Former player Brian Scalabrine details how coach Erik Spoelstra proved that the NBA isn’t always star-driven

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Now that Miami made it to the NBA Finals, fans and basketball experts can’t help but show their amazement over the fact that the eighth-seeded team beat the two top-ranked franchises in the Eastern Conference (Milwaukee Bucks No. 1 and Boston Celtics No. 2) on their way to the top. 

According to former player Brian Scalabrine, once nicknamed as “The White Mamba”, this just goes to show how Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is debunking the myth that this is a player-driven league, based mostly on its basketball stars over teamwork.

One could argue that Jimmy Butler has led Miami to the top, but Scalabrine, who is now a sport analyst, is convinced that it’s more about the playing culture imposed by his coach.

“This is the thing that’s really interesting about Spoelstra,” he told Dan Patrick. “All we hear nowadays is, ‘Players’ league, players’ league, players dictate this, players dictate that. You can’t coach them too hard. That’s not what you want to do with your superstar player.’

“Except for Erik Spoelstra because he has backing from Pat Riley. So I give him all the credit in the world. I think he’s a brilliant coach. And I also give him all the credit in the world because I grew up where coaches yelled at us all the time. That’s just the generation I played in.”

Check out this Tuesday’s full interview with the former Celtics player on the “Dan Patrick Show”:

Spoelstra’s achievement comes right after succesful coaches like Doc Rivers, Monty Williams, Mike Budenholzer and Nick Nurse were all fired from their respective clubs.

Hall of Famer Larry Brown said that coaches like Monty Williams were fired because they let their own players control the squad

Not too long ago Hall of Famer trainer Larry Brown said that all these great professionals were sacked because they let their own players to run the squads.

Brown said that once a star player is given that power and he eventually grows unhappy, the coach is the first to be left without a job. Scalabrine then added that Spoelstra was able to collect a group of athletes who are willing to listen to him.

“So I think he has a huge advantage knowing that he could get into guys,” he continued. “They might bark back, but he barks back. And it’s never ‘Oh my God, he lost the locker room. No one ever said Erik Spoelstra lost a locker room, or he pushes them too hard. But Erik Spoelstra will also say, ‘Well, what we do ain’t for everybody. It just works for this particular group.'”

Spoelstra might have instilled a positive blueprint for other clubs in the league, as the Heat are consistently proving that a succesful basketball team comes from building a culture over time. Even though firing a coach and hiring someone new might bring home a trophy, it’s proven to be uncommon.