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Quote of the Day: Erik Spoelstra is just fine not winning Coach of the Year

May 8, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra coaches his team against the Chicago Bulls during Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final basketball playoff in Miami Reuters

“I congratulate George Karl (said with laugh), I know he didn’t want to win it either, no disrespect…. I’m not very superstitious, but all coaches, I think, understand (the stigma of) that award. It’s not quite as definitive as the Sports Illustrated (cover) jinx, but it’s pretty close.”

—Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, speaking of his second place finish in the Coach of the Year award voting, via Tom Haberstroh at ESPN’s TrueHoop blog.

The jinx is that the Coach of the Year got fired not long after for a long stretch — Mike Brown in Cleveland, Byron Scott in New Orleans, Sam Mitchell in Toronto, Avery Johnson in Dallas. The award garnered a superstition because of it.

George Karl won the award this year and the previous three winners — Gregg Popovich, Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks — are all still with their teams.

  1. cantonbound13 - May 8, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Karl, Tibs, Jackson, & Popovich deserve it much more. They all won without superstars.

    • heat256 - May 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Parker, Duncan and Ginobli aren’t superstars? Is this your first year watching the NBA son?

      • cantonbound13 - May 8, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        All good players but I can name 5 guys I’d rather have at their position. 3 years ago you can debate they were superstars.
        Parker is the best of the 3 & I can name 5 point guards better than Parker: Paul, Westbrook, Williams, Rose, Curry.

      • logisticalvoices - May 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Dear Canton,

        Stop playing NBA 2K13, put down the XBOX controller, and watch some NBA basketball. You’re embarrassing yourself.

        Every PBT reader

      • mytthor - May 8, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        You take Deron Williams and I’ll take Tony Parker. You probably think David Kahn shouldn’t have lost his job.

    • scorp16 - May 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      So not only do you not consider Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli superstars.
      You are also stating that Jackson had no superstar when he won his coach of the year award in 96?

      So Jordan, Pippen, Rodman don’t qualify as superstars to you – yet you feel Spoelstra has superstars. So are you really trying to say Lebron is better than Jordan? Just trying to figure out your logic here.

      • bougin89 - May 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM


        I don’t agree at all with what Cantonbound said but he isn’t talking about Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson didn’t even coach this year. He’s talking about Mark Jackson from Golden State.

  2. lmoneyfresh - May 8, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I have no idea why Spo would have even finished 2nd in the COY voting. He got handed the keys to a ferarri. He just needs to not crash the thing and they should be favorites for the title every year.

    • blueintown - May 8, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      That’s exactly why he deserves to be in the discussion. The natural inclination when handed the keys to a Ferrari is to put the pedal to the floor until you lose control and careen off the highway at 200 mph. You know, like Mike D’Antoni. Spo was an excellent coach before the addition of James and Bosh, and the skill with which he has blended these parts (egos) together is worthy of acknowledgement.

      Regardless, Thibs finishing eighth is a travesty. He was handed the keys to a Pinto, but drove it like a slightly used Taurus.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 8, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      So what do you think of Phil Jackson? Is he a good coach or was he just handed the keys to a couple of Ferraris?

    • 00maltliquor - May 9, 2013 at 2:02 AM


      The Mike’s got handed to keys to a Rarri too, you see how our season played out. Just because you’ve got primo talent doesn’t mean it can just mesh together. A lot has to do with the coach.

      IMO I think the COY should have went

      Mark “mama, there goes that man” Jackson
      Lionel Hollins
      George Karl
      Scott Brooks

      Karl had a fantastic season, but for me, I expected them to have the record they had. Wasn’t really a surprise to me. I told all my homies look out for the Nuggs as a darkhorse contender in preseason. I really believed in them.

      But Spoelstra and the Heat’s 28 straight games he HAS to be in the top 2. James, Wade on the team or not. Say it with me….TWENTY-EIGHT straight wins!

      • 00maltliquor - May 9, 2013 at 2:13 AM

        Forgot IND’s Frank Vogel! My bad, slip him in under Woody.

        As you can see Karl is way under the list. I think there was a lot of very good options for COY. Some coaches really outdid themselves and should be proud. I think any one of my top 4 (see list above) should have gotten it, and I couldn’t argue the pick. Anything under the top 4 should be on the 2nd tier.

      • blueintown - May 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM


  3. theghostofwillisreed - May 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    not a heat fan in the slightest but really? we’re arguing that spoelstra should not have been second? who cares? are any of you going to remember this vote in five years? hell, next year?

  4. logisticalvoices - May 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    I get it…Spoelstra is a worthless coach in 2011 because the Heat didn’t win it all. A championship (and possibly two) later, he has zero to do with their success. Bet you all think Phil Jackson didn’t do any real work to get all of those rings either.

  5. adelphos33 - May 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I think Spoelstra is an excellent coach. But I question how much he is going to be in demand when it is time for him to leave Miami (after the Lebron era).

  6. gmsalpha - May 8, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    I hate to bring this up, but what do “Mike Brown in Cleveland, Byron Scott in New Orleans, Sam Mitchell in Toronto, Avery Johnson in Dallas” all have in common?

    You got it! Black coaches.

    All the others who are still with their team? White coaches.


    • fanofthegame79 - May 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      That is an interesting fact…..

    • mytthor - May 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Mark Jackson got a job as head coach when he had never been an assistant and wasn’t qualified. Mike Woodson got the job in New York after he coached underachieving teams in Atlanta and his iso-heavy offense was routinely criticized.

      So yeah, I’d have to say it is coincidence. A lot of coaches who don’t deserve it get jobs off reputation. A lot of those coaches are white. Some are black, too. Avery Johnson loses jobs for the same reason Doug Collins does; his style wears thin with players. Byron Scott and Mike Brown lost their job for the same reason Jerry Sloan and Stan Van Gundy lost theirs – their superstar pushed them out.

    • 00maltliquor - May 9, 2013 at 2:08 AM

      IDK why that got so many thumbs down, but that’s a pretty interesting fact to look into. I otherwise would have overlooked that. Now I’m scratching my head…

  7. yousuxxors - May 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    I would of went with mark Jackson. what he did with that young team was amazing. maybe its just because I think George Carl is the most overrated coach. yea its all melo right. thibs woodson pop spolstra were all deserving to me to. even hogul I think his name is on pacers. cark and Brooks far from are the last on my mind.

  8. docsweeney - May 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Spoelstra? He’s even in the discussion? He has three of the TOP 5 picks from 2003 on the floor and he’s some kind of wunderkind? Please. I’m not a basketball fan but Karl and Thibs did more with less. This was like George Seifert took over the 49ers with Young, Rice, Taylor, and the rest and everyone was like “Wow, what a great coaching job he did!”

    Coach of the Year should be for getting more out of your team than anyone expects.

  9. stayhigh_247 - May 9, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    say what you want, but the coach of the year is the one hoisting that trophy in June, everyone one else is also rans.

  10. kavika6 - May 11, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    “Spo” is a joke. He’s not even a coach. He doesn’t decide what’s going to happen on the court. He’s just the guy on the bench wearing a suit while his players make the decisions.

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