Erik Spoelstra Walks Back Controversial Rebuke Of ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

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The Heat headed into the NBA Finals as underdogs against the Nuggets, and you don’t have to be a basketball genius to know their ability to defy those odds largely hinged on figuring out a way to shut down Nikola Jokić.

The Denver superstar has spent the postseason making the retroactive case he’s really the NBA’s most valuable player after Joel Embiid thwarted his quest for a third consecutive regular season MVP trophy, and he’s continued to do what he does best over the first couple of games on the NBA Finals.

Miami was able to even the series at one game apiece on Sunday, but The Joker did what he could to contribute to Denver’s cause with a 41-point performance where he also posted 11 rebounds and four assists in the 111-108 loss.

Jokić was the subject of a question ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne directed at Spoelstra after the contest when she asked if the Heat were trying to limit his impact on the game by attempting to either turn him “into a scorer or a passer,” a notion the head coach described as “ridiculous” while suggesting you’d only ask about it in the first place if you possessed an “untrained eye.”

Shelburne would probably be the first person to admit she lacks the same level of basketball knowledge as someone who makes a living at the helm of an NBA team, but she’s still a veteran sports reporter with a solid grasp on the Xs and Os.

As a result, plenty of people went after Spoelstra for being unnecessarily harsh in his response, and Shelbourne acknowledged he reached out to her to apologize after  getting a chance to review his answer, saying:

“We talked after the game. He watched the clip back and texted me… saying I’m sorry I don’t know why I said that.

In the heat of the moment after a game like that when things are intense, people say things, and nothing is personal.”

It’s good to hear they were able to clear the air.