Is there more going on behind the scenes in the Miami Heat front office?
Over the course of the last couple of decades, a case can be made that there has been no franchise as steady, competent, and as successful as the Miami Heat. Through different eras, different superstars, and even different head coaches, Pat Riley has done an excellent job of keeping the Heat relevant across the 2000s.
However, over the last few years (specifically since the departure of LeBron James), we’ve seen some cracks in an otherwise unmovable force. LeBron left in 2014, Dwyane Wade left in 2016 (and then returned to retire), the team had a public falling out with Chris Bosh (and then somewhat of a makeup), and now it’s been reported that the Portland Trail Blazers could be targeting the idea of Erik Spoelstra as the team’s next head coach.
And this is not something that has been shut down emphatically, which is somewhat odd. Interestingly, since the initial report became public, it’s actually picked up some steam.
In fairness, to follow up the report from Ethan Skolnick, he says he doesn’t have any indication that Spo would leave. The rumor wasn’t squashed entirely, however. And gained steam across the internet as the day went on.
Could this indicate some issues behind the scenes for the Miami Heat?
Initially, the first thing that popped into my mind when thinking about the possibility of Spo leaving the Heat for Portland was that perhaps there’s a power struggle going on that no one knows about.
Riley has been the leading voice for the Heat since Spo’s rise began. From all indications, the expectation is that Spo is the next man up – whenever Riley elects to retire or move aside. While there have been whispers of that possibly happening since the days in which LeBron donned a Heat jersey, nothing of that nature has taken place.
In fact, it doesn’t even seem like Riley is close to hanging it up. If that is indeed true, it would make sense for Spo to be open to possibly leaving the Heat to another opportunity in which he would have more power over roster construction in addition to coaching (especially if that’s something he desires at this point in his career).
And for him to have that opportunity in Portland, a place in which he has deep ties, it might make too much sense for him not to entertain.
If this were to happen, it would have a huge impact on the landscape of the NBA. The Heat would be impacted and so would Portland. How so, it’s anyone’s guess.
But if there are indeed legs to these whispers, it would be highly interesting to see how this all plays out.
Maybe this turns out to be nothing and the Blazers hire another head coach that isn’t Spo and this is just another summertime filler story/rumor. At this point, however, considering how much sense this move would make for all parties involved, I don’t think this is something that can be taken with a grain of salt. Not yet.