Print and Go Back Miami Heat Index [Print without images]

Sunday, February 19, 2012
Spoelstra too focused to notice Clinton

By Michael Wallace

MIAMI - Apparently, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was so focused on his job Sunday that he didn't notice former President Bill Clinton sitting courtside for Miami's victory against the Orlando Magic.

Clinton, who was a guest of Heat owner Micky Arison, caught a ball that sailed out of bounds, was presented a No. 42 Heat jersey with his name and also received a standing ovation when he was shown on the giant screen above the court - all during the game.

Yet Spoelstra insists he was oblivious to it all, and didn't know Clinton was in the building until he spoke with the media after the game. Spoelstra's reaction drew laughter in the press room.

"I didn't know," Spoelstra said after the Heat's 90-78 victory. "Is he still here? Do I have a chance to shake his hand?"

Spoelstra's best line came immediately after, when said he was surprised Clinton chose to attend the Heat game instead of Sunday's earlier nationally televised game in New York between global media sensation Jeremy Lin's Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks.

In essence, Clinton had Heat fever instead of Linsanity. But the Knicks visit the Heat on Thursday for their final games before the All-Star break.

"I'm surprised he's not at one of the games up north, the earlier game," Spoelstra joked. "That seems to be the hot game right now."