As the Miami Heat struggle, the easy fall man -- head coach Erik Spoelstra -- finds himself targeted by the restless masses begging to blame someone for this new mess. It'd be impossible to find all the calls for Spoelstra's dismissal published since Sunday's Heat loss to the Bulls, so instead we'll point out that FOX's Jason Whitlock wrote that "Spoelstra's done" and ESPN's Scoop Jackson got a bit more creative.
First he lost himself. Then he lost his team. Next up?
His job. Soon.
The only problem is that Pat Riley, the Heat's president and the only man with a say in Spoelstra's future, says the coach will remain in place. The Newark Star-Ledger's Dave D'Alessandro talked to Riley at the Big East Tournament.
The money quotes:
Did you look online this morning? There was yet another headline about Erik Spoelstra's job security.
"Write it off. Write it off. It's the media being neurotic. It's their need to make a story, create a story, and make that story come true. And that ain't going to happen. Write it off. We're just in a tough time right now, we'll get through it."
There you have it. According to Pat Riley -- not Jason Whitlock, not Scoop Jackson, but Pat Riley -- Spoelstra is going nowhere. Skeptics will point out the Stan Van Gundy coup in 2006, but that's facile. Proof remains in the pudding, and if Riley counters himself and steps in for Spo, he'll be shown to be the most heartless liar in the NBA. It doesn't seem like that's the path he's headed down.