Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will be around a while

If you ask Erik Spoelstra, he’ll tell you he could have been fired three times.

At least three times.

Once when the Miami Heat were recruiting LeBron James and Chris Bosh, after Spoelstra had taken his first two Heat teams to the playoffs — but first round exits. If James had demanded Pat Riley or someone else be the coach, what would Riley have done?

Another time, when the Heat started 9-8, and held a players’ only meeting in Dallas.

And of course, when the Heat — mostly due to James’ meltdown — lost to the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals.

But he hung in, and he’s still here, now the second longest-tenured coach with one team in the entire NBA, a few days ahead of Rick Carlisle and a few years behind Gregg Popovich. Spoelstra has been outspoken about how quickly teams give up on coaches — it’s about the only thing he’s outspoken about. He, however, has never had the problem. And he won’t, after the Heat did this officially on Saturday:

Woj and Erik Spoelstra are represented by the same agency, so it’s not a surprise it was spilled that way. Coach contracts are one of the Miami Heat’s most closely-guarded secrets.

Spoelstra has seemed weary the past couple of seasons, and it’s probably been about more than his new baby. He had to play a lot of guys for contractual reasons. But now he has a true star again in Jimmy Butler, someone who shares his sensibilities. The roster is much less cluttered. And Hassan Whiteside, and all the moping, is gone.

What will be interesting now is to see how involved Spoelstra will get in personnel matters. He’s had more influence in recent years, but the Heat have about eight cooks stirring that pot.

Either way, he’s here to stay — and the Heat are better for it.

The best quotes from Jimmy Butler’s Press Conference

The Miami Heat finally gave us a chance to hear from Jimmy Butler in Miami.

Here are some of his best quotes during the Press Conference:

 

The Miami Heat season is getting closer and closer, and as we said goodbye to Dwyane Wade, now we have a new star in the block. Butler is coming to try to win, and Five Reasons Sports Network will be there for you to bring you the fun of watching and listening sports back to South Florida. Buy your Ji mmy Canastas t-shirt here!

Live: Jimmy Butler’s Introductory Press Conference

The Miami Heat is finally doing a formal presentation of Jimmy Butler, after months of being part of the active roster via trade from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Right before the beginning of the Miami Heat Camp in West Palm Beach, after both Butler and Pat Riley figured out a way to be in Miami at the same time.

Are you ready for Jimmy Canastas and his Buckets to Biscayne?

Watch it live here:

Courtesy of MiamiHeat.com

ESPN underrates Jimmy Butler… as expected

ESPN came out with its top 100 players in the NBA list and the Miami Heat’s prized addition, Jimmy Butler, was listed at 21.

Of course.

After Sports Illustrated had him 11th.

For context, Butler is lower than Donovan Mitchell (20), Kemba Walker (17), Ben Simmons (15), Rudy Gobert (14) and CJ McCollum (13). In my humble opinion, Jimmy Butler is an all around better player than all of the players previously listed. However, it is not a surprise to me that Jimmy Butler was ranked lower than less talented players. If you’re asking why, well, the answer is simple: Jimmy Butler plays for the Miami Heat.

Yeah, this guy….

The national media hates the Heat, and has ever since LeBron James said he was taking his talents to South Beach. Sports media made Pat Riley and the Heatles the villain of the NBA because they believed they cheated the system. But why the hate now? Well, this is because the Heat just got Jimmy Butler– with absolutely no cap space. So, after the national media ranted and raved about cap space, flexibility and max slots, Pat Riley got his man without it. In the national media’s eyes, Pat Riley and the Heat cheated the system again. Therefore, the hate returns.

However, hate isn’t always a bad thing; the Heat, along with their loyal fans, are used to being the villain. In fact, Heat fans eat it up. There is something deep inside each and every Heat fan known as “The Cocky Heat Fan”, of which has been dormant for awhile. Now that Jimmy Butler is here, The Cocky Heat Fan has awoken from its long slumber. So bring on the Miami Heat hate, ESPN and national media…

We Heat fans thrive on it.

Also welcome back Cocky Heat fans, I missed you.

Jason Taylor Foundation overcomes adversity to host 15th Cool Gear for the School Year

Every year, the Jason Taylor Foundation gathers celebrities across South Florida to give kids a chance to start their school year rocking the latest fashion trends. Together with Old Navy, former Dolphins superstar and Hall of Fame pass rusher Jason Taylor has been outfitting students with $300 dollars worth of clothing for 15 years. This year, however, adversity stood in their way.

The Miami Dolphins are currently facing a season where losing will be a common theme. It’s hard to imagine any players wanting to take time out of their day in the face of such hardship. Even worse, Hurricane Dorian threatened to come to South Florida, forcing Cool Gear for the School Year 2019 to be postponed until September 16. Under those circumstances, it makes sense that the overall turnout wouldn’t be as notable as years past.

However, that was anything but the case on Monday evening. The kids still came, the celebrities still contributed, and everything went as smoothly as one could imagine.

“Although the storm didn’t come here, it ended up turning, we had to simply reschedule it.” Jason Taylor said. “That’s the least of our concerns, that’s easy. Old Navy’s easy to work with, and they were all for it. They didn’t want their employees on the road either. So Dorian had very little effect on us. It had a very major effect on our neighbors. We’re still working with the foundation, somehow, someway, we’re gonna do one of these for people over there as well.”

Dedication

That’s an admirable mission, especially considering the level of destruction suffered by the Bahamas at the hands of Dorian. The Jason Taylor Foundation is committed to improving the lives of kids all across South Florida. But it’s now abundantly clear that they aren’t limited to that area. Help is needed everywhere, and they will do what they can to provide.

This event doesn’t happen without an army, however. That’s where the celebrities come in, not the least of which is rising star Jerome Baker. In spite of Miami’s struggles on the field, the Dolphins linebacker and team captain went out of his way to arrive and offer his notoriety to the event. He and fellow captain Walt Aikens walked along with kids and helped them shop for whatever they needed.

“They had a little list, they had everything they wanted, so we were letting them free reign.” Aikens said. “Get whatever they want, they know how to swag it out these days.”

Other celebrity shoppers included several Dolphins alumni, such as O.J. McDuffie, Troy Drayton, Louis Oliver, Jeff Dellenbach, Channing Crowder and more. Their intentions are undoubtedly selfless, but Jerome Baker admitted that doing these events helps him reset and get back into a good place mentally. Given the defeats the Dolphins have suffered as of late, this was a welcome respite.

“It just shows you that football is football, ” He said. “Events like this show you that it’s more than football than just in-between the white lines. A chance to come out here and just to see kids’ faces, to see everybody smile … it kinda brings you back down to reality. Football’s gonna take care of itself. What’s really important is your family, your community, your friends, it’s definitely good.”

Impact

The Jason Taylor Foundation reaches far beyond the world of football. Even Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem attended as a celebrity shopper.

“I got a long relationship with Jason (Taylor) and I’m real supportive of anything he’s doing.” Haslem said. “He’s the same for me and anything I’m doing. It was great to have the opportunity to come out here, I’ve done it before, and it’s always fun. I got three boys, I’m used to shopping for kids, I know what the fashion is, what the style is, I know what they’re looking for so it gets easier every year.”

And every year, the impact of the Jason Taylor Foundation adds up. In 2019, 60 kids from across South Florida went home with new clothes. Over $18,000 was spent in an hour’s time. And over the course of this event’s 15 years, over $260,000 for over 900 kids.

“That’s what we’re about,” said Seth Levit, Executive Director of the Jason Taylor Foundation, as well as one of the hosts for The Fish Tank podcast. “That’s our mission, is to support these young people. That number makes us feel pretty good about the work we’ve been able to do.”

It speaks to the character of those involved that this event still goes off without a hitch. For get-togethers like this, scheduling is everything. But not even a storm like Dorian could keep it from ultimately succeeding. Now, 60 more kids are going to go back to school feeling great about how they look, allowing them to focus on what really matters.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

The Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 11th in NBA?

Ever since the Miami Heat began to seriously pursue Jimmy Butler, there’s been a debate about exactly what he is. A star? A superstar? Something in between?

The general consensus put him roughly 15th in the NBA, with Butler getting credit for being one of the league’s few true two-way players, along with Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Paul George – and certainly not James Harden.

Sports Illustrated thinks higher of him, however.

In their rankings of NBA players, they have him 11th, and it’s hard to argue with the classification. A few guys beneath him have a case (Kyrie Irving when healthy, engaged and reasonably happy), but really, it looks like Jimmy Butler belongs about where he is.

And the Heat need that, because only one other player (Bam Adebayo, #93) made this list. Josh Richardson (#71) is gone, Goran Dragic is coming off a season in which he tailed off some when available, and Justise Winslow apparently hasn’t captured the national imagination yet.

Jimmy Butler is actually the third guy on the list, behind just Giannis and Joel Embiid. And he’s a surefire All-Star, returning to Chicago for that weekend.

Now look at the rest of that list…

Blake Griffin is No. 19. Bradley Beal isn’t on it, though you can certainly say he should be.

If the Heat can land either, with the No. 11 player in the league, and this coaching staff?

This rebuild — or reload — may lead to repeat appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. At least.

 

Buy your Jimmy Canastas Cinco Razones t-shirt clicking here! 

 

Porn site bids to name Heat’s arena

Porn sites naming the most important arena of the state.

Only in Miami.

If you haven’t heard, the Miami Heat and American Airlines Arena have ended one part of their relationship, as far as the arena on 601 Biscayne Blvd.

The Triple-A is no more.

So what about the Double Ds?

OK, that’s the last lame joke I’ll make here.

The tweets can take it from here.

So, $10 million, eh?

That’s a lot more than Mia Khalifa claimed she made in the porn industry?

Anyway, the reaction came quickly.

We will let our Simon Clancy of Three Yards Per Carry finish this out…..

The Miami Dolphins look like the worst team in local history

The Miami Dolphins haven’t been able to do much right in the past couple of decades.

But this tanking thing?

They’re naturals.

Sunday’s 59-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was so complete that the score is misleading. If Lamar Jackson had stayed in for the fourth quarter, the Ravens were headed to the 70s. As it was, this was the highest score by a Dolphins opponent in a regular season contest in the franchise’s increasingly ignominious history.

And here’s the thing: it can and will get worse.

The Dolphins — what’s wrong with Minkah Fitzpatrick — couldn’t handle the Ravens’ pedestrian receivers Sunday. Next Sunday? Tom Brady comes to town with Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman. And it’s not like there are lots of Dolphins young players with high upsides who will improve drastically as the season progresses.

So there’s a real chance this could be the worst non-expansion team in South Florida sports history.

Yes, the Miami Dolphins were 1-15 in 2007 under Cam “Thumbs This Way” Cameron.

But they were outscored on average only 27-17 per game.

The Panthers have been middling to bad for a while. But they’ve never been the equivalent of 1-15 or even 2-14 NFL bad.

So it’s just the 2007-08 Miami Heat (15-67 after Dwyane Wade and everyone else got hurt and the Heat raided the D-League roster) and the 1998 Florida Marlins (54-108 after H. Wayne Huizenga sold off a World Series winner).

But this?

This has the looks of something historic.

What will the Miami Dolphins do well this season? Throw? No. They can’t protect. Run? No. They can’t block. Tackle? That appears foreign to them. Cover? Ravens ran wild through the secondary.

And as it gets more and more hopeless, more veteran players will check out, interested only in their checks. More fans will stay home — tanking sounds better in principle than it feels in practice.

Prepare for the worst.

It’s what many of you wanted.

And the Dolphins will deliver.

 

 

The Heat have their Hero and Herro together

The Hero and Herro.

Well, this was refreshing.

As the Dolphins tank away everything but their toilets at the Davie practice facility, we’re getting closer to the no-tank team in town getting rolling again.

The Miami Heat open training camp on October 1st.

The Dolphins will likely have lost four games by then.

So it was a welcome sight to see new alpha Jimmy Butler back in the United States after his extended European vacation — and even better to see him working with the Heat’s new kid hope, Tyler Herro.

Warm and fuzzy yet?

And no, that’s not Dion in the middle, as some suggested.

What is the best part of this photo, other than the Heat’s present and future together?

The attitude.

I have high hopes for the Heat season, and we have the Hero and Herro.

A Heat team with an uncluttered roster and a chip on its collective shoulder?

Sign us up.

Especially in light of what’s happening with South Florida’s other pro teams.

Need something to wear?..

Go to our merchandise section and check out our no tanking tee.

 

The Miami Heat seems to be the only Miami professional team that is not tanking (the Panthers are from Broward, so do they count?), and we will definitively be very close to the team, as usual, but this time, going very often to the arena, to provide you with interviews, live analysis before and after games and a lot of Alf complaining. Please check out Five on the Floor and Cinco Razones Deportes Network (for Spanish listeners). We will have a blast!

Miami Heat open at home against Grizzlies

When you are desperate for NBA content, you take what you can get.

So it is every August with the league’s schedule release, which just tells you that your team is playing all the teams you would expect them to play — only adding the when to the who.

So now we know some things about the Miami Heat.

They open at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.

They go to Philadelphia with Jimmy Butler on November 23. 

They host the LeBronaires — the Los Angeles Lakers — on December 15, unless Bron skips it again.

They welcome back Josh Richardson (and the 76ers) on December 28, and will likely give him a nice ovation.

Oh, and Hassan Whiteside returns with his shooters (on the Blazers) on January 5. That might not be quite the same enthusiastic reception from some.

Here’s the big thing: as of now, the Heat have only six national TV games.

The rest of the schedule is out at around 5 p.m.