RENTON, Wash. -- It’s not every day an NBA championship coach gives advice to an NFL team, but Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson considered it an inspiring moment Tuesday when Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke to the players.
“Having Coach Spoelstra here in front of the team and in meetings with us was an unbelievable experience for everybody,” Wilson said. “For him to come all this way and spend time with us and Coach [Pete] Carroll really means a lot to us because of all the great things he’s done. Just being around him and hearing why they’ve had success and how they’ve had it so often was the best part about it.”
Spoelstra led the Heat to back-to-back NBA titles the last two seasons. Wilson said Spoelstra had a message about how the Seahawks can reach the championship level.
“He talked about how his team was successful and the way they went about their business in terms of sacrifice,’’ Wilson said. “It was the whole idea of sacrificing everything else. That’s what it takes to be great. It clicked with us. Listening to his thoughts was awesome for us.”
Wilson was asked how this Seahawks team compares to where the Heat team was before it won the two championships.
“The biggest thing that correlates with us and the Heat is the way we practice,” Wilson said. “How hard we work is the similarity. But we can’t compare ourselves to them yet. We haven’t done anything yet.”
“I tried to learn as much as I could from them and asked them questions,” Wilson said. “I asked them what it’s like to be on top and how do you stay there? What they said is it’s just the hard work and discipline they have.
“Look, they have four or five superstars and some of the best athletes ever to play the game. But they have a bond with each other. That’s something we’re trying to build here. We have unbelievable football players on this team at every position. The difference is they’ve done it. We have to prove ourselves and find a way to do it.”
The Seahawks were 11-5 in the regular season last year, winning in the first round of the playoffs at Washington before losing at Atlanta. The 2012 success has brought high expectations for this season.
Spoelstra and his team have been there when it comes to living up to expectations.
“That’s what he talked about,” Wilson said. “It’s having that discipline and believing yourself, sort of ignore the noise. And how do you continue to stay focused when so many things are said about you? How do you stay focused on the work ethic and the sacrifice?
“That was his message today. They’ve done a great job of winning championships, so that’s what we want to learn from them. How did they get there?”