Originally published December 3, 2010
He’s there, looming like a dark shadow, watching every move you make and nodding in approval or disapproval.
With slicked back hair and menacing stares that have crippled the baddest of bad boys, Pat Reilly is watching you, Erik Spoelstra.
In a season brimming with expectations, the Miami Heat has fallen flat through the first stretch.
This team was supposed to win them all, never lose. That might be a stretch, but they are supposed to be better than this.
Many arguments were thrown around like if LeBron won 60 by himself, what can he do with two other legitimate players?
But now the time has arrived, and I think LeBron might wish he never left Cleveland.
Which brings me to my point. Spoelstra’s time is up. Pat Reilly crafted this team and knows how to run it.
It’s time Reilly makes the move the world knows is ensuing. People say they want to see this team run its course, but there’s no time.
Let’s face it, whoever wins the championship this year isn’t going to be the 2010-11 NBA Champions, but rather the team that toppled destiny’s team, the Heat.
This team’s course is title or bust and Spoelstra is not part of that plan, especially not with a 10-8 record.
In what has quickly become the bump shown around the world, LeBron James ran into his head coach Eric Spoelstra during the third quarter of a loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Due to the Miami Heat being the most scrutinized team in NBA history since the Bad Boy Pistons of the ’80s and a serious lack of newsworthy material, ESPN and every sports fan not located in South Florida took it as a sign of things to come – Spoelstra was to be fired.
The hawkish demeanor of team president Pat Riley may seem perfect for a struggling team, but people must realize Riley possesses no magical potion in his slicked-back hair to fix this team.
Spoelstra is the guy who coached a team last year whose roster included Dwayne Wade, the corpse of Jermaine O’Neil and some guy named Yakhouba Diawara to the playoffs. If he can coach that team to the post season, he can assuredly coach this team.
Reports are that Spoelstra is challenging LeBron to accept more of a point guard role. Pat Riley never had to tell Magic or Kareem to do anything different.
What Spoelstra is doing may not be popular right now, but it is exactly what the Heat need. Only a coach with nothing to lose and a reputation to gain can challenge a player like LeBron who hasn’t had a real coach since high school.