Erik Spoelstra’s ex-wife opens up on being rejected by older man who wanted 25-year-old models instead

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The ex-wife of Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra — Nikki Sapp — is out there looking for love again and has taken to social media to recount an unfortunate encounter with someone who was searching for something other than a 37-year-old mother of three.

“I’m interested in finding love in my life and whatever,” Sapp said. “So, I remember I met this one gentleman — a little bit older than me. I remember he said to me, ‘Oh, y’know, Nikki, this is, it’s wild. Y’know, you’re so beautiful. You’re so smart. But I really wasn’t supposed to be dating a middle-aged mom of three. I was supposed to be dating the 25-year-old models in Miami.’

“And I remember thinking, ‘Hmm, I’m not insecure about my age. I’m not insecure that I’m a middle-aged mom of three.’ I like how old I am. I like my mind. … I love having my children. I remember thinking like, ‘Oh, are you trying to make me feel insecure that I’m 37 years old and I have three children?’ You know where the 25-year-old models are. Go over there, cool.

“I’ve personally come to a place where I don’t let that type of stuff affect me, and I can see it for what it is. But I remember thinking a version of me a long time ago might not have felt that way.”

Back in November 2023, Spoelstra and Sapp announced that they finalized their divorce after seven years of marriage. Later on in the season, it was announced that the head coach had landed an eight-year contract extension with the Heat worth $120 million. The timing of the two events led some on social media to point out that Sapp may have “fumbled the bag” by getting divorced before such a lucrative payday.

That led the former Heat dancer to respond on social media, one of her several posts in the aftermath of the couple’s split. Some of the posts were of a very personal nature.

She has revealed that she is sober after hitting rock bottom with an alcohol addiction in 2020, that her mother passed away in 2022 and that shortly after her mom’s passing, one of her three children was diagnosed with cancer (she he has since said his cancer is in remission).

More recently, she posted about a trip she made to Chicago, mentioning that her first visit to the city was cut short when LeBron James announced he would be leaving the Heat, eventually rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Spoelstra and Sapp were married in the summer of 2016. She was a dancer for the Heat from 2005 to 2008, when he was an assistant coach for the team.

Now 53 years old, Spoelstra just completed his 16th season as Miami’s head coach. He has led the Heat to two NBA championships and six trips to the NBA Finals, including in 2023. He is the winningest coach in Heat history with a 750-527 record, which is a winning percentage of .587.

Miami’s 2023-24 campaign ended with a first-round loss to the Boston Celtics in the playoffs. After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the previous four seasons, Spoelstra will be looking to get the Heat back to those lofty heights next season.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.