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Who said there's no crying in the NBA?

March 8, 2011 - Neil Rudel

Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra turned another disappointing loss Sunday into a borderline crisis that has fueled ESPN and national talk radio show by admitting some of his players were "crying" in the locker room.

Now, of course, the young head coach is blaming the overreaction on the media.

In addition to the team I root against because I wanted LeBron James to stay in Cleveland, and I didn't like how his "Decision" was handled, that's the part that particularly interests me.

Because it's B.S.

Spoelstra was the source. It's not like anoynmous sources, like an assistant trainer, whispered to the Heat beat writers that the players were crying. Imagine the outrage and denials if that were the case. But it's not -- the source was the coach.

(And, BTW, it isn't a real mystery which of the players were moved emotionally; that would be any or all of the alleged "Big 3" that are now a collective 0-6 against Boston and Chicago this season.)

There was a presumption that once the Heat formed this high-profile trio of James, DeWayne Wade and Chris Bosh that the job would be too big for Spoelstra.

Spoelstra's comments Sunday proved that. He should have protected, not exposed, the emotions of his struggling stars.

Never mind that he's failed to design an offense in which two of the best one-on-one players in the league, James and Wade, can function in late-game situations.

Instead of shifting the onus to the media, Spoelstra ought to apologize to his team publicly for his indiscretion or poor choice of words if he really meant something else.

In the meantime, the Heat's struggles shows stars can be bought but chemistry can't. Sometimes it's better to have one go-to player at crunch time because when three appear lost, well, it's apparently a cryin' shame.

 
 
 

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