Success is the only way

Success is the only way

It is no coincidence the opposing head coaches in this year's NBA Finals are among the longest serving in the game. In a job that offers little security, ongoing success on the court is one of the few ways to survive.

Since the regular season finished in mid-April, a dozen head coaches have been fired, a statistic that does not sit comfortably with Miami's Erik Spoelstra or San Antonio's Gregg Popovich.

"It's really a shame for the profession of coaching that it's been so volatile," Spoelstra said in a conference call on Friday before the best-of-seven series, tied at 2-2, resumes Sunday in San Antonio.

 "For true success in the NBA you must have consistency of culture. When you see that type of turnover over and over and over, it's impossible to create any kind of sustainable consistent culture. And we don't see it as a coincidence."

The Heat franchise, appearing in their third consecutive NBA Finals, have been a rare model of consistency in a 30-team league that, for the most part, seems to have a short leash when it comes to the head coaching position.

Spoelstra, 42, is in his fifth season as head coach of the Heat after spending the previous 11 years in the organization as an assistant coach.