Erik Spoelstra must go

Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke recommends Pat Riley pull a Stan Van Gundy on Erik Spoelstra.

Pat Riley needs to stop wasting time writing love poems to his wife Christine during games and get back on the sidelines. Erik Spoelstra is a nice guy, and one day he might even be a great head coach. But right now, he is not the guy who can lead the Dwyane Wade-LeBron James-Chris Bosh troika to an NBA title. Riley needs to take over as head coach of the Miami Heat again, even if it means he gets criticized for repeating the morass of replacing Stan Van Gundy in 2006. Remember that one? That's when Riley fired the coach and then led the Heat to its first championship.

Riley is like the rich-ass dad who has been letting his young son drive his $1 million Bugatti Veyron. He wants to see if Spoelstra is mature enough to pilot the luxury ride. Based on the way the Heat has played during its losing games, the team's former video guy does not command the respect of his players. After the second loss to the Boston Celtics, James complained Spoelstra is playing him and D-Wade too much. Bosh, after scoring 35 points against a depleted Phoenix Suns team, groused that guys on the team just want to chill while Spoelstra wants them to work hard in practice. You better believe the Heat's power forward, whose play has been atrocious so far, would not be making stupid comments if Riley were coaching the team.

Spoelstra might be D-Wade's guy, but he is certainly not a James or a Bosh guy. So far, the players' roles are still undefined. Bosh is not getting the ball enough. Wade is still taking acrobatic shots as if he has no teammates. And what was the point of having Wade, James, and Bosh share the stage at the American Airlines Arena this past summer if you are drawing up plays for Eddie House to take the last shot in a close game? The money guys should take the money shots.

There are only four men in the NBA capable of coaching this group of All-Stars: Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, and Riley. Of those coaches, only the Heat's president is available. This team needs a leader it can respect. That is not the case with Spoelstra. He is a good assistant. To develop into a top-tier coach, he needs to be in charge of a low-end NBA team or maybe a small school vying for a berth in the NCAA tournament. Giving Spoelstra the keys to the Bugatti was a mistake.

Make the change now. Riley, you can't wait until the All-Star break. Give the Heat fans their money's worth.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

Email editorial@miaminewtimes.com

 
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Kim Mathenge
Kim Mathenge

althought i'm not a heat fan when the heat win riley is not going to be able to Scr**........... spolstra. Riley is a weasel.

Kim Mathenge
Kim Mathenge

oklahoma city is nothing more then a eastern conference team who plays in the west. everybodys acting like it's a surprize that miami got to the finals 2 years in a row. not me the Eastern conf. sucks. Okc should just let the spurs beat them. matching a team with no finals experience. other then fisher and perkins. mohammed doesn't count cause he doesn't play. dequane cook doesn't play much either.

Meowwwww
Meowwwww

You dont know what you are talking about. AS USUAL!

Johnny Martinez
Johnny Martinez

Pat Riley is a very smart man.He took a billion dollar risk that is paying off. THE MIAMI HEAT are gelling better and faster than anyone expected! We blew the Lakers out Christmas ,shut the haters up and have become an awesome team to watch.I think Erik S. has done a fantastic job ! I lived in Miami 30 years and still proudly represent the Miami Heat up here in North carolina for every game ! Lets not forget Udonis Haslem #40 people !! He is a key player in this as well and never gets credit for it ! LETS GO HEAT !!!

nini
nini

all i can say is stupid people say stupid things.. Erik is a good coach and the heat are a great team, theyre getting their footing and for Luke to come and talk shit like he knows anything is annoying. when he can get up and play ball or coach a team or do anything aside from getting girls to dance naked his opinion will count. for now hes better off in hiding since the heat have come up a hell of a lot in the past few games

great
great

It's funny when the Heats lose a couple of games back to back, Erik is considered young and inexperience.... but when the Heats win a couple of games in a row, Erik's the savior.... GO FIGURE

I think we all should give him a chance. Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, and Pat Riley did not start of as GREAT coaches. They became great. And by the looks of Spoelstra's track record he has a lot of potential....just give credit where credit is due.

king
king

after a week or two.....what now luke? better shut up? or hiding?Funny (",)

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Will
Will

Why in the world is this man qualified to state his opinion to the masses? What an idiot. He makes your whole publication look foolish.

This article is almost as bad as the rip off "50 Best Things about Miami" article, which was racist...towards white people.

Also, the TSA is saving your ass from being blown up, Luke. Shut the fuck up.

John Doe
John Doe

To start off, Spoelstra was not given the keys to a Bugatti. He was given the keys to a Toyota Corolla for two years and then got upgraded to a Bugatti. Spoelstra, despite having a semi-mediocre team for the last two years, with the help of D-Wade was able to take the Heat to the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. And that was following the terrible 15 wins season three years ago. He has a strong defensive mindset, much like Riley does. Yes it is true that he probably does not command the same respect from the players as Riley would, but at the end of the day it's not how well coaches get along with players, it's about how well the players understand each other and each others playing styles. These are grown men, that have enough foresight and experience to know that this task of winning a title cannot be done alone. It should behoove the Heat to focus on the fundamentals of the game, especially on their transition game. In the open court, the Heat are the team to beat. Riley knows it, Spoelstra knows it, the city of Miami knows it, even Charles Barkley knows it; but the Heat have to believe it, night in and night out. What if Riley does come back, and the Heat continue to struggle? Remember the Heat in 2006 was a whole different picture than today's powerhouse. In 06 we had arguably the most dominant low post presence in the history of the NBA, as well as the young and upcoming D-wade who was playing with a certain swagger and a chip on his shoulder. To sum it up I think it's too early for a Riley comeback, maybe if the Heat are still hovering around or below .500 by the All Star break, then I would take the keys away from Spoelstra.

S
S

Ditto!

shutthefup
shutthefup

I usually don't do this but...Luke shut the f up! You need to go. What the f do you know about anything other than making booty shake music for low rate hoes that like to dance in strip clubs. So easy to sit back and say fire someone. These people have lives, these are their jobs that they have dedicated their lives to.

You and any other loser that listens to you need to go to hell! You f-ing clown!

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Kelly
Kelly

Finally someone that sees this my way! He needs to go!

Lukemustgo
Lukemustgo

Luke must go. Your articles suck, you know nothing about anything except making adolescent crude ghetto rap lifting other people's music. You were a never was has been a long time ago. Luke, please go away.

James Esposito
James Esposito

Luke - Stick to booty shakin' music. That's your sweet spot. You have no place or experience in assessing the HEAT just like thousands of other media types that now decide to cover the team because it is fashionable, particularly to bash them.

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bobby navarro
bobby navarro

They finally got rid of Randy S. What took them so long? Now they need to get rid of Erik S. and they need to get rid of that big buffoon named Lebron.. There is only one coach that can teach Lebron team work and cooperation and that is Phil Jackson. That aint goin to happen because he hates the humidity of Miami and Cuban food LOL I repeat the modern day NBA sucks! Bring back the 80's baby! Get rid of these big contracts.. These assholes make too much money.

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miguel
miguel

pffffffft whatever, Miami doesnt need Lebron, Lebron needs Miami. Regardless of who is coaching or whether a change needs to happen at that coaching position. Lebron , is acting like a spoiled little girl that doesnt get her way. No one is denying his talent, the man has been blessed.Seriously, though no respect whatsoever, for anyone except his inflated ego.King James? Yeah right, the Heat have a championship WITHOUT Lebron.Win something you little bitch.

SlicRik
SlicRik

Pat Riley's plan is working,let the media,players,and fans beat up on Spolstra,then he will come to Pat Riley crying like a baby,Pat will advise him to resign,this way Riley wont be the bad guy but the hero that saves the day and the season.Spolstra will then go into exile.Remember respect has to be earned,its not automatic.Spolstra is like a dear caught in head-lights,a nice guy in my opinion,and an assistant at best.when Riley steps in we will be saying "spolstra who"

cr
cr

Dude, You're a nitwit with no understanding of sports. LeBron needs to go. Trade him for a center. D Wade and Bosh can get the job with a big man in the middle. LeBron is a primadona with a run away ego. Could not win Cleavland and won't win in Miami,

agree
agree

Totally agree with you. Needs to be done now. Reily knew it from the beginning.

Heavy G
Heavy G

FUCK YOU, Luther, aka Uncle Pervert.

anon
anon

you're just dumb.

Jay
Jay

It must be great to be able to write whatever you want, good or bad, and not only not have to produce something like a championship team, but not even fear for you job. When you grow a set of huevos like Coach Spo, come back and criticize. Until then, shut your pie hole.And where does Luke come from? I thought your name was Luther? Are you ashamed of the name your mother gave you? Are you trying to be cool? And what's up with the Uncle? Are you trying to push your paternal authority over us? It kinda makes you feel uncomfortable answering these questions, doesn't it?Then cut it out, chump

John
John

Uncle Luke thinks the same thing as Phil Jackson? I'd love to see Pat Riley back in charge BUT I'm not sure that's really going to help. What would help is if LBJ helped out Wade more, Wade made his shots, and Bosh got more comfortable with his role. All of that just comes with time. We're making playoffs. By then we should surprize (kinda like we did last time we went to the Championship.)

nick4586
nick4586

Waaaauuuuu!!!!! Luke although you are not on the money you are almost there....the coach does need a little encouragment, guidence, and support from Mr. Riley, but lets keep something in mind it is a matter of time before james gets his can of humbleness and has to drink it to. This is a team game and not the lebron show. If he doesnt get his part of the act then he will be moved from team to team before he drinks that can. Then, and only then will he get close to a championship. In the mean time respect, do what your told, shut your mouth and sink some balls. Get it Lebron? This is the winning combination. The coach, in the mean time, has to build in his confidence and sit Lebron on the bench to show him that the Heat can win without him.

stoneloc
stoneloc

Yo Luke, stick to talking about the CANES, its apparent you know nothing about basketball. Coach Spo and President Riley need to shut Lebron down, tell him this aint Cleveland and let him know that the MIAMI HEAT run the show.. And Wade needs to show a little backbone, he goes from endorsing Coach Spo, to dissing him.. not cool WADE... man up

Javier
Javier

Luke!!!!! Finally you right something worthless, but true!

So you read up on the Sun Sentinel and Ira Winderman's comments and made this article. I commend you in actually spending the time to write an article that is not RACIALLY BIASED like all of your other columns....where you don't know what you are talking about.

I commend you in trying to write something where people will actually read it.

Great job....keep up the good work!

pat
pat

How do I remove lukes comments from my yahoo. seriouslyI dont wont him near my hoohoo either

king
king

larry brown is one of my favorite coaches but you missed something.....larry prefers to coach team with no big named playerlike le bron etc. but develop caliber team thru "TEAM" players. pls stop playing smart

cwildes
cwildes

I agree with most of the article but take exception to the comment that there are only four men capable of coaching a group of All Stars. What do you think Doc Rivers has been doing the past few years with Paul, Ray, KG and now Shaq? Pretty good coaching given, KG and Paul injuries and no BS drama like you have on the Heat. If it were not for Perkins going down last year in the finals the C's would have had 2 titles in 3 years.

The problem with the Heat is that they are Legends in their own mind, great NBA team ever! ….Give me a break! Riley should have kicked someone’s butt over that statement given the Laker teams he coached! not the mention the Bulls and the Celtics. Other than D Wade and House (ex Celtic), none of the other players have been NBA Champions, they just talk and pose like they are.... and as many people now know from the recent Presidential election, talk is cheap, you gotta perform.

Last night Wade had shooting problems again but this time it was because of a hang nail (yes, I said hang nail) which was the excuse the announcers were using for his shooting struggles when he came out of the game holding his hand ….. anyone ever hear of Willis Reed in the playoffs or Kobe ALL last year? That to me underscores the Heat problem, no heart coupled with a sense of entitlement by guys that never really had the pressure (excluding Wade WHEN Riley was there) to perform.

The issue and question is, can Riley get this cast of ego's and under achievers with no heart to perform ? Riley is great and a genuine Legend, but today’s game and players are different….”hang nail”…. WOW, no wonder the Celtics spank these guys when they play them.

lukeisanidiot
lukeisanidiot

It doesn't matter who coaches this team as they cannot compete with the best teams without a true center and a shooting guard. Three great players do not make a team. The Heat is missing pieces to the puzzle. I thought this weeks Luke article would be claiming racism because Randy Shannon got fired...guess that will be next week.

 
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