Because they are "only" 8-6 despite the ESPN special that brought them LeBron James and the additional pick-up of Chris Bosh, everyone is wondering what has gone wrong with the Miami Heat and how to fix it. So it apparently seemed only logical to a Chicago radio station to ask L.A. Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, who knows a thing or two about winning championships and managing personalities. Jackson held forth on the Heat's situation thusly:
"The scenario that sits kind of behind the scene, is that eventually these guys that were recruited -- [Chris] Bosh and [LeBron] James -- by [team president] Pat Riley and Micky Arison, the owner, are going to come in and say, 'We feel you [Riley] can do a better job coaching the team. We came here on the hopes that this would work,' and whatever, I don't know."
Jackson went out to say that that kind of scenario would be "the Van Gundy thing all over again," a reference to when Riley infamously took over coaching the team when Stan Van Gundy was suddenly seized with the urge to spend more time with his family. This did not sit well with Van Gundy, who was then put in the awkward situation of defending himself -- and the rival Heat.
"I looked today and they [the Heat] have the fourth-best offense in the league and the fourth-best defense in the league in points per possession. They're third in point differential. They've had some tough losses."
Which is a nice thing to say about a team that you're supposed to be trying to beat. But Van Gundy seemed most incensed by the notion that there was anything suspect about his decision to take his talents away from South Beach.
"Well, first of all, obviously, Phil has no idea what the 'Van Gundy situation' was, because even though he coaches in our league, he certainly had no inside knowledge of that," Van Gundy responded. "So, an analogy he would make to my situation would be totally useless, because he doesn't have any clue what the situation was in that case."
If nothing else, a "Spoelstra situation" would require a new excuse, given that the current Miami coach is single.
Maybe his dog is getting lonely?