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Heat’s Spoelstra talked to Seattle Seahawks about winning

Aug 28, 2013, 1:06 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Four Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are NFL title contenders.

That is a strange sentence to type, but it’s true. ProFootballTalk has them fourth in its preseason power rankings and they were probably the hottest team in football at the end of last season.

So how do you get a team over the top? Ask someone who got their team over the top, to start.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra went and talked to the Seahawks this week at the request of Pete Carroll and staff, reports Ira Winderman at the Sun-Sentinel. Quarterback Russell Wilson talked about the message.

“Just having him here in front of the team and just having him in meetings with us and having him out here in practice is an unbelievable experience for everybody,” quarterback Russell said after Tuesday’s practice, with the video of Wilson’s interview posted at the Seahawks’ website. “For him to be able to talk about how his basketball team was successful and the way that they went about their business in terms of sacrificing . . . just that whole idea of sacrificing everything, the players, LeBron [James] coming to Miami, and Dwyane Wade sacrificing all that, all that type of sacrifice that it takes to be great and to be great so often, is kind of what he talked about for the most part. And having that discipline, as well, too, is something that he talked about, and just working hard, continuing to work hard, continuing to believe in yourselves and ignore the noise.

“That’s the main message he gave. And it clicked right with us.”

Spoelstra doesn’t get enough credit in some quarters; he does more than just roll the ball out there. He is obsessive about preparation and giving his team the right information (for example his pregame white board is impressive), putting them in the right situations to succeed. Secondly, he helped manage the egos and build a culture where sacrifice to win matters — Chris Bosh could be the focal point of an average team, but he gave up the points to win, Wade sacrificed his role to LeBron James (who sacrificed money). And the rest of the role players buy in also. All of that matters.

Spoelstra has his toughest job ahead of him — the roster Heat didn’t get better this offseason (unless you believe in Greg Oden more than I do, I want to see him succeed but wouldn’t count on it). Miami is going to have to be better, be healthier with the guys already on the team.

But for now, Spoelstra should bask a little in the glow of those two titles, do a few trips like this. He’s earned it.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Have the best player?

    Score more points?

    Nobody loves Spo more than me. I think he’s the best coach in the league. But what in the world is he going to say that will have any effect on anyone in the Seahawk locker room besides giving out LeBron’s cell #. If he has it.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Winning in football is a lot different than winning in basketball. It takes a lot more luck.

      • miamatt - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        You’d have to be a complete fool to actually believe luck plays a bigger role in basketball than it does in football. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night, in any sport; thus, in a one-game scenario, luck really can play a huge role in determining who moves on in the postseason. But luck doesn’t win a seven game series. Talent, effort, and strategy do, probably in that order.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        You certainly would have to be a fool to believe that. Winning in football was the subject of the first sentence. The pronoun ‘it’ refers to winning in football, as the sentence structure dictates. That means winning in football requires a lot more luck. Only a complete fool would miss that, so I’ll just assume you read it too quickly.

      • miamatt - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        You are totally correct, I did miss-read. I read, “winning in football….. takes more than luck”…

        Let me re-reply to you:

        You are on the money, good sir.

    • miamatt - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      mmmm, yes and no. You are probably correct that a coach visiting a team in August probably has as much affect on regular season and post-season games as a guest speaker at work does on your actual work performance.

      But there is something to creating a culture of self-sacrifice. How many times have we heard Heat players griping about minutes, money, or shot attempts? How many times have we heard Heat players and coaches taking shots at one another through the media? The answer is zero.

      Seahawks players might take that a different way coming from an outsider fresh off a championship run than they would from the same old boss who has been yelling at them for five straight weeks now. And heck, maybe Spoelstra can in turn learn something that he can bring back to the Heat when training camp starts in about a month (!).

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Always the voice of reason. But with the NBA, players are guaranteed $. In the NFL, the team is ALWAYS looking to replace you and your salary. Especially this time of year. And the players know it. Tough to look at grown men with a straight face and preach sacrifice.

        Spo’d be more useful speaking to a college or HS team.

      • miamatt - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        In retrospect, ’72, I think I agree more with your OP than with my reply. Management holds ALL the cards in the NFL, and they are more cutthroat than any other North American sports league when it comes to treating players like bags of meat to be weighed and sold.

        It’s a lot easier for an NBA player to sign for less when he knows he will get every penny. Only the elitist of quarterbacks could consider taking less in the NFL, and they’d be well advised not to. Obviously, we do see NFL examples of hometown discounts, but that’s rare. Take less and you’re that much easier to cut.

        I’m off today, I need to take a break.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Why is he talking to the Seadderall S__T Hawks about winning. The ONLY team that win’s in that division are the 49er’s. WHO’S GOT IT BETTER THAN US………..NOOOOOOOOOOBODY!!!!! Now if he want’s to learn how too cheat, show NO class and break EVERY rule their is. Than Pete is your guy!! Just Sayin’!!!!!

    • kingwithringz - Aug 28, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      I love Spo as well but Doc Rivers is the best coach in the Association.

  2. asimonetti88 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Geez, I’m having a hard time thinking of two teams I dislike more, except maybe the Celtics and Cowboys.

    While you’re correct that Spoelstra doesn’t just roll the ball out there, let’s not kid ourselves and act like he would have won two championships without LeBron James. The Seahawks, as much as I dislike them, are not about star players and are a good example of teamwork winning games. Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Kam Chancellor… all very good players but certainly not the best at their respective positions like LeBron. The Seahawks’ success is predicated on outexecuting teams and forcing them to make mental errors.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      There are 22 players on the field at a time. That’s why just having the best player isn’t a guarantee of success. A decent center has a bigger impact than the best WR of all time over the course of an average game.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 28, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        adamsjohn714

        Looks like I’m in agreement with you again for like the 2nd time only.

        A superstar in the NBA is one of 5 players on the court. Also, the superstars in the NBA play both offense and defense. They are on the court for like 36 to 38 mins a game and for some individual games they are on the court for all 48 mins.

        In the NFL, the Tom Brady’s, Peyton Manning’s, AP’s dont’ play both ways, only on offense. Running backs, even one like AP don’t touch the ball on each play.

        So the superstars in the NBA affect their teams much more so than do the superstars in the NFL, MLB etc…

    • miamatt - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      To be fair, the Seahawks are just about as talented as any team in the NFL. And when one of those talents is a rising star QB, that puts them in the super bowl mix.

  3. beach305 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    It’s funny how Spo’s critics here say that he has Lebron James so big deal, but you can say the anything about Phil Jackson having MJ and Pippen, or Shaq and Kobe. How about Doc Rivers having Garnett, Allen and Pierce. Just about every coach has won with talent.

    Having talent is not enough, you need to know how to manage egos and get them to buy into your system. Not to easy to do. Just ask D’Anantio

    • miamatt - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Precisely. There are a million ways a talented team can lose, and precious few ways to win it all. Nobody coaches in a vacuum.

      OK, maybe in the VBA.

  4. bucrightoff - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Well all know what he was really talking to the Seahawks, considering the run they’re on.

    PEDs

  5. jcmeyer10 - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Adderal?

  6. vi3tguy415 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    so now this MUTT knows how to yap? so damn lucky to win game 6. nobody cares about his damn speech.

  7. keifer1751 - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    The Seahawks are are good team. But NFL title contenders? Really? They are a playoff team, no doubt, but they have to win their Division, which the can’t. The Niners are just too strong.

  8. sfsugator - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    first off do you have the best player in the world on your team?? No ok so your not going to win any titles. see ya later.

  9. gdeli - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    He wins because of LeBron!

  10. 22yearsagotoday - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    49er fan but the Seahawks are a force to be reckoned with. No question about it.

  11. beach305 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    If just having Lebron on your team guarantees a title, then what was Cleveland’s excuse?

  12. skinsfanwill - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    You guys are high on Seattle when the Rams didn’t take a loss in that division last year. They Beat San Fran once and tied once, beat Seattle 2x, and beat the Cards2x. Now tell me how Seattle will make the superbowl. Seattle is highly overrated.

  13. imakcds - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    one thing for sure with Spoelstra, in every interview you will hear the words ‘at the end of the day’.

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