Written by Ira Winderman
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra can appreciate what Steve Clifford has been through, even if he’s not familiar with all the specifics that had the Charlotte Hornets coach sidelined from Dec. 4 until this week.
Away from the game while dealing with debilitating headaches, Clifford eventually was diagnosed with sleep deprivation, among other factors. Interim coach Stephen Silas coached the Hornets when the teams last met, with Clifford back on the bench for Saturday’s game against the Heat at the Spectrum Center.
“We texted earlier this week and that’s scary,” Spoelstra said Friday. “There’s a great deal of stress to this position, so all of the coaches empathize with what we go through.
“It’s a great opportunity and none of us are taking it for granted. But it also reminds that you do have to be very intentional about taking care of yourself. I’ve gone down that road. I continue to do that. We’re not perfect.”
“So much of this game is mental, not only for players, but for staff,” Spoelstra said. “You do get deep into the forest where it is tough to see the trees. I have to be very intentional about trying to take care of my body, about trying to work in physical fitness into my calendar, try to eat appropriately.