Early Thursday morning coach Erik Spoelstra sat down and spoke for half an hour to the media before conducting exit interviews with the players as the business of closing up shop for the 09-10 Miami Heat season was in full swing with an eye ahead for the much-discussed summer of 2010 looming large over the organization.
Here is his entire opening statement in his own words:
No matter how the season goes or how the playoffs go invariably it always comes crashing down with a thud. Those are the emotions we had yesterday. I think certainly with more time to reflect on the season there were a lot of things to be proud of starting with our defense. Being able to defend and to do it consistently and do it at a high rate as any team in the league. We were second in field goal percentage allowed and second in points allowed, top 5 in virtually every defensive category.
Offensively - to have different guys come in and fill different roles and still able to be efficient. We were third in least amount of turnovers and guys were really buying into that concept. Even players that weren’t low turnover guys before in their careers understood that that was a big factor for us to be successful offensively.
I think the fact that we did have free agents on the team and there was always speculation – not only with our team but all around the league because of the 2010 summer – that guys were really able to come together, buy into the team, get out of their personal agendas and somehow come together to have a very successful regular season.
And some of the adversity that we faced and being able to respond to that, that’s what you hoped that any team you coach in this league can have and get to. I think the fourth best road record in franchise history speaks to that. And I think that a lot of people wrote this team off, especially early on, to be able to win tough games and to be able to win on the road.
You know what I told the team right after the game and what I’ll tell them this morning are things of that nature. No one likes the end of season and losing in the playoffs, that will always be that feeling that emotion will always be there, but still as a professional you have to be grateful for the opportunities that we had and it was a very successful season in terms of exceeding our expectations and guys really coming together to form a team.
He was very confident that his boss Pat Riley would bring reinforcements for next season.
I think that’s why we all love working with Pat. He thinks big, he really does, and you have to embrace that when you work for him and I think that it’s an exciting mentality. Everything he does he’s thinking about how to direct this team to a championship. And that really galvanizes everybody here that’s working in this building. We have a singular goal and we’re all working for the same thing. As far as this summer, Pat has a proven track record of attracting players and I wouldn’t bet against him.
Spoelstra gave a vote of confidence to the several players on the team that have now become free agents and how they had fit into the Heat philosophy.
I think all the guys that we have in the locker room fit the type of fabric of a player that we like to bring here for the Miami Heat. Guys that will buy into the team more than they will their personal agenda. We’ll have to see how that shapes out but I’ll put it to you this way. No one played or behaved professionally to immediately say that this is a guy we don’t want to come back.
And his final thoughts on the summer and what's to come.
As an organization we’ve built a lot of structure here. There’s been a plan for over two years about this. We’ve put ourselves really in a good position to take advantage of this flexibility. Again, we have so many positives here with our ownership, with Pat, with the structure here, the desirable city, and we have great fans. All of these things are positives that a lot of players find this city and this organization a very desirable to play. So from that standpoint we’re in the driver’s seat. Now there are always possibilities and you have to prepare for everything. But the outlook is positive and that’s why everyone here is so excited.