Written by David Santiago
Erik Spoelstra had not been with the Miami Heat long when the organization hired the Pat Riley as its coach back in 1995. Spoelstra had just been hired as the Heat’s video coordinator by the previous regime, but Riley decided to keep the newcomer around.
For whatever reason, Spoelstra said he can vividly recall a conversation he had with his father after his first season in Miami wrapped up. Jon Spoelstra had a long history in the NBA which included more than a decade as the general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers and a 90-day stint as the general manager of the Denver Nuggets, so he knows better than anyone about the potential instability of working in professional sports and lectured his son.
“Look, you’re working for a Hall of Famer. This is an incredible opportunity,” he said. “I know this sounds crazy, but this might be an eight-to-10year run. Don’t screw it up. Just find a way to hang on and stay there.”