Miami Heat to add shooting coach for first time in franchise history

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra speaks with media during Heat Media Day at AmericanAirlines Arena Monday. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra speaks with media during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena Monday. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

With the on court changes well document for the Miami Heat, one change off the court with be the addition of a shooting coach for the first time in franchise history.

Rob Fodor, who is known as the “Shooting Guy,” will join coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff. Spoelstra has known Fodor for several years. Fodor has worked as a player-development consultant for Spoelstra and was shooting director of Spoelstra’s basketball academy in 2014. He spent 2015 as an assistant with the Seattle Storm of the WNBA.

“He’s as talented as anybody I’ve ever seen in that space,” Spoelstra said. “Really a unique basketball mind.

“I think he’s a great unique addition to our staff. It gives us versatility.”

Heat will put a greater emphasis on outside shooting with the current makeup of the team. Miami will be much more active from beyond the three-point line with several players who have had success shooting the long ball. One player who has been working with Fodor is second-year forward Justise Winslow who is looking to improve his outside shot.

The staff lost assistant David Fizdale, who left to become head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Keith Smart, who joins Fizdale in Memphis.

Juwan Howard and Chris Quinn, two former Heat players, will have greater roles on Spoelstra’s staff. Spoelstra believes both will be head coaches one day.

Dan Craig begins his 14th season in the organization and his first as an assistant coach. Craig started with the Heat as a video intern and last year he was named the NBA Developmental League coach of the year after leading Sioux Falls to the D-League championship.

Octavio De La Grana will be in his first year as an assistant coach/player development. De La Grana is in his 11th year in the organization.

“I feel thankful that we’ve been able to develop these guys that now are stepping in,” Spoelstra said.

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Report: Heat to lose assistant Keith Smart to Memphis

Heat assistant coach Keith Smart reportedly will join David Fizdale's staff in Memphis. (Getty Images)
Heat assistant coach Keith Smart reportedly will join David Fizdale’s staff in Memphis. (Getty Images)

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will rebuild his coaching staff this summer.

The first departure was longtime assistant David Fizdale, who was hired as the head coach at Memphis. Now it appears Fizdale is taking fellow Miami assistant Keith Smart with him.

ESPN reported Thursday that Smart, who joined the Heat in 2014 after a brief stint as Sacramento’s head coach, is leaving for the same position in Memphis. The only remaining assistant coach for Spoelstra now is 32-year-old Chris Quinn. Spoelstra likely will fill one of the vacancies with Dan Craig, currently the Heat’s D-League head coach.

This was a difficult season for Smart as he battled a rare form of skin cancer and had multiple extended absences for treatment.

“It was a tough year emotionally for this team, starting with Coach Smart,” Spoelstra said at the end of the season. “I’ve never been through anything like that. We were reflecting just now about the meeting in my office when he told the coaching staff. That was a tough blow. Strange things happened in the course of the year. One game I only had two assistant coaches, because of (family) deaths and Keith’s situation.”

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