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ESPN's Chris Russo Says Erik Spoelstra Not Deserving Of Top 15 Coaches Honor

Critics should move past the winning with stars narrative for Spoelstra

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has all the credentials to be considered among the best at his job in league history. 

He's won championships, coached in five NBA Finals and helped turn the Heat into one of league's marquee organizations. 

He accomplishments should speak for themselves but sadly they won't ever in the minds of most. Spoelstra joined the likes of Pat Riley and Gregg Popovich on the NBA's list of top 15 coaches. 

Spoelstra is the only one that receives criticism despite successfully replacing Pat Riley, winning two titles and having the Heat three wins from another Finals appearance. Chris Russo of ESPN's "First Take" was the latest to take a shot at Spoelstra because he won championships with a star-studded team that feature Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. 

"To me, I cannot make him one of the Top 15 coaches in the NBA," Russo said on the show. He won two championships with LeBron but he also lost Finals with LeBron, one he should have lost, to Dallas. They lost to Dallas. There's no way they ever should have lost that series." 

Spoelstra still has hear this despite leading the Heat to the 2020 Finals, where they lost to a James-led Los Angeles Lakers team. Unfortunately, there are some who will only give him credit when he wins without James, Wade or Bosh. 

"We put these coaches on these incredible levels," Russo said. "I like Spoelstra, I love Riley, I know what he's done. Can [Spoelstra] win a championship without LeBron and Wade?"

Spoelstra could do that this season, but he shouldn't have to. 

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