Tyronn Lue brings up Erik Spoelstra in diatribe to prove coaches can emerge out of LeBron James’ shadow

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Being the head coach of a team that has LeBron James on the roster can be both a blessing and a curse.

Two men who know that fact quite well are Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Both coaches have won championships with James, and they have also faced incredible amounts of pressure because of the expectations that exist for teams led by the four-time MVP.

While speaking about himself, Lue recently brought up Spoelstra as a key example of a coach who has been able to emerge from James’ shadow.

“The job I’ve been able to do with the team now, like, Spo was the same way in Miami,” Lue told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “It’s also made me want to be better because not having LeBron, now I got to show people that I know my stuff. Like I can really coach. And I still got to get a lot better.

“But I just want to prove to people that I can coach.”

Spoelstra, of course, coached James for four seasons on the Heat from 2010 to 2014. Together, they were able to make four NBA Finals appearances and win two titles during that span.

Lue was James’ head coach on the Cleveland Cavaliers. During their time together, the Cavs made three NBA Finals appearances and won one title.

Though Lue hasn’t made the NBA Finals with the Clippers yet, he has certainly shown that he is a fantastic coach. He’s led the Clippers to a 36-37 record during the 2021-22 campaign despite not having Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for a significant number of games.

As for Spoelstra, he is currently coaching what is arguably the best Heat team since the Big 3 era in South Florida came to an end.

The Heat currently own the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and are three wins away from logging a 50-win season.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.