noise, just about the present and what he can control. I’ve been a Heat fan since 03′ you know how unfairly he’s been attacked and had his job called for unwarranted? Too many to count.
I’ve always known Spo was a great coach. Somehow people thought because he won with great players that made him less of a coach. This notion is as idiotic as the Kardashians claim to fame. Now he doesn’t have the horses and they’re winning. Hmm it’s funny I don’t hear the haters anymore? I would even love to see some of the greats with this roster because I don’t know they could too much better if at all. People love to take shots and bring others down. But that doesn’t change reality; Coach Spo is a great coach. In fact, he’s hands down top 7 currently, if not top 5. Compare his resume to the so-called ‘greats’ like Doc Rivers. Spo has won one title as an assistant, 2 as a head coach, 5 finals appearance, and about to make the playoffs with this roster. I rest my case.