It seems that Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra were in somewhat of a disagreement over the big man’s role sometime in the past.
According to Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, the one-time All-Star had to confront Spoelstra and ask for more opportunities to lead the team on offense.
“Adebayo would like for Pickup Bam to come out more and admits to bumping heads with Spo on occasion, a healthy tension borne out of Adebayo’s desire to do more for his team,” wrote Nadkarni. “He remembers during his rookie year his coaches being surprised he could dribble so well, and how he had to advocate for himself to be able to handle the ball. These days, the challenge is incorporating what he’s added from the summer into the team’s offense.”
The “Pickup Bam” persona came from people who have watched the 6-foot-9 center play in the summer. According to his trainer, Ronnie Taylor, he turns into a one-man wrecking crew in pickup games. That kind of Adebayo had been seldom seen in the NBA, that is until this season.
Adebayo also stated himself that he has to “collaborate” with the 52-year-old coach so that he can achieve his ambitious desire of carrying a more significant responsibility for the team.
“I have to collaborate with Spo,” the 25-year-old said. “Because he knows I’m ambitious. I want to have a bigger load. I want to have a bigger responsibility on this team, and not just on the defensive end.”
It is evident that Adebayo has gotten what he wished for. He is averaging a career high in scoring with 20.5 points per game. He has also been attempting more shots (15.0 attempts per contest) than he has in any of his previous seasons.
In addition, Adebayo has a usage rate of 26.0 percent in the 2022-23 campaign, which ranks first among all Heat players this season.
Unfortunately, injuries have severely impacted the Heat during the first quarter of the season. The lack of healthy bodies has largely contributed to the organization’s disappointing 10-11 record. It even came to the point where Miami only had seven players available to suit up for a game, leading to Spoelstra ask the Heat’s banged-up players to play despite their injuries.
But it seems that several players are now on the mend and can provide Adebayo with the needed help on the court.
Notably, Heat star Jimmy Butler is reportedly expected to return just in time for the team’s important matchup with the Boston Celtics on Friday. The small forward was initially expected to suit up for Miami’s first contest with the Celtics on Wednesday, but he apparently needs more time to recover from his injury.