Fil-Am Miami Heat Coach Spoelstra Focused on Winning NBA Championship

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Editor's Note: Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, the first Asian, first Filipino-American coach to make the NBA Finals took time at the beginning of the series to share his goal to win the championship .

MIAMI, Florida- Filipino-American coach Erik Spoelstra marked another chapter in his young career. The 40-year-old coach snatched his first NBA finals win in game 1 of the Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks.

Spoelstra said, “I am extremely honored that I have the opportunity to coach this team, I’ve been focused on doing my job all season long.”

In rare personal moment, Spoelstra shared the special meeting he had with Miami Heat president and legendary coach Pat Riley when he was given the break to be the team’s head coach.

He said, “I think he had more confidence that I could do the job before I actually felt that I was ready, …I believe in ‘you don’t worry about what anybody says…you’re ready for this, push ‘em, prod ‘em, demand of them, ah and don’t get caught up in anything else’. So I’ve tried to stay true to those words.”

The Miami Heat has gone through a lot of adversity this year including a tough nine win and eight loss start in their first 17 games. But Spoelstra is thankful for his team’s perseverance and dedication.

For assistant coach and long time friend David Fizdale, “Spo” as he is referred to, says he has been amazing in steering the Heat’s ship and weathering the storms.

Fizdale added,” He had a master plan. The guys knew he had a plan and he stuck with it. Sometimes it was frustrating. That’s ok. That’s part of the growing process. We still got a long ways to go, and that’s how he’s talking about it, one win at a time, and one game at a time.”

Spoelstra has gone where no other Filipino or Asian coach has gone before in the NBA. Coach Spoelstra is not content with what he’s achieved. His team has set a goal and he won’t stop until they get the NBA Championship.


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