Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra's days be numbered. Fans and sports commentators are already eager to see him gone and the Miami Heat players themselves may be about to join that bandwagon. ESPN reports that the players are growing increasingly frustrated with Spoelstra.
Sources say the players believe he is not letting them be themselves, that they are questioning his offensive strategies, and that they think he is panicking because he fears losing his job.
In contrast to the popular view that Spoelstra has been hesitant to jump on superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, sources say the Heat coach has shown no fear in criticizing them.
The reports comes after a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, after which some questioned whether a "bump" between LeBron James and Spoelestra was intentional.
Sources tell ESPN that Spoelstra has told James to quite joking around and get more serious.
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"He's not a motivator," a source tells the network. "Instead of coaching he's at the point where the players are starting to sense that he's fearing for his job."
So of course the players want Pat Riley back on the sidelines? Not so. Apparently, Dwyane Wade has been adamant that he doesn't want Riley back in the head coach position.
In Spoelstra's defense he is the easiest target. Unlike Wade, James, Riley or Chris Bosh he doesn't have much of a reputation or pedigree. Even before the Heat played a single game some were wondering if he'd be able to handle the job. Plus some fans probably can't shack the memory of what happened in 2005-06 when the Heat got off to a bad start, only to see Riley come in and coach the team to a championship.
Then again if the Heat want to have any chance at a championship something needs to change and change soon. When you've got a 9-8 record the question isn't whether or not you can get to the finals, but whether you can even get to the playoffs.