Erik Spoelstra names his favorite Heat player he has coached
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has had the opportunity to coach Hall of Fame players in his 12 seasons as a coach.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Adrain Wojnarowski, Spoelstra revealed the favorite player he has coached.
“You guys are going to put me on the spot like that?” Spoelstra said. “Obviously, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work for a Hall of Famer, to be able to coach a lot of Hall of Famers”.
“But my favorite Miami Heat player is not a Hall of Famer, but he’s a Miami Heat hall of fame, and his numbers will go up in the rafters as soon as he’s done,” Spoelstra said. “And he was the player when won our championship against Oklahoma City, he was the one that dumped the Gatorade bucket on me. And that was Udonis Haslem. He is Mr. Miami.”
It’s quite a surprise Spoelstra picked Udonis Haslem, given the circumstances that Spoelstra has worked with superstars like Dwayne Wade and Lebron James. However, Haslem has been one of the most beloved players in franchise history.
Although he doesn’t put up monstrous stat lines, Haslem has been extremely loyal to the franchise. The 39-year-old has had numerous opportunities to leave the franchise to sign with another team for more money, but he has chosen to stay with the Heat.
Furthermore, Spoelstra and Udonis have worked together for the past 17 seasons. Spoelstra was hired as the Heat’s video coordinator in 1995, and Haslem was signed by the Heat in 2003. So in reality, it makes perfect sense that Spoelstra chose Haslem as his favorite he has coached.