Losing the NBA Finals was the best thing that could have happened to Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra.
Spoelstra was placed in the most undesirable coaching situation imaginable. Sure, being able to coach future Hall of Famers is a wonderful thing, including two of the leagues best players in Wade and James, and Spoelstra would of course have never turned down such an amazing opportunity. Still yet, he had the toughest job and was put in the most challenging position of any coach in recent history.
The reason is because in almost any circumstance, Spoelstra was in a lose-lose situation. If Miami had come out and performed mediocre their first year with the “Big 3”, barely missing the playoffs lets say (which would have been very possible and understandable given their first year playing in such a high-expectation environment), Spoelstra would have been marked as an inadequate coach because of the talent available to him. How could someone have that much talent, the argument would have gone, and not reach the playoffs?
On the other hand, if Miami would have won the Championship, Spoelstra would have been overlooked. With that much talent, the argument would have gone, how could he not win? Fans would have believed that any NBA coach, regardless of skill or ability to relate to players, would have also won the title.
However, since Miami made it to both the playoffs and the NBA Finals, some credit must be given to Spoelstra for his ability to coach the “Big 3.” Since they lost, it is clear this was no walk in the park that anyone could have pulled off. At the end of the day, losing to Dallas will strengthen the recognition and respect for Spoelstra.
The same can’t be said for Lebron James.