Remembering Erik Spoelstra's journey with the Miami Heat
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: Head Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat speaks to the media after winning Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on September 27, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at AdventHealth Arena.
Remembering Erik Spoelstra's journey with the Miami Heat
Luisa Morales ( - September 30, 2020 - 11:47am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-American coach Erik Spoelstra is headed to his fifth NBA Finals as head coach of the Miami Heat.

With the amount of success that the 49-year-old has enjoyed in his career, it is difficult to think that he had started in a very humbling position in the NBA.

But that is just the case with the two-time NBA champion coach, beggining his journey in the video room of the franchise in the 1990s.

Going undrafted in the league after he graduated college in 1992, Spoelstra was continuing his basketball career in Germany when a phone call from the Miami Heat changed his life.

Basketball executives who had previously worked with Spolestra's father, who was also a former NBA executive, had the coach intially join Miami Heat on an internship position in 1995.

Spoelstra was able to hold on to the position, proving himself worthy to then-head coach Pat Riley.

Two years later, Spoelstra moved up vastly in the organization and became an assistant coach for the franchise.

He would continue on to hold this position for 11 years, before taking over the reigns as head coach in 2008 after Riley had retired.

Spoelstra became the first Asian-American head coach in the history of the four major North American sports leagues (i.e. NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL).

Spoelstra impacted the Heat immediately in his first year, leading the team back to the playoffs even after a league-worst 15-67 record in the previous year.

He would then bring his squad to the NBA Finals in 2011, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the helm.

Though they would lose this initial trip to the Finals, Spoelstra would take his team to the top three more times in a row that ended with two championship trophies to their name.

Now, Spoelstra and the Heat aim to tack on one more when they face James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals beginning Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).

While Spoelstra has already accomplished much in his career, the 49-year-old is hoping to add one more in his long list of accolades.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with