Erik Jon Spoelstra was born on November 1st, 1970, in Evanston, Illinois. He spent his childhood in Buffalo, but would eventually move to Portland, Oregon. He played point guard on the high school basketball team at Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Oregon. Spoelstra accepted a basketball scholarship from the University of Portland. At the University of Portland, Spoelstra was the starting point guard for four years and averaged 9.2 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game. He is still among the career leaders in several categories.

In 1995, Spoelstra joined the Miami Heat staff as the team’s video coordinator. After college, he became more of a player-coach and eventually worked his way through the ranks in Germany before accepting an offer from the Miami Heat, where he became an assistant coach from 1999–2008. “His time as an assistant coach would come under one of the best to ever do it,” said Pat Riley.

When it came time for Riley to hang up his coaching gear, he handpicked Spoelstra to be his successor. In his first season as coach, he led the team to the playoffs after they won just 15 games the previous season. His real success arrived several years later, as the Big Three was formed with the trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. Spoelstra then led that team to two championships and an unheard-of four straight NBA Finals. In 2021, he earned his 600th win as the Heat’s head coach, became the 6th head coach ever to win 600 games with one team. On February 8th, 2022, Spoelstra was ranked 14th on the top 15 head coaches list published by the NBA. It is now safe to say that it was more than just the Big Three in Miami.