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ESPN Ranks Spoelstra, Riley and Arison to rest of league

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ESPN panel ranks Erik Spoelstra 6th, Pat Riley 4th, and Heat front office 3rd to the rest of the league.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat probably have one of the most stable front office situations in the NBA, and ESPN's panel of experts known as the forecasters agree with it. For the second year, they are ranking the positions of leadership for each NBA team.

We are used to their player rankings each summer, but now, an honest look at which franchises are getting done from the people who wear the suits.

From an overall front office standpoint, the Miami Heat were ranked third -- behind the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. Last year, the Heat were second only to the Spurs. Guess we should have kept LeBron James.

Pat Riley as President and Andy Elisburg ranked 4th as the top executives of basketball decisions for the NBA -- behind San Antonio, Golden State and the Houston Rockets. Almost surprising that Riley is 4th. He's known as the Godfather here in Miami and is #1 in our eyes, respectfully to the Spurs.

But what is probably the most encouraging is the recognition that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is getting now. Spoelstra ranked 6th on his guidance and leadership in terms of how it affects overall on-court success, both in the short and long term. He's behind Greg Popovich, Mike Budenholzer, Steve Kerr, Rick Carlisle, and Tom Thibodeau.

Spoelstra was once considered a puppet, thinking that LeBron James pulled the strings. But the league experts are recognizing that Spoelstra has a lot more to do with success than what anyone once thought. He's the second most tenured coach in the league behind Popovich, as he has been with the Heat as a head coach for 7 seasons.

On Friday, they will rank Micky Arison to the rest of the league owners.

I think it is safe to say that we are all pretty content with what we have going on down here in Miami. In comparison to the turnover and instability that is much of the league, the Heat are being models in consistency.

That's why we have #HeatLifers

And that's why it's all about family.