LeBron James says Erik Spoelstra gets disrespected by media
Erik Spoelstra has put to rest any doubts about his status among the NBA’s coaching elite by leading the Miami Heat to another NBA Finals appearance. One of Spoelstra’s former players thinks it is about time that the coach got his due.
On Tuesday before the start of the NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said that the media was responsible for the Heat coach not getting enough respect.
“The players and coaches know how great Spo is,” said James, per Lakers Nation. “There’s a narrative [that] Spo is not great.”
Spoelstra was James’ head coach for his four seasons in Miami from 2010 to 2014. It was a fruitful partnership netting four NBA Finals appearances and two championships. But Spoelstra rarely received credit, as many claimed his success was owed entirely to having the likes of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh on the roster.
The reality though is that Spoelstra had led the Heat to the playoffs multiple times before James even arrived. He has also now done so multiple times since James’ departure, including this year’s surprise run to the Finals.
Still, Spoelstra has never won Coach of the Year, which is voted on by the media. He and James were also the subject of media-driven controversies during their time together. Regardless, James understands the greatness of Spoelstra and the challenge that facing him in this year’s Finals will pose.