Erik Spoelstra: I hope relationship with Chris Bosh can continue

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Chris Bosh accused Pat Riley of not calling to deliver the news that the Heat were no longer working toward Bosh’s return from blood-clot issues. Riley blamed Bosh for cutting off communication.

Caught in the middle: Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.

Spoelstra, via Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald:

“My thoughts don’t change. And they won’t change,” coach Erik Spoelstra said Saturday when asked how Bosh’s comments on Friday toward the organization made him feel.

“I love Chris Bosh, his family. I said this so many times, Chris was very important to me as a head coach. With those teams, he was somebody I really leaned on. That extended outside the lines. It’s something I really have enjoyed and my hope is that relationship can continue.”

Player-coach relationship? Or friend-friend relationship? There’s a world of difference – potentially about $75 million in cap flexibility over the next three years.

I don’t envy Spoelstra, who – like many who’ve interacted regularly with Bosh – has come to respect the player and enjoy his company. Bosh, if healthy, would also make Spoelstra’s job easier by providing star-level production on the court. But Spoelstra’s boss has taken a different path, and Spoelstra can’t easily split from Riley.

It’s a difficult line to walk, though Spoelstra is trying.