Pat Riley Responds to Claims LeBron James Wanted Erik Spoelstra Fired

January 29th, 2016 by Mike Chiari Leave a reply »

LeBron James has been referred to as a "coach killer" in the wake of David Blatt's firing from the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Miami Heat President Pat Riley insisted Thursday that LeBron didn't live up to that moniker during his time with the Heat.

According to's Michael Wallace, Riley said James never asked him to part ways with head coach Erik Spoelstra at any point in his tenure: "Not from him to me, ever. So a lot of stuff is following him out the door. Whether it's right or wrong, it's just the nature of it. But as far as that goes, no, he never, ever walked in and said anything."

Rumors that LeBron attempted to push Spoelstra out of power surfaced Tuesday after Heat minority owner Raanan Katz was interviewed by Ofira Asayag of's 102FM in Israel.

Per a transcript of the interview provided by Bleacher Report's David Pick, Katz apparently said LeBron pushed to have Spoelstra fired only to be rebuffed by Riley:

With the Miami Heat, LeBron James—before and after his four seasons when his contract was up with the team—made it clear that he wanted to dump head coach Erik Spoelstra. ...

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