Dfter the loss to the Toronto Raptors, coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat was asked by Toni Canyameras of Mundo Deportivo if any European coaches have influenced him throughout his career. And Spoelstra did not hesitate to give an answer, he who as a pro played only in Germany.
“Svetislav Pesic. He was from ALBA Berlin when I played in Germany. We played against his teams and I was a fan of his then. I am still a fan of his and I respect him deeply.”, he revealed.
Before coming to NBA circles, Erik Spoelstra was a player in Germany for TuS Herten from 1993 to 1995. During the same period. Pesic, who is now the head coach of the Serbian national team, was at the helm of ALBA Berlin, a team he coached until 2000.
Spoelstra spent two years as an assistant coach in Herten, playing simultaneously and competing several times against Pesic’s ALBA.
Certainly his training in Europe helped him to learn about a different basketball than American basketball and in part allowed him to become what many now consider the best coach in the NBA.