Erik Spoelstra says he wishes he played LeBron James at center during the superstar’s time with the Miami Heat

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra recently looked back at LeBron James’ time with the team and indicated that he wishes he had played James at center.

“He’s played the center this year, and I really feel remiss about that,” Spoelstra said. “If I knew he was willing to play center, I would have done that 10 years ago.”

Spoelstra and James are in Cleveland for this weekend’s All-Star festivities, though they’ll be on opposite sides during the All-Star Game. Spoelstra is coaching Team Durant, while James is obviously part of Team LeBron.

The versatility of James has allowed him to play all over the court during his time in the NBA. It’s certainly one of the most valuable aspects of his game.

During James’ four seasons with the Heat, the team reached the NBA Finals every year. In 2012 and 2013, the Heat captured titles.

Spoelstra and James will always have those pleasant memories. While James’ time with Miami wasn’t always perfect, it was certainly special, and the end result was a massive success for the franchise.

James left the Heat after the 2013-14 season to return to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he helped them win a title in 2016. After the 2017-18 season, he joined the Los Angeles Lakers.

Spoelstra’s ability to briefly reflect on his time with James will likely come to an end after the All-Star break, as Spoelstra will have more important matters at hand. The Heat are currently tied with the Chicago Bulls for the top record in the Eastern Conference, with Spoelstra hoping that the Heat can make a deep playoff run.

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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.