Give it a rest? Erik Spoelstra agrees

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Give it a rest? Erik Spoelstra agrees

MILWAUKEE – Glen Rice got out early; Steve Smith avoided the experience entirely.

When the two former Miami Heat stars recently appeared at AmericanAirlines Arena as part of the team’s 25th Anniversary commemoration, the stories turned to Pat Riley’s rigorous practices and the Heat’s renowned penchant for working players as hard as any franchise.

Rice was with the Heat during Riley’s first training camp, before being dealt to the Charlotte Hornets for Alonzo Mourning.

“Everything they said it was,” Rice said.

“Like when Pop had us doing crab crawls outside, in the hot, on tennis courts?” replied Smith, whose Heat tenures came under Kevin Loughery and Stan Van Gundy, but who also won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich.

Yet fast-forward to the current operation still being overseen by Riley but now being run by Erik Spoelstra.

During a recent five-day period the Heat had three days off, even as Spoelstra carefully monitors the minutes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Then contrast that to the approach of Tom Thibodeau, whose Chicago Bulls play Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

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Ira Winderman

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