"Coach Auerbach has a long history of success with superstar-led teams and we think he's the right man to lead the Miami Heat to an NBA title," said Heat president Pat Riley. "Between my five rings and his nine, we're sure to get at least one out of this experiment."
The Heat will use a combination of original voice recordings and re-mixed vocals to make it seem like Auerbach is actually speaking to the current Heat players. To aid in the process, Mario Chalmers has been forced to legally change his name to "Bob", while Joel Anthony now goes by "Russ".
"Giving up my name is a small price to pay to help this team," Russ Anthony said. "Besides, I'm still just happy to have a job. They probably could've replaced me with a hologram and been no worse off."
"You don't have success in this business by making rash decisions," said Riley. "Yes, there was an urge to let Erik go back in late November when we were 9-8, but I felt that now was the better time to make the move."
Spoelstra loses his job after helping the Heat run through the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 12-3 record. But it wasn't enough for Riley.
"He said something about how we could have been undefeated and that perfection is the goal," said Spoelstra. "But I think he was mainly just trying to cover his ass for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Everyone knows how much he wants another NBA title on his coaching resume. I've assumed this was coming ever since he moved into my office during our 12-game winning streak during the regular season. I am very proud of what I've done with this team, considering that I've been watching film and meeting with players in a small equipment closet near the arena service elevator since January."
"It is Erik's call on whether or not he's going to stay with the team or go spend time with the new family I created for him," said Riley. "I'm not going to force him either way. But there's a little baby that is counting on him right now for undivided attention."
The Heat have gotten off to a disappointing 10-8 start, sparking rumors that Riley will push Spoelstra aside as he is thought to have done with former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy under similar circumstances in 2005.
But Riley insists that is not the case.