By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Jan. 18, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. – He has coached the Miami Heat to 194 regular season wins and four playoff appearances. And now, Filipino-American coach, Erik Spoelstra, has made history as the first Asian-American coach in four major sports leagues and as the first Asian-American head coach to win an NBA championship last year.
The 42-year old Spoelstra said, “It was the culmination of a lot of different experiences and emotions that we went through as a team. It’s the pinnacle of pro-sports. That’s why you get into this business — to be able to accomplish something special together as a group.”
On Wednesday night, Spoelstra and the his team, the Miami Heat, were intent to show the Golden State Warriors that they’re still the team to beat this season, during an inter-conference game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade said, “Every game is different. Every night is different. The flow comes different.”
Chris Bosh, Miami Heat’s power forward/center said, “Like always, this is another challenge for us tonight. So it will be a lot of fun.”
But to the Warriors’ dismay, Spoelstra and his players dominated the game, even widening their lead by 34 points in the third quarter. In the end, the defending NBC champions embarrassed the Warriors on their own court, with a final score of 92 points over the home team’s 75.
Another victory for the Heat on Wednesday night —Spoelstra’s number on player and NBA’s 2012 Most Valuable Player LeBron James, not only finished with 25 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds, “King James” became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points and surpass 5,000 assists.
“He has to play like the best player in this game for us to have the chance to win. It’s not enough pressure on him,” Spoelstra said, chuckling.
Even with a defending championship title, Spoelstra said he and his team are working extra hard to stay number one, by giving it their all in every game and practice. He said he does not let pressure get to him or his team. In fact, he welcomes it and thinks it will push his team to win more games.
With the Miami Heat currently leading all teams in the Eastern Conference, Spoelstra said the only way to win back-to-back NBA championships is to stay focused as a team.
He concluded, “Nothing is guaranteed, so we’re trying to go after it again.”
You may contact Henni Espinosa at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org".email@example.com for more information.