Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 9:30 am  |  54 responses

Erik Spoelstra Says the Miami Heat Lost Game 4 Due to ‘Karma’

The refs weren’t to blame, nor was it the Indiana Pacers’ dominant inside play (and clear advantage on the boards). According to Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, karma simply wasn’t on the Heat’s side in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Per the Sun-Sentinel: “During his media session Wednesday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena, an intense Spoelstra refused to blame the twisted ankles of Chris Bosh and LeBron James on the loss that evened the series at 2-2 with Game 5 set for Thursday night at home. Spoelstra also wouldn’t pile on the Joey Crawford whistle-happy officials, however, he did add, ‘we can all agree to disagree’ with the refs for two controversial calls in the final minute. [...] ‘Playoffs are about overcoming everything,’ said Spoelstra, who added that Bosh and James would receive treatment but no other medical update was available. ‘We didn’t necessarily play well. We didn’t get to our identity. We had massive foul trouble all across the board and we have a 3-point lead down the stretch in an opponent’s building and plays to be made to finish off that game. We didn’t. They made more plays down the stretch and typically the team that deserves to win does.’ Spoelstra was more concerned about getting ‘pummeled on the glass’ by 19, including a 34-18 disparity on the offensive boards, and being outscored in the paint 50-32. He was miffed at the lack of pace and spacing that helped cause James to go 1-for-6 in the post against Paul George compared to 5-of-9 in Game 3′s lopsided victory. Spoelstra said this series, ‘was up for grabs,’ and didn’t want to hear about last year’s championship team that overcame a 1-2 deficit to these Pacers and a 2-3 hole to the Celtics. ‘Experience can be a very good teacher but it doesn’t guarantee anything,’ Spoelstra said. ‘We’re in the trench right now. They played with a greater sense of urgency. They made more plays going down the stretch and for that matter during the course of he game, not only offensive rebounds, but loose balls, effort plays, impact plays, imposing plays. Sometimes there’s a karma to the game, so they beat us down the stretch. There’s no excuses, nothing else to it other than that.’”

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  • Mike Mihalow

    We have a new Zen Master, NBA coach.

  • spit hot fiyah

    is spoelstra hindu?

  • pposse

    he tries so hard, but he’s not

  • Blarmac

    Well said.


    he is learning from a man that 8 championship rings. this ain’t his inner Zen, it’s his inner Riley speaking

  • Guest

    filipino i think

  • spit hot fiyah

    filpino yes, which doesn’t mean he can’t be hindu

  • bronzespirit

    nope. basketball players/coaches are a superstitious bunch who often talk about appeasing/displeasing the basketball gods. words like karma are used interchangeably with luck/fortune.

  • bike

    What he is saying is that the Heat need to offer up a virgin to the Basketball Gods but virgins are hard to come by these days in Miami. Someone suggested Bosh, but they need him on the floor right now.

  • bob

    Believing in Karma is no better to being religious.


  • Dfrance

    I’m sick of Spoelstra and his seemingly unlimited stash of cliches. I understand as a coach you have to motivate, but when they listen in on Miami timeouts, it sounds like he’s reading a script.

  • pacerscarsares

    he blamed the lack of rebounding and the hustle plays, not karma. idiot writters

  • 1982

    I don’t really get all the hate. He’s not my favorite coach, not even close, but that’s pretty spot on and I agree with what he said. And he’s clearly not using Karma the way religion uses it…


    Alongside Spoelstra’s analysis and assertion, the Heat miserably suffer from one conspicuous weakness. When they explode to a double-digit margin early in the game, or when they blow out their opponents, their initial sense of urgency begins to diminish, if not disappear, totally thereafter.

    To overcome this weakness, the Heat ought to remember that every game must be played with the same sense of urgency for at least 48 minutes. As the saying goes, it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

  • spit hot fiyah

    sound pagan to me if one is worried about the basketball gods

  • Max

    Virgin’s dont do stuff like this.

  • msrita

    That’s not what you said after game 4.

  • msrita

    How a Fat Man LOL

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  • danpowers

    where is the difference to any other ideas about god / gods? ;)

  • CelticPRIDE

    wut wrong wit being Religious

  • spit hot fiyah

    the multipicity

  • spit hot fiyah


  • Lloyd

    This just in: Coach Spo cancelled this morning’s shoot around and told the team to go out into the world and perform 10 random acts of kindness each in hopes of getting right with the universe. Ohmmmmm.

  • Lloyd

    HAHAHAHA this made my day. The ignorance is strong in this one!

  • danpowers

    so? analyze it objectively and its all the same in principle

  • Lloyd

    Karma could be Hinduism or Buddhism.

    Don’t know about his religious beliefs, but seeing as he was born to a father who was Irish and a mother that was Philipino, I’m going to guess that if he was raised in a religious home, it’d be Catholic.

    Regardless, don’t think he meant karma in the religious sense, more the philosophical sense of the Heat got what they deserved because they didn’t play as they should. It implies that Indiana didn’t beat them, that Miami just lost.

  • Dacre

    The NBA have been trying to remove “flopping” from the modern context of an NBA game; trying to get the players to stop using this ‘technique’ on the floor – a form of athletic hyperbole…and on a technical level a form of lying essentially. For LeBron to come out and say that he had no problem with flopping and to even say that it’s not a bad thing to do was actually a way of saying he doesn’t support the NBA trying to remove it.

    As the old adage goes, ‘if you play with fire your going to get burnt’….or in an NBA context if you rebuke the NBA your going to get fouled out on your next game….

    I expect the “karma” Spo was referring to may well have been how forceful the officiating was considering James’ comments leading up to this game.

  • spit hot fiyah

    the objective might be the same in a sense but the implications are very different

  • danpowers

    sure but to me thats only some superficial aspect. in the essence its all the same. at least imo.

  • spit hot fiyah

    to me it’s an extremely important aspect and not a superficial one since it has to do with who is being worshiped, and therefor there is a huge difference. that’s my opinion and u have the right to have yours

  • danpowers

    may i ask why that is so important to you?

  • danpowers

    hinduism and buddhism aint religions anyway. maybe one could call hinduism a religion but at least buddhism is strictly a philosophy. we as the occident just put it into our category of “religion” to somehow classify these phenomena within our ability to understand the world. so the idea of karma is a philosophical one anyway, regardless of one’s confession.

  • danpowers

    doesnt necessarily have to be wrong.
    mostly religious practice in society is nothing but a form of a collective neurosis. religion has the potential to provide a space for people to cure their psychological traumas which is a good thing, but it also holds the potential through its hermeneutic alignemnt to canalize and transform inner conflicts and resulting aggression towards groups outside one religion e.g. people of other religious denominations or people of the same religious group understanding their respective clergy’s doctrine differently.

    religiousness doesnt necessarily take away critical thinking but it tends to have people following one way in life like a common theme, one path that they refuse to leave as they are scared or just emotionally too immature (doesnt necessarily have anything to do with intelligence) to dare to see and accept or even understand different ways of life. by that this concept (religion) often seperates more human beings from one another than it unites.

  • Caboose

    Name a coach outside of Mark Jackson, Popovich, or Doc who doesn’t use the same cliches.

  • Browjesus

    gotta love religious circular reasoning and close mindedness….

  • Noompsi


  • Noompsi

    on the night of losing their cherry they do

  • Noompsi

    Hubie Brown, SVG, JVG,

  • Noompsi

    Shhhhhhh… Karma is gonna get you for that!

  • Noompsi

    e v e r y t h i n g

  • Noompsi

    He’s a mix of Voodoo and Methodist

  • Caboose


  • Dfrance

    I’m sure other coaches use similar cliches, but when every other phrase out of your mouth is a cliche, and you rarely speak to what the team is experiencing on the court at the time, it gets old quick.

  • Caboose

    I agree, but i’m also willing to bet that a lot of the substance they add has to be edited for TV. Leaving the cliches.

  • Dfrance

    Yeah, its definitely an assumption because we’re not in every huddle. it just seems like when the Heat are on TV, and Spo is mic’d up(which was A LOT this season) He spouts the same 3to 4 cliches no matter the situation.

  • Dfrance

    And I hate his face, I’ma just come clean about that. lol

  • Lloyd

    What’re you talking about? Hinduism and Buddhism are both religions. What you’re doing is the very typical atheistic response of trying to analytically deconstruct other people’s beliefs to prove that what you believe is true, that in essence, there’s nothing. You’re an atheist yes? Or the cop out term, “agnostic” to seem less close minded?

  • danpowers

    first of all: that may go awfully wrong now as i am not a native english speaker and we are talking about a very sensitive topic here, but let me try lol:

    that is not my intention and i am not an atheist. i just happened to study “study of religions” as my minor courses during my bachelors degree back then and the definition of the term religion and the understanding of it (by its “followers”), respectively its characteristic composition, origins and so on is just one of the first things that you examine and do research about there. that helps to objectively analyze phenomena as they are, not to prove someone oppinion. or at the highest degree of objectiveness possible, as it is obvious that i am shaped by growing up in a predominantly christian society which makes it impossible to be a 100% objective.

    so my own believe is not the point, absolutely not.

    traditionally “religion” is an exclusive term of the occident. people of most other cultures with a western education understand what we mean by that and also started to label their way to see the world or the definition of their belief into our terms, but their approaches to what we may call “religion” is entirely different in most cases.

    “our” approach to believe, regardless of a “degree of religiousness” or religious denomination (the abrahamic religions) especially christianity, implements (and paradoxly feuled) the idea of a secular world by ideas of earthly / fleshly and clerical / sacred dimensions. if u take hinduism for example, you’d see that for most of people who are labeled as hindus this is not their “religion” and other things they do are neither “earthly” matters. its just their ideas or knowledge of how the universe and their lives work. even among many of them who live within our cultural space or who transculturally implemented our understanding of the world.

    buddhism is even a better example. as this philosophy are more about the teachings of buddha and to achieve enlightment. within most buddhist streams believing in other religions is no taboo. you could e.g. be a christian if it helped you to reach your enlightment in this understanding of the universe. the idea of dharma is a path in life, it is not necessarily closed towards “other” “religious” ideas.

    so to hinduism and buddhism the label religion is an alien ascription by us, but not necessarily the “reality” of those phenomena.

    again, it makes it easier to label these believes / ideas / philosophies as religions for us to talk about them. it cant hurt though to be aware of the fact that this is just “our” (the occident’s) understanding, but not necessarily a fact.

    (i dont think that this is important for the content of this discussion, but you asked me so ill respnd:
    i believe in god the christian way i think. i just know too much
    about the bibles origins and its hebrew original texts, the further
    manipulation of these texts, other religions and philosophies, that it is impossible for me to believe into the bible as it is today or into
    the way any of today’s clergies’ hermeneutics. that is very close to being agnostic, but it doesnt exactly fit the definition neither. actually i dont know how my belief is called per definition, but i dont really care neither. i dont need a doctrine to feel “safe” on my path in life.)

  • Lloyd

    Well said for someone who doesn’t practice English as a first languauge. You’re still wrong though because you’ve made many assumptions and filled in gaps with your own ideas/biases against what constitutes as “religion”.

    I too studied many world religion courses throughout my time in university. Also, I was raised in a religious family (Christians) and a Hindu/Buddhist culture.

    Just because Hinduism and Buddhism are not structurally the same as the Abrahamic religions, does not mean it’s not a religion. Maybe that’s just your bias of what you consider to be “religion”. I can also point to many Christians who are not “religious”, but are more about their love of God and relationship with Him rather than the legality of religion. You’re thinking of the latter when you think of “religion”. This is not always the case.

    Moreso, your Western ideology has seperated parts of your life. Most people here seperate religion from their work, home, school, etc. Hinduism and Buddhism do not. Those “religions”, as well as Judaism, have been so ingrained into the culture of their respective practitioners, that they have no need to distinguish their beliefs as “religious” or just ideological, philosophical, etc. However, the underlying teachings, beliefs, and ideologies that they base their behaviours, traditions, and rituals on can be defined as “religion”. They have no reason to, but that is what it is.

    That’s just in the relativist state that Buddhism and Hinduism is in today. If you studied religion, you would know that Mahayana Buddhism is what is practiced by the majority of self-proclaimed Buddhists. This is “lay” Buddhism. The original Theravada Buddhism taught to give up one’s connection to the world and to live as a monk to reflect upon the universe to break the cycle of Samsara and achieve Nirvana through meditation and ritual. These monks could teach others about superceding the suffering in this world (much like the Clerics you talked about). Because of the inaccessibility of this, Buddhism was “watered down” to make it more suitable for the commoners, and more so to be accepted in other countries as it spread (Sri Lanka, China, Japan, etc.) much like your problem with Christianity. Regardless, the majority of Buddhism today is not the Buddhism that was taught by the Buddha. This original Buddhism would fit the bill of YOUR definition of “religion”, although the present day versions of Hinduism and Buddhism fit the broader definition of religion.

    There are definitely Buddhist and Hindu philosophies, as well as there being Christian, Jewish, and Islamic philosophies, but in the end they all fall under the category of “religion”.

  • danpowers

    i knew that this would happen, dang lol.

    that aint gaps or assumptions, i just tried to reflect the essence or conclusion of a broad field.

    its not about the structure of those religions, it is about the definition by the people who practice it and so the phenomenon itself that id like to respect as such. to label that as religion is exactly that typical way of eurocentric thinking that you just criticised imo.

    there are different definitions of the term religion and not a single one which is used in science as an undisputed term ( i dont know about theology though, which to me is no science to be honest). what you just stated is one way to see it and its ok if that gives you a better understand of the term religion. but i refuse to hold that eurocentric concept of “religion” as the gold standards for believes all around the world. i am also aware that this is an extremely abstract level to talk about the term. please excuse that i am not able to get into detail here in english without any further preparation, but i guess you got me wrong here or i didnt put it straight: i dont want to robb another “religion” of its legitimation or value to look down on it in a comparison to christianity. i think the opposite is the case:

    if we as the occident define all other (not-abrahamic religions) believes as religions most dont fit that pattern or dont fullfil some criteria of most of “our” definintions of “religion”which then legitamtes to label different believes as pagan or supersticious, etc…
    there is no prevailing opinion among scholars about that as far as i know.

    i just tend to be very critical towards classic eurocentric views as those are often linked to (at least latent) racism rooting in that old imperialistic concept of white superiority.

    i got at least basic knowledge about all buddhist streams and its history – which is not relevant though when we talk about religion in general. at least that dimension would exceed the frame of a public internet discussion in a basketball forum. same with talking about islam. there is no islam as there is no such a thing as one unified belief or linear development, but somehow the idea of islam exists for a good reason. thats just the basic category to be able to have a discussion about the essence of a phenomenon, which is always just an artificial construction instead of practical “reality”.

    my point here is just that an alien categorization of a phenomenon in the context of eurocentric views to legitimate a cultural / religious / moral /whatsoever occidental gold standard being held as state of the art onto the whole world is somewhat problematic.

    once again i excuse for my striking / pithy / bold and simple semantics. as i said, im not able to discuss about that in detail and differentiated in english without preparation.

  • Lloyd

    Maybe it would help if I gave my definition of “religion”: a set of organized beliefs, practices, and worldviews that attempt to open humanity to the supernatural/spiritual to help better understand existence.

    Going through the history of Buddhism, I was trying to compare the original form of it to the Abrahamic structure to show that it had a lot more things in comparison than one would expect, thus making it more fitting to call it a “religion”. There’s no need to, but just thought it may help give more credibility to it in your eyes.

    And like I said, the practitioners of those “religions” don’t need to call it that because it’s a way of life for them, but for the purpose of discussion, calling Buddhism and Hinduism “religion” is not offensive or incorrect in the slightest.

  • bronzespirit

    Well there is just one basketball being contested between many groups, so there’s no multiplicity. The definition of religion is utterly simple: If you can setup a tax-exempt entity with a logo on your choice of idol ( let’s say a basketball with a finger painted face, as a religious symbol and worship it ), then congratulations, you have yourself a religion. Let’s hope the SlamOnline Gods frown upon such blasphemy though, as they do have the unimaginable and capricious power to eviscerate the existence of this entire thread. And boy I’m praying really hard, eyes shut tight, ass cheeks clenched, that they just do it :)

  • danpowers

    if we take it as your definition, then i agree on what you said.

    in science its just that if you analyze it scientifically you gotta break down the term to its origins and all characteristics which then reaches a philosophical dimension. e.g. until today they dont even know the exact etymology of the term. which is also a reason why there is not really consensus about the term within the “study of religions” (aint that irony? lol).

    labeling anything as religious or phylosophical to me isnt incorrect neither. i was more referring to the eurocentric view that is linked to putting western standards on the rest of the world. thats it.