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Heat demote two assistants to hire Juwan Howard

Sep 1, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

Stability for the sake of stability is often overrated, but sometimes it has its purposes.

When you have the NBA’s best player and are consistently reaching the NBA Finals, that’s not the time for radical shakeups. The status quo is working.

But once that situation changes, other dominoes start falling.

The Miami Heat, to say the least, are in transition. With LeBron James in Cleveland, the Heat will look very different next season. At this point, might as well take care of everything now.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo will no longer play significant roles on head coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff – and could be completely off the bench, according to league sources.

Those changes will clear the way for Juwan Howard to be promoted from his role in player development, league sources said.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

"As far as being on the bench, they no longer will be," said the source, who said the two have been offered the opportunity to remain with the team in other capacities. "The staff is evolving."

"The fact is," the source said, "they were part of Pat’s group."

To his credit, Riley has empowered Spoelstra to run the team. Maybe Riley was too overbearing with Stan Van Gundy (or not, because it resulted in the 2006 championship), but that hasn’t seemed to be the team president and former coach’s approach with Spoelstra.

And I think Spoelstra is a very good coach. He deserves a chance to coach his own way, just as Riley would have wanted before he moved into the front office.

It’s an interesting departure from New York, where Phil Jackson seems to be taking a different approach. Maybe that will work for Jackson and the Knicks, but it’s definitely different. And remember, Spoelstra has earned a lot more trust than Derek Fisher, a first-time coach.

As far as Howard, he’s clearly a trusted voice in Miami. After three years with the Heat, he eased into retirement and player development last season. They know what they’re getting.

  1. miamatt - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Kinda sad for Rothstein, he was the Heat’s head coach for the first three years in franchise history.

    But Spoelstra has earned the right the run things his way, and I’m sure he has a much better idea of what he wants now than he did six years ago, when he first got the gig.

    If Spoelstra has a rapport with Howard and views him as an up-and-coming talent, than go for it.

  2. cantonbound13 - Sep 1, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Panic time in Miami. I love it!

    • marsh025 - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      Is that the word you want to use there?
      I suppose you think seattle seahawks believes they will never lose again?
      Who expects to be a champion every year? You?
      We’re evolving like every other team does but we’re panicking?
      Enjoy your hypothetical championship with your good on paper team and your can’t lose superstar who lost 10 out of the twelve years he has been in the league.
      we’ll be panicking over here sipping rum and cokes on the beach.

  3. rodge1 - Sep 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM


    Lol, you are funny Sid. If you really think Miami is in panic-mode then you must think New York is on suicide-watch.

  4. mazblast - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Howard was in “player development”. WHAT player development? What players developed for Miami during his illustrious tenure there?

    • bougin89 - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      He was instrumental in the development of Mario Chalmers. Wait, what?

  5. mogogo1 - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    I don’t really follow why New York is mentioned here as a contrast. You’re talking about a guy with zero coaching experience versus a guy who was a top assistant for years before becoming a head coach and then won two titles while going to the Finals four-straight years. I don’t think Spo is the best coach in the league, but he’s clearly earned the right to pick his own staff.

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