Over the course of LeBron James’ NBA career, it’d be fair to say he’s never really had a ‘great’ coach on the sidelines.
Because of this, James has gained the reputation of taking over coaching duties for his squads, as apparently no coach can control LeBron, and LBJ’s basketball IQ is higher than any of the coaches that have coached him.
If you had to point out the best coach LeBron has played under, it’d be hard to pass on Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, considering he’s the only coach apart from Ty Lue who still has a head coaching job in the NBA after LeBron’s departure from the Heat.
But according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, LeBron actually tried to get Spoelstra fired back in 2010.
There was an incident when the Miami Big 3 first formed where LeBron bumped into Erik Spoelstra during a timeout, giving the media the impression that James and Erik didn’t see eye to eye.
According to Lowe, Heat GM Pat Riley had a meeting with the Big 3 immediately after, and LeBron asked Riley if he wanted to coach again, to which Pat responded with a harsh no.
“When Lebron “bumped” Spo back in 2010, he did intend to get him fired. Pat Riley had a private meeting immediately afterward with Heat Big 3. Bron asked Riley “do you have the itch to coach again?” to which Rile promptly responded “no”.”
Ian Thompsen confirmed these claims on Lowe’s podcast.
“People forget that at that time Lebron was a desperate man seeking for a championship. He didn’t win anything in his 7 years in Cleveland, he was the most hated man in sports after “Decision”, and now the Heat started 9-8. Riley called a private meeting with the Big 3 after the “Bump”-gate, at the meeting Lebron asked Riley, “do you ever have the itch? the itch to coach again”. Riley replied “no” and Lebron didn’t say anything after that. But it was plain and clear that Lebron wanted Spo gone and for Riley to coach him.”
LeBron has never had the image of a coach killer, but this story could change the public’s perception of the King.