The “Miami Herald” reported on Friday that the Miami Heat have extended the contract of the team’s head coach Erik Spoelstra; terms of the deal have not been announced. Spoelstra took his squad to the NBA Finals last season, however the team lost the series to the Dallas Mavericks. Spoelstra had quite a job on his hands last season as the club brought in Free Agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and expectations were that the team would come out of the gate on fire and dominate the Association the entire campaign. Instead the Heat got off to a lackluster start; but the coach kept the team together and they got hot the latter part of the regular season and into the Playoffs.
The Miami bench boss will go into his fourth campaign in charge of the team and has a record of 148-98. He was heading into the last year of his contract and Team President Pat Riley told reporters they wanted to lock Spoelstra up for a longer stint with the franchise. Riley said “He would have never been a lame-duck coach; even though (the media) would have made him: guy in the last year of his contract. So, that wasn’t the reason why we did it. The reason why we did it is we wanted to extend him and keep him in the family and not have somebody come and steal him. I mean that sincerely.”
Riley is absolutely spot-on in his observation; the media and NBA observers would have predicted Spoelstra’s demise every time the team hit a rough patch. There were rumors at the end of last season that Riley was going to take over the bench; now those rumors can be put to rest. Expectations are once again high for Miami heading into the regular season. The Heat will be playing in one of the five Christmas Day contests that start the campaign. They will head to Dallas in a re-match of last June’s NBA Finals.