February 27, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Sources: Heat extend Erik Spoelstra to a record 8-year, $120 million deal

Sources: Heat extend Erik Spoelstra to a record 8-year, $120 million deal

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has agreed to an eight-year contract extension worth more than $120 million, the most in North American coaching history, sources told ESPN on Tuesday night.

Spoelstra, 53, has established himself as one of the most respected and successful coaches in professional sports, and the new deal reflects his and the organization's desire to keep him with the only franchise he has ever worked for in the NBA.

Spoelstra — who has won two championships and reached the NBA Finals six times — is the second-highest-paid coach in the NBA on an annual basis, behind Gregg Popovich at $19 million per season, but the length of Spoelstra's deal separates him financially from his peers, sources said.

Miami tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 21-15, despite the bout of renewed injuries to key players throughout the season.

Spoelstra has been Miami's coach since 2008, when he was hired to replace Hall of Famer Pat Riley. Since then, Spoelstra has become one of 14 coaches in NBA history to win two titles. As the eighth seed last season, the Heat had a remarkable run through the Eastern Conference playoffs, eventually losing to the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.

He trails only Popovich in terms of tenure with one franchise and ranks third behind Popovich and Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle among active coaches in games won (704).

Those 704 wins rank Spoelstra 20th-most in NBA history. He is fifth all-time with 109 playoff victories, behind only Popovich among active coaches.

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Spoelstra started with the Heat in 1995 as video coordinator under Riley. Over the next 13 years, Spoelstra rose through the ranks to become Riley's assistant and then take over the team once Riley stepped down in 2008.

Two years later, LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, going on a string of four straight Finals appearances — including back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.

After James' departure in 2014, Spoelstra and the Heat returned to the late stages of the playoffs with Jimmy Butler in the NBA bubble in 2020, beating the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics en route to a six-game loss in the NBA Finals to James and the Los Angeles Lakers. .

The Heat then lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Final to the Celtics in 2022, before reaching the NBA Finals last season after defeating the Bucks, New York Knicks, and Celtics.

ESPN's Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.