Erik Spoelstra explains why life as a coach makes it so important to cherish special moments with family

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During All-Star Weekend festivities in Cleveland, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra explained why it’s so important for him to cherish special moments with his family.

Spoelstra’s wife and children are with him in Cleveland for All-Star Weekend. The family seems to be making some precious memories.

“I don’t want to let these moments pass,” Spoelstra said. “This is a big part of my family’s life is our business. The life of a coach for a family is not the easiest career. The travel, pressure, criticism, all of the above. Our kids are young, so as much as we possibly can, we want them to be a part of this world. As you can see them running around at half court, it’s quite different than my All-Star experience nine years ago.”

Back in 2013, Spoelstra served as an All-Star Game head coach for the first time. At that particular moment, he was unmarried and had no children.

That changed in 2016, when Spoelstra married Nikki Sapp, a former Heat cheerleader. The couple has since welcomed two sons into the world.

At the age of 51, Spoelstra has spent roughly half of his life working in the Heat organization. He began as a video coordinator in 1995. He earned some promotions over the years and eventually became the organization’s head coach.

Spoelstra’s experience with the commitment required for life in the NBA has shaped his current perspective. Being away from home for extended periods of time can be very tough, especially when it comes to raising two young children.

Exactly how long Spoelstra will continue to serve as the Heat’s head coach is unknown. At present, he’s no doubt enjoying the fact that the Heat are tied with the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

When the time comes for Spoelstra to walk away, it seems clear that he’s aware of what’s truly important in his life.

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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.