Spoelstra doesn't get enough credit, says Pacers coach
MANILA, Philippines -- Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel has great respect for Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, and believes the Filipino-American mentor does not get enough credit for the job he has done with the two-time defending champions.
Spoelstra, who recently signed a contract extension with the Heat, has led Miami to the NBA Finals for three consecutive seasons and gotten three superstars -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- to mesh their games together and form a true "juggernaut" of a team.
"I have such great respect for Erik as a coach," said Vogel, who is in town along with the Pacers for the NBA Global Games. "He gets not nearly enough credit for the job he has done with that team."
"He's got probably the toughest job in the NBA, when it comes to expectations and the pressure with dealing with the superstars that they have there, and making them gel as a team," he added.
"That's why they've won the championship -- because of his ability to get them to play as a team. Talent doesn't win championships. You gotta play as a team, and he's been able to do that."
Vogel and Spoelstra matched wits in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, with the upstart Pacers pushing the Heat to a Game 7 before eventually losing to the defending champions.
Vogel noted that he and "Spo" took similar paths on their way to getting a head coaching position in the NBA.
"The way he came up was a little bit similar -- starting in the video room, the scouting, and to becoming an assistant coach," said Vogel. "We share that."