Former NBA players explain why they would’ve liked to play under Erik Spoelstra

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Before the 2021-22 NBA season started, The Athletic surveyed more than 100 former players on a variety of topics.

For one topic, the former players were asked which current coach they would have most liked to play for. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra got some love, as he received 8.5 percent of the votes. Only four other coaches received higher percentages.

A few of the players who went with Spoelstra explained why they picked the Heat coach.

“He holds guys accountable to a high level,” said former NBA champ Brian Scalabrine. “(There are) no free passes in Miami.”

An unnamed player from the 1990s chimed in.

“He values guys for their strengths and doesn’t get wrapped up in their weaknesses,” the player said.

Johnny Davis, another former NBA champ, also offered his take.

“Erik Spoelstra is a basketball purist who is all about the team and nothing else,” said Davis.

Spoelstra clearly is a very respected figure in the basketball world.

The 51-year-old head coach has already won multiple NBA titles with the Heat, and he’d surely love nothing more than to get another one this season.

The 2021-22 Heat are banged up at the moment, but when they’re healthy, they seem like legitimate threats to emerge from the Eastern Conference.

The squad is 16-12 so far this season. That record doesn’t really tell the whole story. The team’s potential was on full display earlier in the season, and the hope is that the Heat will get back to that level of play once some of the club’s health issues improve.

Miami’s next game will come on Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers on the road.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.