Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has served in his role since the start of the 2008-09 season, a tenure that has led him to reject the idea of ever coaching anywhere else.
The 49-year-old Spoelstra was interviewed on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio and indicated the bond he shares with Heat owner Micky Arison and team president Pat Riley serves as the chief reason for his disdain of coaching for another team.
“Micky and Pat created this culture,” Spoelstra said. “Some people might think they need to venture out on their own to create their own image. I do not have any of those kind of feelings. I feel a sense of purpose by carrying this culture on and this legacy to future teams. It’s what I enjoy. It’s what fills my cup up. I want to keep this going as long as I can. It doesn’t feel like a job.”
Spoelstra was part of the Heat organization long before he succeeded Riley as head coach, beginning as the team’s video coordinator in 1995. He later moved up to an assistant coaching position before taking the top job 12 years ago.
In that time, Spoelstra has led the team to back-to-back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013, a stretch that was part of four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.
Even after that run ended, Spoelstra was able to avoid the fate of other teams that lost key players and keep the Heat competitive.
When play was suspended in the NBA, Spoelstra had compiled a career regular season record of 564-387 for a winning percentage of .593. In his first 11 seasons, he has led eight Heat teams to the playoffs and had this year’s edition poised for a ninth trip with a 41-24 record.
Spoelstra’s record could eventually put him in line to make the basketball Hall of Fame, but it’s not something he’s currently focused on.
“No. I have never looked at [it] that way,” Spoelstra said when asked if making the Hall of Fame is a goal of his. “That’s not my goal. I enjoy being part of teams, building teams.”
As for now, Spoelstra and the rest of the NBA are simply hoping that the 2019-20 season resumes sometime in the near future.