For Erik Spoelstra, the Miami Heat have been his family for almost two decades now and the love affair seems set to continue for at least a few more years following reports that the two parties have finalized terms on a new multi-year extension to keep him in South Beach.
Details of his new contract are yet to be released but one would assume it would be right among the wealthiest in the Association. With Doc Rivers racking in a cool $7 million a year, Spoelstra’s extention shouldn’t be too far off that mark. Especially if you consider what he has already accomplished as a young coach.
Ever since his appointment in 2008, Erik Spoelstra has a record of 260-134 in five seasons on the Miami bench and has taken the Heat to the NBA Playoffs every year he has been in charge, amassing a record of 50-29 in the postseason.
However, it hasn’t always been fun times and laughter for the 42-year-old, but perhaps that’s what makes his journey even sweeter.
For example, let’s revisit 2010 when the super team was first assembled.
Just 17 games into the “Big 3” Era and the Miami Heat are just 9-8. LeBron James “accidentally” bumped into Erik Spoelstra. Dwyane Wade refuses to acknowledge Coach Spo as “his guy” in addition to the rest of the Heat Nation wanting him out and for Pat Riley to take over.
Now fast forward to three years later and the man who started off as a video coordinator has led his team to three straight NBA Finals appearances, winning two of them, and gets nothing but adoration and respect.
Moreover, at 42 years old, Spoelstra is considered to be one of the best “young” coaches in the business but truth be told, he is already one of the best. Period.
Perhaps Dwyane Wade said it best when he said: “What’s overlooked for him is the management of the team,” Wade told the AP last season. “It’s not the coaching part of it. It’s, ‘Can you manage these egos, these personalities, without having one your damn self?’ He’s done it.”
Wade himself should know best how good Spo is at dealing with tough situations, having been involved in a bit of scuffle with him.
Nonetheless, the situation was dealt with swiftly and it’s that sort of ability to deal with trouble as well as his tactical sharpness within games that led to Pat Riley grooming and hand picking him to be his successor.