Bosh on Spoeltra: He handled Heat Big 3 era ‘with such grace’

Miami Heat player Chris Bosh hugs head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat

FILE — Former Miami Heat player Chris Bosh hugs head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat during his jersey retirement ceremony at halftime of the game between the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic at American Airlines Arena on March 26, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines—The creation of the “Heatles” in 2010 brought an unprecedented level of scrutiny to the city of Miami not only for the team’s Big 3 but also to the inexperienced head coach Erik Spoelstra.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, at that time, created possibly the most polarizing trio in the NBA with the Heat immediately getting branded as a world beater.


Keeping that team in check was Spoelstra, then just in his second year as head coach. He was naturally bound to get the ire of the public if the Heat failed to deliver just one of James’ promised “not seven, not eight” championships.

I mean you know it’s such a tough being a coach, especially for a championship team,” said Bosh during a media availability Friday. “You can be in a position where you feel that any decision you make is wrong.”

Spoelstra, though, managed to weather that early storm in 2010 and eventually led the Heatles to two championships during the four years that the three stars were in the same constellation.

“But you still have to have your goal, you still have to go after it. And, and that’s him being a Filipino-American that’s after all of the, you know, things that he’s gone through being different, growing up and then, you know, becoming a head coach, but still he handled it with such grace,” said Bosh.

The 6-foot-10 power forward was his team’s primary option during his first seven years in Toronto but he had to take a backseat to James and Wade when he got to Miami.

Despite his reduced role, Bosh never let go of that intensity he had while he was still with the Raptors.

That winning drive was also present with Spoelstra but it was the coach’s openness that endeared him to Bosh in the long run.

“He wanted to show his best on the court and give his best effort. He wanted to make sure he was communicating with his team. He wanted to do everything to prepare his mind and his body to be able to help the Miami Heat. I mean, he believes the Miami Heat that’s like, you know, the most important thing for him,” said Bosh, who recently released a book entitled “Letters to a Young Athlete.”

I couldn’t see him doing anything other than being a coach and so, you know, knowing where his heart was that was always important, Because I wanted to win two so we always were able to connect on that level.”


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