Coming off a championship-winning season, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has no immediate plans to take any time off. He is currently in Manila to make a courtesy call to the president in Malacanang, conduct a basketball clinic for Filipino kids as part of the NBA Cares program, and parade his most recent accolade for the NBA Trophy Tour presented by Gatorade, all taking place within the next three days. As hectic as he's going to be, we still managed to get a piece of the famously humble tactician during a press conference held earlier today. Read on!
On how his life has been since winning the NBA title
"It hasn’t changed my life a great deal. I wanted to make sure that I continue to do the same things I did before we won a championship. I didn’t want to change my lifestyle. I certainly didn’t want to change the opportunity to give back to the game that has been so good to me and our organization. Certainly, the recognition has changed – I have to wear a baseball hat a bit more often, but it hasn't yet gotten to a point where I have to wear a pink mustache or clown glasses."
On his much-publicized verbal spats with his players
"Well, I’m not the biggest guy so I have to make sure that I pick my battles wisely. But that’s part of being a family – that’s the way we treat our organization. What's the scariest exchange? I can’t even limit it to one, there have been multiple ones. I usually have one about once a month with one of my favorite players, Udonis Haslem. He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever come across from the inner city of Liberty City, Florida, right down to our neighborhood in Miami. He’s our team captain. He’s a warrior. I love him, he’s a two-time champion, but we still get into some verbal exchanges from time to time."
On donning the same outrageous outfits as Dwyane Wade
"I'm not necessarily courageous with my outfits. I generally wear a black suit, black tie, and a white shirt. I might get a little bit wild and wear a red tie. When we won the title, around the last thirty seconds, Udonis Haslem dumped a Gatorade bucket on me, and later on that night I had a lot of compliments about my pink shirt. I like to keep it pretty simple. Dwyane Wade on the other hand is a human fashion statement every time he does a press conference. That’s what makes him unique."
On coaching new Heat recruits Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis
"Yeah, those two guys, we like them. Our favorite part about signing Ray is the fact that he had inflicted so much pain on us during his Celtics years. The Celtics are probably our first Eastern Conference rival, so we don’t like them too much in Miami. But we have great respect for Ray as a professional, as a future Hall of Famer, and as an NBA Champion. We’ve respected him for years and we think that his skill set fits us very well. Rashard has been a part of a lot of successful teams. He went to the finals with the Orlando Magic, so he knows what it takes to win. His ability to shoot the ball also fits us very well. We’re looking forward to those two additions."
On the PBA Finals rivalry between B-Meg and Rain or Shine
"I was at the game last night, so I was able to enjoy the PBA Finals. I always try to see one PBA game every year. Usually we’re able to see a local college game. But I love watching championship-level games and last night’s game was very exciting. I hope it goes seven games! I can’t root for one team over the other; I just hope it goes seven. I think it’s good for the fans out here."