NBA / Jul 16, 2014 / 2:30 pm

Erik Spolestra Explains The “Madness” In Miami After LeBron’s Announcement

Dwyane Wade, Eric Spolestra, LeBron James

Dwyane Wade, Eric Spolestra, LeBron James (Brendan Maloney- USA TODAY Sports)

Last Friday was a crazy day for everyone in the NBA. When LeBron James announced his return to Cleveland, the free agency market officially opened for business. The Miami Heat were left scrambling after seeing the best player in the game leave town. Head coach Erik Spolestra detailed just how frightening the entire ordeal was.

Via Shandel Richardson of the Miami Sun Sentinel, Spolestra was disappointed to see LeBron go, but harbors no ill will towards him:

“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra said. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”

“This league does teach you that it’s inevitable that there’s constant change and you always have to continue to embrace change, adapt with change,” Spoelstra said. “This is a big, monumental change that we didn’t necessarily anticipate but you have to respect it because when you’re a free agent in this league you have the right to make a decision that’s best for you and your family. When he made that decision that was best for his family, where his heart is, all you can do from our side is respond with respect and love.”

The response is consistent with what other members of the Heat organization have said about LeBron’s decision. Dwyane Wade issued a statement earlier this week calling it the right decision. Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison have been very respectful of LeBron’s choice as well.

But the Heat only had so much time to get over losing LeBron. Right away, Miami had to deal with the potential of Chris Bosh leaving, and suddenly, they had a lot of cap room to spend. Spolestra was asked whether the Heat were in a state of panic:

“Probably, we were all in Pat’s office about five minutes just to collect ourselves and then from there it was madness,” Spoelstra said. “The board was right there. So we said we better get to work and we didn’t leave until after 1 in the morning.”

After Bosh decided to spurn Houston’s offer to return to the Heat on a max deal, things settled down some in Spolestra’s mind:

“We were talking to agents, trying to talk our guys, texting our guys and no one was getting back to us,” Spoelstra said. “There were two or three hours of a lot of uneasiness. We had no idea. From that point on, it just changed. It’s still the Miami Heat, still a great, proven organization, great opportunities and we started to get some calls back and the first one was CB. That one was obviously very important.”

Since Friday, the Heat have also signed Luol Deng and made Wade’s return official. While things might have looked awfully bleak for a few hours there on Friday, Miami has rebounded quite well. They’re not going to replace LeBron, but they won’t be bottoming out next season either. The Heat will field a competitive team, and we’ll see just how Spolestra adjusts to life without LeBron.

How many wins do the Heat get next year?

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  • 2cents

    Heat make the Playoffs in the 3-6 spot, but don’t go far in the Playoffs. Experience might help them some, but when the only player who showed up in the Finals leaves, you are in trouble.

  • Jonny Dextre

    Heat will defeat Cavaliers 2round playoff and fight to Pacers or Wizard ECF

  • Onaje

    I don’t know…I think Deng has something to prove. I also believe Bosh when he says that he looks forward to the challenge of being a number 1 guy…Also People forget how effective Wade was when he played up until the Spurs series. He was 19ppg, getting steals and still shooting a career high percentage…That quick sweep may actually have done his body some good lol

  • Onaje

    Yeah I think Wizards are next up…assuming Wall doesn’t look as he did against Indiana…that was bizarre. It wasn’t good defense slowing him down he was just settling and his J abandoned him after being effective all year….that along with Otto Potter showing signs of life and Beal being 1 year better is a great sign. Vet Pierce will be an impact influence in close games…

  • Onaje

    Not considering moves to come and Health: East Outcome –




    Maybe not in this order, but can’t really see other east teams getting in the playoffs without a major injury to these 9 teams…Toss up with Knicks and Hornets for 8th seed…Hornets are going to be pretty solid, but not explosive. Knicks offensively have many scorers, but defense is looking suspect.

  • John Garzaniti

    40 wins tops, first round exit in the playoffs, Should have opened the vault for Melo

  • Delphinus13

    I think the Heat have built a VERY solid roster, and should fare really well next season. I think they’ll win 50+ games and earn one of the Top 5 seeds in the Eastern Conference. If Miami meets Cleveland in the playoffs, it should be a GREAT series.

  • Delphinus13

    Here’s Miami’s roster so far:
    Chris Bosh (starter)
    Chris Anderson
    Danny Granger (starter)
    Udonis Haslem
    Luol Deng (starter)
    Josh McRoberts
    Dwyane Wade (starter)
    Mario Chalmers
    Norris Cole (starter)
    Shabazz Napier
    James Ennis (SF)

    They’re 2-deep at EACH position with a young forward, Ennis, who can play the 3 or 4 position.

  • Lebron30

    In the East, if you win 50+, you will be a top 2. I doubt that they win so many games.

  • Kathryn Lewis

    I guess Spoelstra was in a tail spin when Lebron left. Lebron can’t be replaced, he was the coach and captain.

  • LeAnda Carver Latstetter

    I am not seeing Granger as a starter. I am thinking McRoberts.

  • Ryan Hossain

    What about if Rose is healthy? Bulls are gonna be a contender for sure.

  • deezy828

    Detroit Def Makin it this year!!

  • Bryan Simmons

    Heat should be a playoff team next year, and I would expect to see Bosh excel. He rightly deferred to Lebron and now he will be featured far more.

  • Ricardo Sanchez

    I think Miami have put itself in a great position to be in the top 5 teams next year without Lebron….They have regained all the necessary pieces!……Now all Spoelstra has to do is glue them together like he did when Lebron was there….augment their ball movement!…And I believe they will be “BETTER THAN THEY WERE WITH LEBRON”!

  • Abundio Noel Migriño Libot

    Wala na rin si Ray Allen?

  • Ricardo Sanchez

    All of Miami’s players have to learn how to move rapidly without the ball for 48 minutes…..this will take alot of Stamina training!….They will have to be able to run 3miles like I did in Marine Corp bootcamp….and get away from a whole lot of weight lifting…not that they should not do some lifting, but they should not put that type of training over Stamina training and rapid ball movement….that’s why they lost to San Antonio….they simply could not keep up with all the running around.

  • Ricardo Sanchez

    I ran those 3miles in 20 minutes…I was an older Marine…but I took pride in knowing I could keep up with those young guys!….most of them were doin it from 18 minutes and up….

  • ExBGKFanNowTNTFan

    No Rashard Lewis either.

  • Poot

    I’d have your babies :p

  • http://www.sutanaryan.com/ Ryan S

    Free agent sya bro, Miami Heat still waiting on his decision.

  • Sharpiex2

    Who is Spolestra? *smh*

  • NdinonziJoseph WequaMurisi

    I’m optimistic about james ennis probably the best signee this year

  • MD13

    You’ve made a good point. That’s actually the real reason the heat lost to San Antonio

  • Michael

    Hats off for your comment Ricardo Sanchez !!! I think that’s what they really need to do.

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  • Onaje

    Yeah…the East will be interesting for sure…aside from Roses health my only question mark for the bulls would be chemistry…they added necessary offensive weapons, but will Coach Thib be lenient on the guys that may make defensive mistakes and not penalize them with less minutes as they are adjusting? McDermott, Marotic, Gasol are not known as defensive guys, but I think given time they can be good team defensive cogs…but Thib wears his guys legs out. I’m curious how the pieces fit and how Thib works in his offensive guys.

  • Onaje

    Man I can’t look too far past Hawks and Pistons…they aren’t looking bad to sneak in the playoffs too.

    A healthy Al, more mature Teague, Millsap, Schroder development, solid rookie Payne (who’s more experienced than most rookies),

    Pistons still dealing and looking to improve…Drummond may have a All-star caliber year…seeing as though Hibbert is the standard there that isn’t saying much, but he is a true big man that plays with skill. KCP is looking more comfortable, hopefully Brandon Knight finally puts a complete season together. They picked up some vets and if they move Josh for a more reliable SF and figure out a way to keep Monroe they have a tough squad that on paper is easily a playoff team.

    This will be fun for sure.

  • Delphinus13

    Bulls woul d have been definite contenders if they’d signed Melo, but they didn’t. They also lost Boozer. Depending on Rose’s health, they’ll be a #2-#6 seed, but probably don’t have enough to seriously contend next season.