LeBron nothing but praise for Spoelstra ahead of NBA Finals clash
LeBron James won’t let any slander come Erik Spoelstra’s way.
Ahead of the 2020 NBA Finals between James’ Los Angeles Lakers and Spoelstra’s Miami Heat, the four-time MVP praised his former head coach, saying if there’s anyone who should be getting every ounce of adulation, it’s Spoelstra.
“I’m not gonna sit up here and act like I don’t know what Spo is all about because I know he’s damn good, if not great. He probably is great,” said James in a virtual press conference. “A lot of coaches have talent over the NBA, over the course of this league. There’s not one. You know, it’s unfortunate he hasn’t gotten his respect.”
James led the on-court backbone of the “Heatles” with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh while Spoelstra became the brains of the outfit as they led the Heat to two titles in 2012 and 2013 and four Finals appearances beginning in 2011.
“Players and the coaches know how great Spo is. There’s this narrative that Spo’s not great, the narrative that he’s not getting a lot of respect, which he should. He prepares his team every single night,” said James, who is set to play in his 10th championship series.
In James’ first Finals appearance with the Lakers in his bid for a fourth ring, he will be facing the man coaching who led him to his first.
James said that even though the Heat back then had four future Hall of Famers, a lot of responsibility still fell on Spoelstra’s shoulders.
“You guys always said, ‘Well, you guys have LeBron, you have D-Wade, you got Bosh. Any coach can do it.’ Nah, no, any coach can’t do it,” said James who was in awe of Spoelstra’s work ethic especially how he prepared the team every game.
“If you just watch the Miami Heat, no matter who’s on the floor they’re gonna play Heat culture, they’re gonna play hard, play together. That’s what he’s (Spoelstra) always been about.”
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