PORTLAND, Ore. – The only danger in the Heat players and staff heading to 23Hoyt in downtown Portland for dinner Friday was if somebody had to send back the food.
The owner probably would not have appreciated it. .. especially when it’s your coach.
“I was able to make a good recommendation to them,” Erik Spoelstra said.
And if you are looking for a review for Spoelstra’s restaurant, an American bistro with “the best burger in town” according to one online review, the Heat gives it a thumbs up.
But did they have a choice?
“We ordered as much as we can,” Goran Dragic said. “The food is really good. We had some good moments.”
Spoelstra got into the restaurant business about 10 years ago as a part owner of 23Hoyt along with some childhood friends.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “I’ve been able to enjoy that experience with my friends.”
Ironically, one of those not able to join the group was Spoelstra, who was having a home cooked meal at his parents, former NBA executive Jon and Elisa, about 20 minutes outside of Portland.
Most of Spoelstra’s childhood was spent in the Northwest. He went to Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Ore., and then to the University of Portland. And it just so happens the Heat had three nights in Portland, arriving after Thursday’s game in Denver and staying over after tonight’s game against the Trail Blazers before heading home Sunday morning.
“We haven’t had this I don’t think ever here,” Spoelstra said. “So we’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time. My family is not taking that for granted, we haven’t experience that much. A home cooked meal from mom is perfect.”
As is a team outing at the coach’s restaurant.
“It helps a lot,” Dragic said. “You’re on the road a lot, away from your family. It’s not good when you’re in your room alone. We need to hang out. This group is really close, connected. Every time you have a chance to do something together off the court we do that. You can see even on the court we’re much closer.”
Dragic then was asked which his coach better at: As a restauranteur or a coach.
“Coach,” he said.