CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The opening act of the spectacle known as Miami Heat media day featured Coach Erik Spoelstra. He climbed onto a platform illuminated by stage lights and surveyed a veritable armada of 275 reporters, bloggers, photographers and more cameras than a reality show.
If Monday resembled a circus, so will next Monday, and the Monday after that, all the way until LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh conclude their superstar melting pot experiment.
Inside this maelstrom stands Spoelstra, the 39-year-old baby-faced third-year coach charged with turning this all-star team into a champion, with the team president Pat Riley looking over his shoulder and sports fans across the country openly rooting for the exceedingly talented Heat to fail.
“Let’s be real about it,” Spoelstra told reporters at the University of Miami. “This team hasn’t been built for us to be under the radar.”