NBA side waits until coach finalises divorce before announcing his historic Ksh19b new contract

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BASKETBALL NBA side waits until coach finalises divorce before announcing his historic Ksh19b new contract

Joel Omotto 21:00 - 11.01.2024

The NBA franchise delayed news of a bumper new contract for their coach until divorce from his ex-wife was finalised

NBA side the Miami Heat have announced a bumper new contract for coach Erik Spoelstra worth $120 million (Ksh19 billion) just two months after he finalised his divorce.

Spoelstra is celebrating a new lease of life after finalising his divorce from his wife Nikki with the mega contract which is the highest to be handed to an NBA coach.

The 53-year-old is set to continue his work after committing his future to the team following months of speculation over whether he would extend his stay at the franchise which he has been coaching since 2008.

He stands to earn the highest amount of any coach in terms of committed money in the NBA's history with the eight-year deal, which ties him to the Heat until 2032.

NBA icon LeBron James gave his approval to his new contract and claimed Spoelstra was worth 'every single cent' of the investment.

"Worth Every Single Cent of that contract!!! Congrats Spo!!" James wrote.

However, the timing of the announcement, a matter of weeks after his divorce was finalised, has left tongues wagging.

While details of the settlement have not been made public, it remains to be seen whether Spoelstra's ex-wife will have any right to claiming earnings from his new mega contract.

Spoelstra and his former cheerleader wife Nikki, 36, split in November 2023 after seven years of marriage, confirming they had made a "joint" decision to file for divorce.

The news saw Nikki become a subject of discussion on social media with many joking that she had ‘fumbled the bag’ but she came out strongly to defend herself.

“According to crass, ignorant, uninformed society at large, women can't "win." Women can't be genuinely in love with someone successful,' Spoelstra said on social media. 'No, they're pretending they're in it for the money,” Nikki posted on Instagram.

“And if a woman chooses to not be with a successful partner, apparently she's an idiot. No, I won't ignore it. IgNoRiNg iT (harrassment) for years messed with my emotional health and people need to have a better understanding of how their words can affect other people. Not just me. But people. In general. Be nicer.”

Nikki a is a former Miami Heat dancer, while Spoelstra, who married her in 2016, has been with the Heat organisation since 1997.