Category: Coach's Corner, Latest News

Written by : Ira Winderman

Because this isn’t youth sports, not everyone gets to play. For coach Erik Spoelstra, handling those decisions is part of choreographing the Miami Heat‘s ensemble approach.

As he prepared for Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at AmericanAirlines Arena, Spoelstra was asked to reflect on the team’s previous outing, when neither Bam Adebayo nor Rodney McGruder got on the court in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

“You have to have empathy in this league. It’s not easy,” he said of being unable to get rotation-quality players on the court. “Everybody gets paid a handsome salary to do a job, and, as Pat [Riley] would say, this is the toy department of human affairs. But that doesn’t mean it’s not easy if you’re not playing.

“Seasons are long. Guys feel that they have the most purpose when they’re out there playing. But the reality is there’s 15 players on a roster, you can’t play everybody. So as a coaching staff, we do want to show that empathy to players.”