Erik Spoelstra Says Bam Adebayo Next in Line of Miami Heat Culture Leaders

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Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo is entering his third NBA season and is beginning this year as the team’s starting center, having taken over that role after last season’s All-Star break.

In the opinion of Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Adebayo has the perfect mindset to continue the culture established by the franchise and should be a key performer during the 2019-20 season.

That mindset of continually striving to improve was something that was embodied most notably by retired guard Dwyane Wade. This season, it’s clear that Adebayo is embracing such a philosophy, which should help him quickly establish chemistry with new arrivals Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, who also have put in countless hours preparing for this season.

Seeing more time on the court and taking on more responsibilities will be what’s on Adebayo’s agenda for the upcoming campaign. Last season, he saw action in all 82 games and averaged 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, numbers that should increase with the additional playing time.

Since the end of last season, Adebayo has made a concerted effort to expand his overall game, which has included working in the gym with former Heat star Chris Bosh. In addition, he won MVP honors during summer action in the Miami Pro League and also tried out for the Team USA squad that competed in the FIBA World Cup.

The first chance that Adebayo will have to show off just how much of the Heat culture he’s taken on will be on Tuesday, Oct. 8, when the Heat host the San Antonio Spurs.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.