Fil-Am coach Erik Spoelstra recharged for 2018-2019 NBA season
CHARLOTTE, USA – It has been a remarkable journey for Erik Spoelstra as he enters his 11th season as head coach of the Miami Heat.
He was handed the head coaching reins back in April 2008 after working with the team in different capacities. He started out as video coordinator over the years, got promoted to assistant coach, and finally to lead the NBA franchise.
“I feel fortunate to be working for all the people especially (team owner) Mickey Arison and (team president) Pat Riley. Thankfully, they believe in loyalty and consistency,” Spoelstra said when Rappler caught up with him after the team’s shootaround, Tuesday, October 2 (Wednesday, October 3, Manila time).
“It’s very rare in pro sports, in all of the sports field, whether it’s the NFL, MLB, NBA or soccer. There is so much change and instability. And consistency has been one of the hallmarks of the organization.”
He shared that this off-season has been remarkably different one for him when he and his wife Nikki welcomed their son Santiago last March 25. He had to leave the team on a road trip last season to be there for the family event
“A lot of things happening with the family.
“It was cool. I feel very blessed. Ten years ago, I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to become a dad.
One advice he got from relatives, “Expect the unexpected.”
“There’s always something new or crazy happening every day,” he said about the joy of fatherhood.
Aside from family, the offseason has allowed the team to refresh and get some work done in preparation for the long grind ahead.
“Plenty of time for our players to get away. Our young guys also came in to the gym and spent a lot of time developing. It was also important not only for our players but our staff to get away and spend some family time.
The 47-year-old mentor also appreciates his Filipino heritage. But it has been a long time since Spoelstra last visited the home country of his mother. He made 4 trips to the Philippines from 2009 until 2012, where he hosted basketball clinics.
“I tell our guys all the time, our number two fan base is in the Philippines. Number one fan base is obviously in Miami. We love it.
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate that and how special it is for me to be a Filipino, to have that type of support for our team.
“I hope to make it back over there sometime soon." – Rappler.com