During the battles of the Big 3 era, Erik Spoelstra tended to trade platitudes with other coaches, particularly during the playoffs.
He didn’t trade many with Frank Vogel.
Even though they came from similar backgrounds — the video room — there was little warmth. Talk to former Heat players and they’ll tell you that Spoelstra had an occasional expletive for the then-Pacers coach. And you may recall that Spoelstra — and even Pat Riley, in a statement — objected to the Pacers’ tactics against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in particular. (None of those tactics worked, of course, as the Heat beat Indiana in three straight playoff series.)
Spoelstra did take up for Vogel a couple of times, first when there was speculation about Vogel’s job following the Heat’s win in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, and later when Vogel was fired by the Pacers…
Spoelstra says it would be "ridiculous" for there to be speculation about Vogel's future. "Look, they weren't anybody before (him)."
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 31, 2014
Spoelstra says that what he sees happening with Vogel and other coaches makes him feel grateful to be with Heat
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 5, 2016
Vogel moved on to Orlando, and it was a disaster, as it’s been for most coaches until Steve Clifford there. LeBron, of course, moved on as well, and now he’s moved again, to Los Angeles.
And now Vogel is his coach???
Someone he never really praised — like he praised, say, Brad Stevens or Doc Rivers — while he was with the Heat?
This doesn’t seem sustainable, given LeBron’s history but also given the presence of world class backstabber Jason Kidd, someone LeBron admires.
With Magic Johnson out, Rob Pelinka rising, Kurt Rambis contributing and now Kidd lurking behind Vogel, the Lakers situation does not seem salvageable for LeBron — unless his former Cavs GM David Griffin trades him Anthony Davis. Which Griffin is too smart to do for nothing.
Demand a trade to Miami, Bron. We left a key for you.