LeBron James seems to be laying the blame of this 9-8 start on his head coach Erik Spoelstra.
This morning Chris Broussard of ESPN gave us this story on how the Heat players are frustrated with Spoelstra.
You don't need to perform brain surgery to figure out this was another genius idea from LeBron's camp to relieve some of the pressure off of LeBron and his teammates.
I've spoken to several media types that were at the game in Dallas. They've all told me that while the team had their, "players only meeting," Maverick Carter was seen walking out with LeBron.
If you've followed the Summer of LeBron at all, you know who Maverick Carter is by now. No need to rehash the details of their relationship.
In your last Nike commercial, you asked yourself if you should stop listening to your friends?
The answer is a resounding and emphatic, YES!
Think about it, in sports, only Tiger Woods has had a worse year in that department.
Hell, Alex Rodriguez thinks you've been handling your business poorly these days.
Ironically, I feel like those two have so much in common it's scary. Both have been sports prodigies, neither had a father figure, aloof, yet seeking acceptance and both sought out the best opportunities to win championships.
I think I'll do that blog some other time, but I digress.
It seems like LeBron is gaining another label. One that Alex Rodriguez does not possess. Fox Sports.com's Bill Reiter alludes to it in his latest column. He claims LeBron may be a coach killer.
Now, if Erik Spoelstra is let go, it's going to be perceived that it was all LeBron's doing. That may or may not be accurate, but that will absolutely be the public perception.
That means that Pat Riley would likely become the head coach. Which, also means that LeBron and Company's tenure here in Miami would become self fulfilling to prophesy.
It would be proving the doubters right per se.
In turn, it would then bring back Pat Riley to the sidelines. Moreover, like Al Pacino in Godfather 3 you'll hear the screams of, "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!"
Now, I of all people can attest to the Riley fascination. I'm at the front of the line when it comes to admirers. I bring all sorts of man crush at Riles. So, much so I named my damn dog after the man.
I'm not alone on that front. I came across an excellent NY Times column from Mike Wise about Pat Riley's retirement in 2003. It has some great insight into who Riles is.
About five years ago, Pat Riley heard that Todd Day was upset with his methods. A marginal N.B.A. player had been talking smack behind his back.
So Riley gathered his team together and asked if anyone on the Miami Heat had a problem with his leadership.
''Todd Day, you got a problem with how I run things?'' he asked.
Day backpedaled for a few seconds -- until Riley silenced him and told him to get out, he was done. Guaranteed contract or not, Day was cut.
''Now,'' Riley said, breathing deeply, ''does anyone else have a problem with how I run this ship?''
See, that's the kind of stuff I love about Pat. There are countless stories like that. Such as, the time he stuck his head in a bucket of water.
Riley was notorious for pre-game challenges to his players' manhood. Riley, (during one of those Heat/Knicks playoff wars) reportedly dove face down into a bucket of water for about a minute, emerging to declare: ''You've got to want to win as much as you want to breathe.''
It's why when in the Wise article a sports executive was asked to explain Riley's allure to women, her response was:
''Women don't love Pat Riley,'' she said. ''It's the men. He's a dude magnet.''
So, you see part of me gets why LeBron would want him. It's the same reason Shaq wanted him and not Stan Van Gundy.
He's a dude magnet.
The problem is, LeBron has never really had that person to tell him what to do.
Is he truly ready for something like this?
Today, Riley also leaves a league of players who have insulated themselves with people -- agents, family, friends -- who tell them what they want to hear. Riley told players what they needed to hear, and that is how he made multimillionaires compete as if they were trying not to get cut from the junior varsity.
Shaq talked about his military upbringing and how Riley reminded him of that lifestyle. He called him the greatest coach he has ever played for.
Then when push came to shove it ended with him and Riles almost coming to blows. Which led to Shaq becoming a member of the Phoenix Suns.
Here's the last great excerpt I'll share from the Wise article:
Indeed, Riley was the coach who could teach how to never lose another grade-school fight behind the cafeteria. He could teach how to make peace with a hard-knock father without saying a word. He could teach how to -- in the most medieval sense -- be a man.
LeBron James has been a basketball prodigy for as long as we can remember now.
The question remains if he's ready to -- be a man?