Erik Spoelstra got his man.
After the Heat demoted Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo, a couple Pat Riley guys, they targeted former Kings and Warriors coach Keith Smart.
Now, Spoelstra’s team looks more like Spoelstra’s team.
The Miami HEAT announced today several front office hirings, including Keith Smart as Assistant Coach, Chris Quinn as Assistant Coach/Player Development, Brandon Gilliam as Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation, Wes Brown as Assistant Trainer and Eric Foran as Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach.
Additionally, the HEAT also named David Fizdale to Assistant Head Coach, Juwan Howard to Assistant Coach, Dan Craig to Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development and Octavio De La Grana to Player Development Coach/Director of Minor League Operations.
Smart led some going-nowhere teams nowhere. He also finished Cleveland’s last 82-game tankfest season before drafting LeBron James as interim coach, helping the franchise complete its objective of landing the No. 1 pick. Neither the Warriors nor Kings improved the season after he left. I haven’t fully closed the book on his head-coaching career, but it’s obvious the skills he’s shown him as an assistant got him those opportunities. The top chair may or may not suit him, but this job does.
The other interesting hire – Howard was already known – is Quinn, 30. A long-range specialist, he played three seasons with the Heat, including Spoelstra’s first year as head coach.
Lastly, this is a nice promotion for Fizdale, who is one of the NBA’s top assistants. It won’t be long until he becomes a head coach.