Spoelstra once looked to Rivers for coaching advice


BOSTON If there's anyone who knows what Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is going through now, it's Doc Rivers.

Like Rivers, Spoelstra has a team with multiple superstars who brought great talent - and with that talent, great expectations.

So it only makes sense for Spoelstra to solicit advice from one of the few coaches who literally knows what he's dealing with.

He did as much a couple years ago at a coaching clinic in which Rivers was speaking.

"While he's highly regarded in his schematics and X's and Os, I was more curious about the management of personalities," Spoelstra said. "That's really ultimately what it's about in this league."

That point is driven home when you have a team with as much star power as the Heat, who come into tonight's Eastern Conference finals game facing playoff elimination.

Rivers recalls looking out in the audience and seeing Spoelstra.

"You're talking to 200 coaches and you see Erik there, you're like, 'I'm not going to say thisATO (after-timeout) stuff, I'm not sharing that," quipped Rivers.

As far as dealing with superstar talent and the personalities that come with them, Rivers tries to keep it fairly simple.

"First of all, they are all different," Rivers said. "Every person is different. You know that in your work, dealing with guys that are in the NBA. The same thing with stars, superstars. They're different in a lot of ways.

Rivers added, "coaches share a lot. You'd be amazed at how much. Our fraternity is really close. You'd be amazed at how much we talk and share with each other."

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