‘They wanted Spo out’: Ex-Heat champ drops truth bomb on LeBron James demanding for Erik Spoelstra’s head
It wasn’t all peaches and cream when LeBron James joined the Miami Heat back in 2010. Apart from the fact that they were dubbed as public enemy No. 1 by pretty much the entire league, LeBron and Co. actually had their fair share of struggles in their first season as a squad. This included a heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals — a defeat that sent shockwaves throughout the entire organization.
There was a lot of talk about LeBron wanting to replace head coach Erik Spoelstra. Former Heat guard Eddie House recently spoke about this issue, and he confirmed that it was indeed more than just rumors (h/t Peter Dewey of Heat Nation):
“It’s different when you’re a coach,” House said. “If you cannot get the superstar guy to buy into what you are doing, it is almost a failed cause.
“On every single team I’ve played on, even the team I played on with Bron, they were this close, they wanted Spo (Spoelstra) out, but Pat was like, ‘Hell, no! That’s my guy, and we gonna win with him.’ It took another leader to say, ‘No, this is how it goes.’ That’s Pat Riley I’m talking about.”
Team president Pati Riley made it abundantly clear that Spoelstra wasn’t going anywhere, regardless of LeBron James’ demands. True enough, Miami would go on and win the title two years in a row after their disappointing first season together.
Right now, Erik Spoelstra is one of the most respected coaches in the entire NBA, and he also happens to be one of the top shot-callers in the game today. It’s now hard to imagine how he nearly lost his job in Miami many years ago.