Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has hit out at the Indiana Pacers after they sacked long-term coach Frank Vogel.
Vogel was dismissed by the Pacers on Thursday, bringing to an end what was considered a successful five-and-a-half year spell, in which he had a 58 per cent win record and led the outfit to the play-offs every year bar one, when All-Star Paul George was lost to a bad knee injury.
And when Spoelstra, who has be in charge of Miami for eight seasons, was told he and Raptors coach Dwayne Casey are now the two-longest serving coaches in the Eastern Conference, he replied: “That’s really disturbing, actually.
That’s a sad state of the coaching profession right now and stability of organizations. That’s why it’s fairly easy for me to feel grateful for being part of this organization for 21 years.
“Same group. When we say it’s a family, we are. We’ve been through everything. We’ve been through 15-win seasons together, put together teams, re-built teams. We know how each other responds in the trenches when it’s tough.
“But you have to be able to also have opportunities to grow with a team and go through the tough times. You don’t get that opportunity when you’re making changes all the time. I probably would’ve been fired two or three times in a different organization.”
Pacers president Larry Bird justified the sacking by suggesting coaches’ voices can begin to get lost in the locker room after three seasons.
However, Spoelstra strongly disagrees with this notion.
“Lost on who? Teams’ rosters change every two or three years. My voice is new to virtually everybody in this locker room. It’s the same with Dwyane [Wade] and [Udonis Haslem], that’s it,” he said.
“But that voice has also been different as a video coordinator, as an assistant coach, as a scout, as a head coach. Just look around the league at the teams with great, consistent continuity and see how their record is over the years.”