The one person that matters — Pat Riley — thinks Heat coach Erik Spoelstra did a good job this season. At least good enough to be back for a second season.
That hasn’t stopped people outside the team from speculating about Spoelstra’s future and what kind of job he did.
That includes Rick Barry, the NBA Hall of Famer who was on KHTK in Sacramento (via Sports Radio Interviews) and took a swipe at all the coaches LeBron has had, including Spoelstra. Barry was asked what LeBron needs to work on this summer.
“His shot, first and foremost, because I think that’s where it all comes down to. If you don’t have confidence in your shot, it destroys the rest of your game. … Then, little nuances, facing up, learning how to be the guy learning to use y0ur first dribble to go by instead of everything off the dribble … learning how to use screens probably, then of course the coach running more plays for him where he can run off double and triple staggered screens, learning to curl it properly, learning how to do the little things in the game which, unfortunately, have not been taught to him, which I don’t blame him for. I blame the people who have coached him over the years. To have a talent like this and to not maximize the full potential of this talent is inexcusable and reprehensible to me and the coaches who have had him should be ashamed of themselves.”
So… Barry wants to take the ball out of LeBron’s hands as a shot creator (and one of the best passers in the game) and use him like Ray Allen? You can decide for yourself if you think that is wise.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle came to Spoelstra’s defense — unsolicited — on Wednesday, according to ESPN Dallas.
“Listen, I would like to say one thing about Miami if I could,” Carlisle said. “I thought Erik Spoelstra had the toughest job in basketball with that team because of the way the team came together and because of the unbelievably high expectations…
“My hat’s off to Erik and the job he did,” Carlisle said. “It was extremely difficult, extremely trying. We went through a lot of difficult times before we got to our moment. Their time will definitely come.”
You can choose to go Carlisle — the guy who just coached his team to the NBA title — or Barry.