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You might think that if an organization has a figure like Pat Riley then they might have the upper hand when it comes to a coaching situation. Instead, the Miami Heat have lingering questions about current head coach Erik Spoelstra's future.
Riley has credited the 40-year-old Spoelstra as being one of the great young basketball minds in the NBA today. But realistically how well can a relatively young and inexperienced coach handle the pressure of coaching three enormous egos? Perhaps the shoulder bump that LeBron James gave to Erik Spoelstra, in the third quarter of a loss against Dallas, was blown out of proportion. But does he actually hold control of the reigns of that locker room? This is highly doubtful.
And this holds true especially considering that Spoelstra has a 5-time NBA champion coach as his boss. Pat Riley has made a living coaching superstar players to the NBA promised land over the course of his career, while Erik Spoelstra has yet to even see the second round of the playoffs. Team President Pat Riley has not publicly guaranteed that his current head coach's job is safe. But even if Coach Spo got the ax, would Riley even be willing to take his seat?
If LeBron James had chosen the Chicago Bulls, at the very least, he would not have been walking into a coaching controversy.
Over on the Chicago sidelines, Tom Thibodeau is a proven coach in the NBA. He has the experience of being an assistant coach for 19 seasons and a reputation of being one of the great defensive minds in the game. Unlike Erik Spoelstra, Thibodeau has a championship ring and two Finals appearances under his belt. And he knows exactly what it is like to coach larger-than-life NBA superstars and personalities - in the form of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen as an assistant to Doc Rivers in Boston.
The way Miami's offense has been running early on in the season is slow-paced, despite the team's overall lack of height. LeBron James must be having plenty of flashbacks to Mike Brown's "walk it up the floor" approach to the game.
Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau's focus is on forcing turnovers and getting easy points in transition - where LeBron James shines the most.
Perhaps LeBron James would care enough to avoid walking into his head coach if it was Tom Thibodeau at the helm...