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Report: Heat Confirm Erik Spoelstra Has Received Contract Extension
- Updated: December 30, 2016
In one of the quieter negotiations on record, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s contract extension stayed under the radar after he and the team came to an agreement this past summer according to the team. It only came to light earlier this week, when members of the media began asking about Spoelstra’s status past this season — when his previous deal was scheduled to end.
The key reason that little attention was paid to the issue was the fact that the Heat was in the middle of major free-agent negotiations on a number of fronts in July. While Miami was able to re-sign center Hassan Whiteside, it watched Heat legend Dwyane Wade sign with the Chicago Bulls. In addition, its goal of signing 2016’s top free agent, Kevin Durant, ended when he opted to play for the Golden State Warriors.
Spoelstra’s situation, which has the team at 10-23 entering Friday night’s road game against the Boston Celtics, would seemingly have put his future employment with the team at risk. However, the key reasons for that record have been out of his control: the string of injuries suffered, coupled with Chris Bosh’s likely retired status and Wade’s departure. Announcement of the extension puts any further concerns to rest.
No terms were announced, which remains the team’s policy. However, Spoelstra issued a statement that indicated his appreciation for the front office’s continued trust in him. The only current NBA head coach who’s been with his team longer is Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
“I would like to thank the Arison’s and Pat (Riley) for their continued confidence in me and my staff and are humbled in their trust in me as head coach,” Spoelstra said. “It has been an incredible 22 years being part of the Miami Heat family and we will look to continue our goal of winning NBA championships.”
The 46-year-old Spoelstra has worked his way up through the organization, including 11 years as an assistant coach. He was named head coach of the Heat on April 28, 2008.