Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says he was surprised by LeBron James decision to leave Miami but knows nothing lasts forever.
“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra said according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”
Spoelstra and James won two NBA titles together during that four-year run. James announced Friday that he would return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I didn’t really try to anticipate one way or another,” Spoelstra said. “Pat [Riley] and I were flying around trying to meet with players as much as we could. Then when we came back, Pat and Andy were able to have a meeting [with James]. The meeting went well and then everything happened pretty quickly on Friday.”
The Heat were in panic-mode for about two to three hours after James decision. But Spoelstra, Riley and general manager Andy Elisburg discussed their options and moved forward with re-signing Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
“This league does teach you that it’s inevitable that there’s constant change and you always have to continue to embrace change, adapt with change,” Spoelstra said. “This is a big, monumental change that we didn’t necessarily anticipate but you have to respect it because when you’re a free agent in this league you have the right to make a decision that’s best for you and your family. When he made that decision that was best for his family, where his heart is, all you can do from our side is respond with respect and love.”
Spoelstra said he hasn’t spoken with James since the decision, but plans to at some point.
“I’m sure there will be a time for that,” Spoelstra said. “Again, you forge bonds through competitions and through great experiences like we’ve had. There will be a time for that. My message wouldn’t be any different whenever that time comes.”