Erik Spoelstra is staying with the Miami Heat for the long haul. According to a report from Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the two-time NBA Finals winner has agreed to a multi-year deal to remain the head coach of the club.
The deal was finalized just ahead of the team’s training camp in the Bahamas and approximately a month prior to the 2013-14 season tip-off.
While Spoelstra wasn’t set to hit the open market until next summer, the Heat brass were wise to lock up the 42-year-old for the foreseeable future. He’s been instrumental to the team’s success and should continue to be.
Had his contract expired, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports found that a handful of competing organizations were “prepared to pursue Spoelstra with the zeal of a star free agent.”
It’s not hard to see why.
Since taking over for Pat Riley as head coach in 2008, Spoelstra has compiled a regular-season record of 260-134. He’s also been to the postseason five times, going 50-29 with three Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships under his belt.
Spoelstra has displayed an uncanny ability to manage the personalities, expectations and pressure from the overwhelming media presence surrounding this team, all while consistently getting the most from both the superstar talent and the rest of the players on the roster. That's a quality Dwyane Wade touched on last season to the Associated Press, via ESPN:
What's overlooked for him is the management of the team. It's not the coaching part of it. It's, "Can you manage these egos, these personalities, without having one your damn self?" He's done it.
Although there have been some bumps in the road, Spoelstra has a great relationship with his stable of star players that includes four-time MVP LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
With the possibility that all three hit free agency in the 2014 offseason, this extension should give the Heat a leg up on keeping the trio in South Beach.