Continued from page 1

“But the change, change, change, change, change thing doesn’t really work. You can see that in a lot of organizations.”

Spoelstra has only been on the job five seasons, but that makes the baby-faced 42-year-old a relative gray beard in this business. He is the third-longest tenured coach in the league behind Popovich and Boston’s Doc Rivers.

It all starts at the top, with Spurs owner Peter Holt and Heat owner Micky Arison long considered two of the more level-headed owners in the league. Arison has worked with President Pat Riley since 1995, while Holt, GM R.C. Buford and Popovich have been the power trio in San Antonio since 1997.

“The continuity I think breeds, it breeds trust, it breeds camaraderie, it breeds a feeling of responsibility that each member holds towards the other,” Popovich said. “The ability to be excited for each other’s success, not to develop territory and walls, but to stay participatory. To be able to discuss, to argue and come out at the end on the same page with the same passion and the same goals.”

“And I think without continuity that’s pretty impossible, because all the immediate tendencies of instant success starts to take over and that just breeds failure.”

The tranquility, and volatility, seems to trickle down to the players. Before coming to the Heat three years ago, Chris Bosh spent seven seasons in Toronto. He played for three different coaches and five different general managers in that time and only made the playoffs twice.

“I’ve been a part of organizations where the GMs and coaches have been like musical chairs,” Bosh said. “It’s hard to get stability. The players are in and out. Here it’s comforting to know you can work with the same people and get to know the same people.”

If there was any team that could be tempted to bow to public pressure it is the Heat. Playing under a white-hot spotlight ever since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh teamed up in the summer of 2010 has brought unparalleled scrutiny. Spoelstra was deemed by some not experienced enough to coach such a star-laden roster, and Bosh has heard calls for him to be traded for two years.

The Heat ignored all of that and now find themselves in their third straight finals, two victories away from their second straight championship.

“When people don’t see success right away, they just want to fire everybody and trade everybody and move on from there,” Bosh said. “It takes patience. I think a lot of people up top understand that. The coaching staff understands that. I think now we’re in a position to really be successful, hopefully, for a while.”

___

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski