MIAMI—As his trio of star players must soon decide whether to stay with the Miami Heat or test free agency, head coach Erik Spoelstra expressed confidence Friday that the team’s “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh would opt to take a pay cut in order to continue playing under him. “It’s about more than the bottom line for these guys—they want to play on a championship team with a championship coach,” Spoelstra told reporters, noting that while James, Wade, and Bosh could theoretically pursue a higher payday with other NBA franchises, only in Miami can they be mentored by a future Hall of Fame coach such as himself. “LeBron, Dwyane, and Chris all understand that playing for me represents an opportunity they’re not going to get anywhere else in this league, and that’s more important than any paycheck. If they stay, it’s because they want a few more rings and the chance to join me in the record books. It’s a pretty clear-cut choice, if you ask me.” Spoelstra added that the Big Three’s decision to remain with the Heat would only be made more attractive by the team’s potential offseason addition of Carmelo Anthony, who, given the caliber of coach he would be playing for, would happily sign for the league minimum.
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