Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra addressed the Seattle Seahawks after practice in Renton, Washington on Tuesday to share his thoughts on establishing a winning identity and coming together as a team.
Just weeks after visiting the University of Tennessee football team led by his good friend coach Butch Jones, Spoelstra once again inspired another football team with his encouraging words after leading his star-studded team to back to back championships in three straight NBA Finals appearances. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson walked away thoroughly impressed with Spo's words of wisdom.
"Just having (Spoelstra) here in front of the team and just having him in meetings with us and having him out here in practice is an unbelievable experience for everybody," Wilson told media after practice. "For Coach Spoelstra to come here and spend time with us and spend time with Coach Pete Carroll means a lot to us, first of all. It's a pleasure to be around him and all the great things that he has done so far with the Miami Heat. And then, if you think about it, for Coach Carroll and Coach Spoelstra to be able to get together and share words and share thoughts and everything like that, that's going to be a huge advantage for us, and hopefully it'll be an advantage for them, too, as well. And hopefully we can learn as much as we can from them, and back and forth.
"And I think that's the coolest part about it, is the fact that he came this far to get here and spend time with us."
When asked what Spoelstra's main message was, Wilson elaborated further.
"For him to be able to talk about how his basketball team was successful and the way that they went about their business in terms of sacrificing . . . just that whole idea of sacrificing everything, the players, LeBron James coming to Miami, and Dwyane Wade sacrificing all that, all that type of sacrifice that it takes to be great and to be great so often, is kind of what he talked about for the most part. And having that discipline, as well, too, is something that he talked about, and just working hard, continuing to work hard, continuing to believe in yourselves and ignore the noise.
"That's the main message he gave. And it clicked right with us."
Wilson was also asked if he saw any similarities between the two teams.
"The biggest thing that correlates with us and the Heat is the way we practice," Wilson answered. "How hard we work is the similarity.
"But we can't compare ourselves to them yet. We haven't done anything yet. And they've done a great job of winning the championships, the whole thing. So that's what we want to learn from there: How did they get there? Through all the things that are going on, the positives that have been said, all the negative things that have been said, how do you continue to focus on the work ethic part of it, the sacrifice of it all? And that's what he was talking about today, Coach Spoelstra.
"And just being around him and spending that time with him and kind of breaking down the success that they've had and why they've had it and why they've had it so often, that's the best part about it."