Several members of the Team USA basketball squad that is competing at the 2023 FIBA World Cup praised Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.
He’s left a great impression on the players, including Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves. The former undrafted free agent explained how the coaching staff cares about the greater good, and he explained Spoelstra’s impact on the team.
“Huge imprint,” Reaves said of Spoelstra’s impact on the team. “I think the coaching staff has done an amazing job kind of being open to everybody. You have four Hall of Fame coaches in all of them, and it’s not one guy out there trying to have his way or no way. They’re putting their minds together for – like I said – the greater good. The team is egoless, but coaches, everybody in this organization is egoless.”
Spoelstra is one of the game’s best coaches, leading the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four seasons and making the NBA Finals twice in that span. He already has two NBA titles on his resume, and he’s a huge part of the culture that Miami has built.
Reaves and Edwards aren’t the only players who have enjoyed playing for the Heat head coach this summer. Brooklyn Nets wing Mikal Bridges compared working with the Heat head coach to his time at Villanova University in terms of the intensity.
“Man, just intensity and just hard work and defensive and offensive mind, but everything is just so sharp,” Bridges said of Spoelstra. “It’s dope man, just to see it, and coming from Villanova, this kind of that same type of feel.”
Spoelstra’s energy as a head coach has been noticed by Team USA, and it’s clearly worked with him coaching alongside Kerr and Lue.
“I would say just energy every day, consistent energy, intensity as a coach,” Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero said of what he’s noticed most about the Heat head coach. “He’s always live. He’s always ready – locked in. And you can see why he’s such an elite coach and why he has been for a long time.”
Spoelstra, Kerr and Lue bring championship DNA to Team USA, as they’ve won several titles as head coaches. Kerr has four with the Golden State Warriors, Spoelstra has two with Miami and Lue has one with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. explained how Spoelstra has been pushing the team to new heights this summer.
“It’s mainly just how attentive he is, how intense he is, requiring all of us to give that effort and that next gear, that next layer,” Jackson said. “It’s great.”
The more players continue to praise Spoelstra and the team’s culture, the more the Heat look like an exciting destination for players if they hit free agency.