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Erik Spoelstra talks to 'The Godfather'

5/31/2011

MIAMI -- In a pregame press briefing with reporters, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about his relationship with team president and former coach Pat Riley.

Spoelstra said he enjoys talking to Riley, who has won titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and with the Heat in 2006, over the Dallas Mavericks.

"I knock on his door quite a bit," Spoelstra said. "Most of it was unscripted. Certainly the majority of it is informal. He comes to every practice and so usually we speak after practice informally before I talk to [reporters], or sometimes go into his office after practice."

When asked to described the coolest thing Riley ever said, Spoelstra couldn't think of anything. But then he recalled the day Riley hired him as the head coach.

"If you know Pat, you go into his office, he calls you in there and it's like talking to the Godfather," Spoelstra said. "The lights are always dim. He can see you, but you can't really see him. And when he told me he was going to pass the reins over to me, he had full confidence in me."