Ten Miami Sports Figures Joe Biden Should Consider for Cabinet Positions

Here are a few suggestions we might have if the Biden transition team calls New Times.
Here are a few suggestions we might have if the Biden transition team calls New Times. Photos by All-Pro Reels/Jacob Childrey/Keith Allison
Now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have locked in an Airbnb reservation for the White House for the next four years, it's time to start thinking about who might join them as part of their cabinet. Like any sports team, a new administration brings with it a roster full of players who will have as much to do with the success or failure of the team as their leader does.

What we're saying is that Joe Biden needs a new team, and we have some ridiculous suggestions. More specifically, we've dreamt up some scenarios where Miami sports figures are asked to serve the nation as a member of the Biden-Harris administration.

Here are a few suggestions we'll have when the Biden transition team calls New Times to ask for advice on which Miami sports figures would be a good fit in Washington.
Secretary of the Treasury: Andy Elisburg. The casual Heat fan may not recognize the name Andy Elisburg, but any Heat fan who obsesses over how the team can walk into the NBA free-agency Publix with $45 and leave with $500 worth of groceries and 25 scratch-off tickets knows the team's general manager is the man behind the plans.

If Biden walked into Elisburg's office and asked him to figure out how the country could pay for Medicare for All, the GM would probably reply, "Say less," and be back with a plan that same week.
Secretary of Defense: Brian Flores. If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are in search of a brilliant defensive mind, they should pick up the phone and call Dolphins coach Brian Flores. Flores has proven capable of making chicken salad out of chicken shit in both New England and Miami — so imagine what he could do with a trillion-dollar military.

Flores would no doubt be three steps ahead of any Kim Jong Un nuclear launch, rendering it a big piece of scrap metal floating in the ocean. ISIS would stand no chance running from his disguised blitzes. America would be the safest nation on the planet.
Administrator of the Small Business Administration: Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Butler started a small business from his hotel room while participating in the NBA playoffs inside a bubble in Orlando. If that doesn't make him qualified to represent the 30 million small businesses of America, nothing does.

Butler started Big Face Coffee — a coffee shop that charges $20 for a small, medium, or large coffee, and $50 if you want two smalls — and it instantly blew up. What started as a joke ended with Lululemon apparel deals. He's the man to take charge of growing our economy, one small business at a time.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Udonis Haslem. If there was ever a job Udonis Haslem was put on this earth to do more than being a professional basketball player, it's running the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Haslem already has a résumé, having recently announced his Wynwood Works affordable-housing project.

This is one cabinet role where you want to be sure the occupant's heart is in it. There'd be no doubt that Udonis Haslem — a man who hails from the parts of Miami tourists avoid — would be great at this job.
Secretary of Energy: Jakeem Grant. If Joe Biden puts an end to fracking and moves the U.S. away from a reliance on oil, the entire country could rely on the energy Jakeem Grant produced by running on a treadmill for five minutes. If anyone knows about creating green energy, it's a guy who makes his living turning 100-yard football fields into touchdowns.

Jakeem Grant is a human spark plug, a living, breathing Tesla. He's the fastest man in Miami. He's from Texas, the home of energy production. That's it. That's the résumé.
White House Chief of Staff: Don Mattingly. A good chief of staff is capable of weathering the storm of inevitable problems and being able to tell it like it is to the president. If there's one man in Miami who has seen his share of bad times and persevered through them, it's the Marlins' Don Mattingly.

Don Mattingly has been a manager under Jeffrey Loria and David Samson. Don Mattingly has lost 110 games in a season.

He's also this year's National League Manager of the Year after the Marlins were the biggest surprise of baseball in 2020, a season that started with a stretch that saw the Marlins lose nearly 20 players to COVID-19 and ended with a playoff appearance that included a first-round win over the Chicago Cubs.

Don Mattingly has seen it all. The president could count on him to be there for sound advice when needed most.
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Dan Marino. You're probably wondering why on earth we would tap Dan Marino to watch over the environment. The answer is easy — it sounds like an easy job that nobody takes seriously anyway. Perfect for a guy who A) we can't leave out of our Miami sports administration, and B) needs a sufficiently cushy job to ensure he doesn't actually have to work.

Living in Miami, we at least know Marino would give a semi-shit about water overtaking the entire peninsula, if only because it will swallow up his real estate investments. Marino wouldn't need to do much to run this department. It just sounds like the sort of job that requires a handful of emails and a monthly meeting.
Secretary of Education: Erik Spoelstra. Can't you picture Erik Spoelstra as an amazing professor? He just seems like the sort of guy who would make college students actually show up to art history class. Throughout his decade-plus tenure as Miami Heat coach, Spoelstra has coached everyone from Duncan Robinson to LeBron James. He's widely known for getting the most out of players and pushing them to be the best versions of themselves.

If Biden and Harris need someone they can trust to formulate a plan to make America smart again, Coach Spo is the man for the job. His track record speaks for itself.
Secretary of State: Pat Riley. If there's one man in Miami sports we'd choose to send around the globe to persuade people they need to do things we ask of them, Pat Riley would be our choice. If America wants to project strength and repair a culture that has slipped over the last four years, Riley is the man for the job.

By 2022, Pat Riley would have North Korea asking for tips on how to be more like America. Riley would figure out a way to talk them into signing whatever nuclear-disarming agreement he put in front of them. He's been a part of tougher negotiations.
U.S. Trade Representative: Chris Grier. The Biden-Harris administration needs someone who's familiar with trade to represent them in deals with foreign countries. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier loves himself a good trade. He doesn't always hit on them, but when he does, it's franchise-changing.

The most notable Grier trade was the deal he made before last season with the Houston Texans that landed two first-round and second-round picks for left tackle Laremy Tunsil. That deal paved the way for a speedy rebuild that will pay even more dividends than previously expected, as the Texans are super stinky this season, meaning their first-round pick owed the Dolphins will be in the Top Ten of the draft. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi