Pat Riley Says Erik Spoelstra's Job is Safe

Who do you blame when a team with unparalleled marquee talent finds themselves lost in a string of embarrassing losses? Increasingly, fans and haters alike have begun to call for the firing of Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, with many theorizing it's only a matter of time until Heat president Pat Riley creeps once more out of his coaching retirement. Though, Riley today slammed any murmurs that Spoelstra's job is in question.

"Write it off. Write it off. It's the media being neurotic," Riley told the Newark Star-Ledger while responding to questions about Spoelstra's possible firing.

"It's [the media's] need to make a story, create a story, and make that story come true. And that ain't going to happen. Write it off. We're just in a tough time right now, we'll get through it."

This isn't the first time this season the peanut gallery has clamored for Spoelstra's ousting. After The Heat's uninspiring start, many began predicting he wouldn't last the season, but the team finally got it together, and Spoelstra's job seemed safe until the recent implosion.

Of course, almost every team has rough patches, but no one forgets the time Stan Van Gundy was ousted in 2005 and replaced by Riley. That episode, along with the intense media scrutiny the Heat find themselves under, lays Spoelstra bare to all sorts of chatter about his job security. Better get use to it.

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Kyle Munzenrieder