Friday , Mar , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Erik Spoelstra wants a mulligan on ‘Cry-Gate’ comment

What is one thing you would go back and do over this season? Was it the crying comment to the media after the game?

“I wouldn’t have said it [the players were crying after the Chicago Bulls lose]. I mean the players…we don’t have a problem with it because everybody has been in a situation where their words have been taken out of context. In a strange way we’ve all been through this together and everybody in something where they have tried to say something to the team that has been taken out of context and it strengthened us. I brought it up to the team the next day and there wasn’t any broken trust. You know you’re in front of the media three times a day eventually something you’re going to say is probably not going to have the meaning you would have expected. I wouldn’t have said it if I had a do over just so I would eliminate one more distraction, but my point about it was the guys do care. I think it is great that we have some incredible, incredibly competitive, self-willed guys in this locker room, but this means a lot more to them, their profession.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Erik Spoelstra is in front of the press several times a day. Being the sideline boss of the high profile Miami Heat means every sentence, word, and syllable is dissected.

To be fair, Spoelstra has done a solid job with the press. He won’t, however, get a mulligan on his ‘Cry-Gate’ blunder after the heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Bulls.

And he won’t get a mulligan on the season if the Heat falls short of expectations. 2011 will be all she wrote for Spoelstra.

So the only thing that matters is winning. Not now. Not two weeks from now, but in June during the NBA Finals.

To keep his job, Spoelstra’s Heat must qualify for the championship series and impress the old guy with slicked back hair who conveniently sits near the team’s bench during games.

That’s right: Pat Riley. That Hall of Fame sideline boss turned executive, who never met a camera he didn’t like.

If the Heat falters, ‘Riles’ could fire Spoelstra and step behind the bench himself. The more likely scenario is he hires another coach, so he can still act as the grand puppet-master of South Beach.

It would seem the press isn’t the only hassle Spoelstra is facing. Riley’s string pulling is also a problem.

–Oly Sandor.

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