Spoelstra reflects on Heat season

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra gestures during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (Rebecca Blackwell, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – The Miami Heat held their exit interviews on Wednesday after their run to a Championship ended in the NBA Finals.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra was asked if he regretted not playing Tyler Herro in Game 5.

Herro was recovering from hand surgery, but was available for the first time in two months for the close-out game.

Spoelstra said, “Yes. I do have empathy for Tyler. He’s a competitor. I know how he felt after the game. He is like all of our guys in our locker room, they wanted to contribute , they wanted to do what they had to do to try to help the team win... I did not have to ask him how he felt after the game.”

On his team’s loss, Spoelstra said, “It’s going to take some time. That’s what all of us will probably go through for whatever, few weeks, few months, maybe... We’re hard-wired to compete for that championship every single year... You want to have some experiences like we just had and they don’t come around every single year.”

Spoelstra said the adversity the team faced brought them closer together.

Spoelstra was asked about Jimmy Butler’s injured ankle and if it limited him during the Finals run.

Spoelstra said, “Do you want me to get beat up by JImmy? You’re setting me up for a physical altercation. He’s fine. There’s no excuses. There’s an honor to the way Jimmy competes in this game that you really have to respect.”

Spoelstra was also asked about Dwyane Wade’s upcoming Hall Of Fame induction. He said that he’s looking forward to it and anyone that knows Dwyane knows it’s going to be a big party.

Spoelstra said that the Heat had enough in the NBA Finals, and just got beat by the Nuggets.

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.