In 1995, Spoelstra had his choice of two job offers, and family seemingly on both sides of the fence. His father, Jon, a former executive with the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets, remembers both opportunities holding appeal. Erik, his only son and the younger of two children, could continue playing basketball professionally in Germany or he could accept a position with the Miami Heat as a video coordinator.
Jon Spoelstra Rumors
“I don’t know if these are the right words,” Jon Spoelstra said, “but she said, ‘What the (expletive) are you thinking? Do you realize how difficult it is to get into the NBA? Just because Dad is there doesn’t mean it’s easy. To get a job on the basketball side? You have to be an idiot.’ He called me back a day later and said, ‘I changed my mind.'” Erik Spoelstra has been in South Beach ever since, ascending from poring over video to scout to director of scouting to assistant coach and, finally, to head coach in 2008.
Jon Spoelstra was a central figure in one of the N.B.A.’s more unusual trades. As a Portland executive, he shipped himself to the Indiana Pacers in 1983 for a couple weeks of his marketing expertise in exchange for point guard Don Buse. “I was an advocate that if you owned an N.B.A. team, you didn’t have to lose money,” Spoelstra said. “In 1983, almost every team was losing money and the Trail Blazers weren’t. The Pacers were for sale and they were bringing in different people and wanted me to talk to prospective buyers. The last guys who came into the room were two local guys, Herbert and Mel Simon, who ended up buying the team.”