As Miami defeated the Jazz 119 to 115 this past Monday night in Florida, head coach Erik Spoelstra made NBA history. This home win was his 697th victory in his career, moving him up to the 20th trainer with most triumphs in the league’s all-time list.
Before the contest started, he was tied at 696 wins with Red Holzman, who led the New York Knicks for a whole decade from 1967 to 1977. Now, the next person on the list is John MacLeod (707), who was first hired to coach in the NBA in 1973 with the Phoenix Suns.
Congrats to @MiamiHEAT coach Erik Spoelstra for moving up to 20th on the all-time COACHING WINS list! pic.twitter.com/CyuiwVxOBZ
— NBA (@NBA) March 14, 2023
This is Spoelstra’s 15th campaign coaching the Heat and has already won two NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013. Also, the trainer took Miami to the Finals in five different occasions.
After 1,183 regular season contests, his coaching record is 697-486. As for his 257 NBA Playoff matches, he has a 161-96 mark.
About his philosophy leading a basketball team, for coach Erik its more than just stats. “I can give a longer dissertation about that,” he started. “Anytime you have games that have meaning, context and consequences where you have to learn how to play winning basketball, I think is good for any young team – where you’re not gifted minutes that don’t mean anything.
“It’s not about stats. It’s not about shots. It’s not about how much you score. It’s about finding a way to win the game. From that standpoint, you only learn that when the games have that kind of meaning,” he expressed.
Spoelstra is the second longest-tenured head coach in the league after San Antonio Spurs veteran Gregg Popovich, who’s in his 27th season being a part of the Texan franchise.
The 20th coach with most wins in NBA history has been lucky enough to train many all-time NBA greats like Dwayne Wade, Ray Allen, Chris Bosh, LeBron James and his current star Jimmy Butler. Or, are they lucky to have been coached by him?
Spoelstra’s first ever victory came in 2008, as Miami won by an incredible 26-point margin against the Sacramento Kings. The coach was young back then, as he accomplished this feat just a day before turning 38 years of age.
What’s next for the Heat in the final push of regular season?
With this Monday’s triumph against Utah, the Florida side are now 37-33 after 70 matches so far, which has them standing in the Eastern Conference’s 7th position and close to a guaranteed playoff spot.
Most of our favorite sport betting sites believe Miami to have the 14th best odds (+6600) in the league to win this year’s NBA title. Considering they are tied in chances with the Sacramento Kings, who are the West’s No.2 seed, you’d think the Heat possess a strong case to go all the way to the Finals.
Important to mention that the team have been to the Conference Finals in two of their last three campaigns, and most recently made the NBA Finals in 2020.
Check out last night’s highlights as Spoelstra got his 697th NBA victory:
One of the team’s strongholds has been playing at home, as they’ve improved to a 23-13 record in their 36 games at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
Miami will compete next against the Grizzlies, as they’ll host Memphis on Wednesday evening at 7:30pm CST.