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NBA News Update: Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra commends LeBron James' longevity ahead of the Finals, Jimmy Butler on LA Lakers pursuit last summer

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Six
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Six
Evan Tiwari
ANALYST
Modified 30 Sep 2020, 00:49 IST
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With Miami Heat defeating the Boston Celtics on Sunday nig, the stage for the NBA Finals 2020 is all set. LA Lakers talisman LeBron James will be facing his former team while stars like Anthony Davis and Jimmy Butler will lock horns for their first NBA championship. With so much going on in the Orlando bubble, let's take a look at the latest edition of the NBA news update. 

NBA News Update: Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra on LeBron James ahead of NBA Finals 2020

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Six
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Six

Ahead of the NBA Finals 2020, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and the team spoke to the media. Spoelstra was asked to comment about facing his former player LeBron James, to which he responded - 

"It's a true testament to his greatness to sustain this level of success ... His ability to do what he does at his age is incredibly uncommon. There is a lot of work that goes behind the scenes to be able to maintain that."

The media then questioned him about how he dealt with LeBron James' departure in 2014. Spoelstra quoted- 

"I went through my own six-week reflection period that summer. But then you get back to work."

LeBron James and Erik Spoelstra won 2 NBA championships together. The 35-year-old had a great spell with the Miami Heat, reaching 4 consecutive NBA finals. It was only in 2014 that LeBron James departed for Cleveland Cavaliers following a NBA Finals loss.

Going by their answers in the media interaction today, it's very clear that LeBron James and Erik Spoelstra still have a lot of respect for each other.

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NBA News Update: Miami Heat star trio face the media ahead of NBA Finals 2020

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Five
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Five

After Erik Spoelstra's media session, it was time for the Miami Heat players to face the questions. Bam Adebayo was asked to share his thoughts about the NBA Finals 2020 matchup, to which he responded- 

"There can't be a second on the floor where they're (Lakers) playing harder than us. That's where our chance is." 

Veteran point guard Goran Dragic was also present amongst the players available for the media session. Dragic has been a key member of the Miami Heat team and has arguably been their best performer in the postseason. Dragic started by commenting on head coach Erik Spoelstra's influence on the team. He said - 

"He's one of the smartest coaches in the league. He knows what the team needs, he knows where the ball needs to go ... and he's always there for the players. He gives confidence to everybody."
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Miami Heat Jimmy Butler was the last player to speak from the team. Butler got quizzed about Pat Riley's contribution in the NBA Finals run, and he responded by saying - 

"He's been a huge part of our success, putting this team together and expecting greatness from each and every one of us ... we're all very thankful for The Godfather." 

Butler continued, revealing his thought process regarding last year's free agency decision. He quoted - 

"I didn't consider going to the Lakers last summer. When I met with Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley, it was everything I knew I'd want."

Butler and Miami Heat will face a resurgent LA Lakers team in the NBA finals who have only lost 3 games in the postseason. The LeBron James-led team have been clinical throughout, and the Miami Heat will have to bring out their A-game to beat them.


ALSO READ: "LeBron James is truly a nice guy", Skip Bayless lists 10 great things about the LA Lakers superstar

Published 30 Sep 2020, 00:49 IST
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