Monday, April 28, 2008

Riley Out, Spoelstra In!

The Pat Riley coaching career is officially over... until new coach Erik Spoelstra makes the team good again. No, seriously, it's over. Riley insisted he was "definitely sure" his days as a coach were numbered, leaving behind an illustrious Hall of Fame legacy unmatched by more than two or three in the coaching pantheon, if that. We've been critical of Riles this year, but there's no doubting the great service he's done for the Heat and more generally, the NBA universe. We say farewell to one of the colossal legends of the game.

As for Erik Spoelstra, I couldn't be happier! He's the perfect guy to take over this team. Not only is he a strategic genius when it comes to on-court execution, but he possesses those key player-friendly skills that make coaches popular in the clubhouse. We should also expect a seamless transition, as he'll be retaining assistants Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo.

Erik Spoelstra may not exude Riley's stature or experience, but he's going to be a fantastic coach. I'd go so far as to say he might join Riles in the Hall of Fame some day. That's how much I think of him.

1 comment:

E.J. said...

Don't forget he retains the most stylish assistant coach in the NBA, Keith Askins. If I could pull off a bow-tie like Mr. Askins, I most assuredly would.

We are getting not only one of the keenest young basketball minds in the game in Spoelstra, but also a very hip fella. I've seen him out at Greenstreet in Coconut Grove several times, partying it up mellow-style with buddies. Which NBA fans in the country can say that they've enjoyed the same hip nightlife ambiance as their team's coach repeatedly? Not many, not many indeed.

In all seriousness, I'm excited about Spoelstra because Riles is excited about Spoelstra. Despite last year's monumental struggles, I still trust the Legend to steer the franchise in the right direction.