Erik Spoelstra may be one of the younger head coaches in the NBA, but that doesn't mean his taste in music is especially hip. In fact, the head coach almost turned down his first interview for his first job with the Miami Heat because he had tickets to a Grateful Dead concert.
Sports Illustrated profiled the Heat's coach as he moves on from four years as the leader of the NBA's villainous super team. Among the more interesting tidbits: he keeps notes on just about everything on his laptop, often can't remember his post-game speeches even after he gave them, and he rejected a nice big office with a great view for a windowless office downstairs.
Though, Spoelstra also has a fear of failure that almost had him not ending up at the Heat at all.
Spoelstra's first job with the Heat was in 1995 when he was hired as a video coordinator after playing professional basketball in Germany. He says he only applied for the job after losing a bet with his teammates.
To his surprise the Heat organization called him up with an interview offer, but he almost didn't take it because he had tickets to a Grateful Dead concert that night, he tells SI. Of course, he did end up spurning Jerry Garcia for the interview, but even after being offered the gig he wasn't sure if he wanted to take it until he got encouragement from his sister.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Every step up the ladder for Spoelstra came with doubt.
"I was comfortable and change scared me," he said of his eventually promotion to assistant coach. "I'd get this pit in my stomach, that fear of being a disastrous failure."
No word on whether Spoelstra ever got another chance to see the Dead.