Heat extend coach Erik Spoelstra
MIAMI -- Erik Spoelstra has been with the Miami Heat for nearly two decades, and the team is hoping they remain together for years to come.
Spoelstra and the Heat finalized a multiyear contract extension Sunday, two days before the two-time defending NBA champions start training camp.
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Spoelstra, who is the longest-tenured coach in the Eastern Conference as he starts his sixth season with the Heat, was entering the final year of his current contract he signed in 2011. Spoelstra was expected to get a significant raise on his scheduled base salary of $3 million, and his new deal may come with a role in the team's front office.
The Heat announced a restructuring of their front office on Saturday, promoting longtime assistant general manager Andy Elisburg to general manager and longtime director of player personnel Adam Simon to assistant general manager. Spoelstra, who has already had a voice in personnel decisions, could get such a title formalized as well. Team president Pat Riley retains the top decision-making role.
Juwan Howard and Dan Craig will be new assistants for Spoelstra this season, which starts with the team's annual media day Monday and then the first two training-camp practices in the Bahamas on Tuesday.
Spoelstra is 260-134 in five seasons on the sideline and 50-29 in the playoffs including the past two championships. He has gained a strong reputation as a coach that can motivate the likes of stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in addition to being an innovative offensive coach who combines traditional methods with analytics.
Yahoo! Sports earlier reported the pending deal.
"I want Spo here for a long, long time," Riley had said last season.
Last season may have been Spoelstra's best coaching performance.
The Heat rolled through the regular season, winning 27 straight games at one point on the way to a 66-16 record. Then in the playoffs, Miami had to rally from a 1-0 second-round deficit against Chicago and ultimately had to grind out seven-game victories over Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals and San Antonio in the NBA Finals.
"What's overlooked for him is the management of the team," Wade told the AP last season. "It's not the coaching part of it. It's, 'Can you manage these egos, these personalities, without having one your damn self?' He's done it."
Hired as a video coordinator by the Heat in 1995, Spoelstra's rise through the ranks has been well-chronicled.
He was a scout, an assistant coach, a key part of Stan Van Gundy's staff in Miami and then started becoming considered Riley's protege not long after Van Gundy stepped down 21 games into what became a championship season for the Heat in 2005-06.
Riley retired for good in 2008, and the Heat didn't wait long before making Spoelstra the head coach. He inherited a 15-win team and improved it by 28 games in his first year. The Heat went back to the playoffs in 2010, then found a way to keep Wade while landing James, Bosh and a slew of other players the following summer on their way to making three straight trips to the NBA Finals.
ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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