‘It’s disturbing’: Heat’s Coach Spoelstra complaint recent string of NBA coach firings

May 17, 2023

As the Heat prepare to take on the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, news comes from the Kaseya Center that the Philadelphia 76ers fired legendary coach Doc Rivers after Sunday’s Game 7 semifinal loss to the Celtics.


“It’s troubling,” Spoelstra said Tuesday. “Doc is a Hall of Famer. You get through the first round, and there will be some outstanding teams. Great players, great organization, and a great coaching staff will all be lost. That’s it. It’s tough to do. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, hearing some pretty surprising sackings.”


Rivers’ firing and Spoelstra’s comments came just 24 hours after the veteran Heat coach lamented that other “great, proven, experienced coaches have lost their jobs.”


Rivers joins an extensive list of successful coaches fired this offseason. Toronto fired Nick Nurse, who led the Raptors to the 2019 NBA Championship and was the 2020 NBA Coach of the Year. Phoenix fired Monty Williams, the NBA Coach of the Year 2022, after leading the team to 64 wins. After the Heat beat the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, Milwaukee fired two-time Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer, who led the Bucks to a championship in 2019.


“I don’t know if it’s crazy,” said Lowry, who played for Nurse in Toronto. “I think it’s just the business of basketball. And I believe that one thing about our business, sometimes it gets cutthroat. I think organizations make decisions about what they feel is best. As players, we’ve just got to go and roll with the punches. We understand that this is a business. Whatever happens, happens. But having stability helps.”