Heat president Pat Riley speaks out on Erik Spoelstra’s future in the NBA
Miami Heat president Pat Riley has always had the utmost respect for Erik Spolestra, starting from his early days as a video coordinator until now that he’s the team’s head coach.
The legendary 75-year-old executive has been calling the shots for the Heat since 1995 and even handpicked the then unheralded Spoelstra as his head coaching-successor in 2008.
Riley once again had high praises for the Asian-American tactician and claimed he should have been recognized by the league for his phenomenal leadership for the Heat in the 2019-20 campaign.
“Spo was the coach of the year, for me. He will be a Hall of Famer one day,” Riley said, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
Riley also expressed his belief that the Heat champion coach will be a Hall of Famer one day.
More Riles on Spo: "He will be a Hall of Famer one day."
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 23, 2020
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse deservingly won the 2020 NBA Coach of the Year plum, but Spo certainly deserves to be in the running as well due to the marvelous job he did for the Heat during the 2019-20 campaign. It seems outrageous to think that Spoelstra has yet to win the award in his 12 years as head coach in the league.
Even after coaching Miami to back-to-back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013, not a lot of pundits have given Spoelstra the credit he truly deserves. Some believe he was put in an auspicious position to coach the Heat Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the time.
Erik Spoelstra managed all those egos and made them buy-in to the Heat culture of winning. Seven seasons later, Coach Spo didn’t have the same star-power in his roster but still led the South Beach franchise back to the NBA Finals as a fifth seed in the East.
While they failed to win what could have been the fourth championship in franchise history, the Heat still defied all expectations this season.
Pat Riley, meanwhile, exudes greatness with everything he does. He definitely knows a Hall of Fame-worthy talent like Spoelstra when he sees one.