Kendrick Perkins on Erik Spoelstra: ‘He’s the best damn coach in the game today’

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ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins offered high praise for Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, saying that Spoelstra is “the best damn coach in the game today.”

“Miami is still sitting there at the top and you add a healthy Bam [Adebayo], a team that went to the finals two years ago,” Perkins said. “I mean it speaks volumes about Erik Spoelstra, and by the way, he’s the best damn coach in the game today.”

One example of how respected the 51-year-old Spoelstra is can be seen by his lengthy tenure as head coach of the Heat. Spoelstra is in his 14th season in that role with the Heat and has only had two losing seasons.

Over the course of four seasons from 2010 to 2014, Spoelstra managed to lead the Heat to four consecutive trips to the finals, winning consecutive NBA titles in 2012 and 2013.

While critics pointed to the fact that Spoelstra had the luxury of having a trio of top superstars on his team, the mentor still managed to get the most out of his talent during that memorable span.

Perkins’ mention of the Heat’s trip to the NBA Finals in 2020 was another of Spoelstra’s impressive efforts. Playing within the NBA bubble in Orlando, Spoelstra led the underdog Heat to an Eastern Conference title and a berth in the finals.

This season, despite Adebayo’s early-season injury and continuing COVID-based issues, Spoelstra has led the team to a 26-15 record. That’s currently tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat have won 12 of their last 16 contests, including their last three games. They’ll go for four in a row on Friday night when they host the Atlanta Hawks.

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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.