Erik Spoelstra Is Glad He Didn't Win Coach of the Year
No sympathy needed. Erik Spoelstra is doing just fine.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra did not win the 2013 NBA Coach of Year, coming in second in votes to Denver Nuggets coach George Karl.
And that's the way Spo wants it.
"I was probably more pleased this morning than George Karl," Spoelstra said when told Karl beat him for the award.
The reason for Spo's relief is simple.
The list of past Coach of the Year winners is littered with utter failure.
Four of the past seven winners -- like the Cavs' Mike Brown, New Orleans' Byron Scott, and the Raptors' Sam Mitchell -- were fired from their jobs within two years of being awarded Coach of the Year.
Also, coaches who win the award typically don't go on to win that year's NBA Finals.
"I'm not very superstitious," Spo says. "But all coaches, I think, understand [the stigma of] that award. It's not quite as definitive as the Sports Illustrated [cover] jinx, but it's pretty close."
Of course, there's a strong argument that can be made on Spoelstra's behalf this year. He coached the Heat to the best regular-season record and led the team to the second-longest winning streak in NBA history when Miami rattled off 27 straight victories.
Spo has also established a defensive mindset with the Heat and has done a helluva job managing the multiple egos at his disposal.
The Heat finished with its best season ever with 66 regular season wins and had the most efficient offense in the NBA, boasting 110.3 points per 100 possessions, which is bananas.
According to ESPN's Tom Haberstroh, Spo's clutch-time coaching blew the rest of his fellow coaches' asses clean off:
[...] the Heat's performance in crunchtime this season ranks among the best we've seen in recent history. Spoelstra's team went a baffling 32-8 (.800) in games where the Heat were within five points in the final five minutes of the game. For perspective, the 2010-11 Heat were just 22-20 in such games.
Meanwhile, Spo's Heat have advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals while Karl's Nuggets are watching the playoffs at home like the rest of us.
So to recap: Erik Spoelstra was robbed. Also, that's fine, because the Coach of the Year award is CURSED!
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.