It has taken nearly 10 months, but LeBron James and Erik Spoelstra finally get each other.
That timetable is understandable, I’ve been married for nine years and my wife still doesn’t get me half the time. Building a relationship takes time, and Spoelstra and James had to do it under the brightest of spotlights.
Both Spoelstra and James confirmed things are better lately with Bill Reiter of Fox Sports Florida.
“I think the last few weeks it’s been a lot more comfortable,” Spoelstra said when I asked him about their relationship. “We’ve been communicating a lot more….”
“It’s definitely a process, and I think me and Coach Spo are learning each other as we speak,” LeBron said. “It’s not always going to be a bed of roses. We know that. There’s going to be times when Spo don’t like me and I don’t like Spo. That’s just how it is. But we’ve got to have each other’s back no matter what’s going on.”
This is a good thing. Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan were not buddies, but they had enough of a relationship to be on the same page (largely) about the team and its direction. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan, same sort of thing. Miami needs that.
You’d say that the improved relationship has shown on the court, but the Heat’s last six games were not against playoff teams. That’s a honeymoon, not a relationship test.
The real stress tests start a week from Sunday. Especially if the Heat don’t get out of the East. But for now the relationship seems like it has a good foundation.