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Spoelstra says coaches need to be aware of what's happening in locker-room

11/05/2013 06:05 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:52 EST
TORONTO - Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says the Dolphins harassment case shows that coaches need to know what's going on in their locker-room.

"I'll tell you, it's certainly something we all have to be aware of now," he told reporters before the Heat's NBA game against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. "You don't want to take it for granted.

"We have a very close-knit group. We have a lot of different personalities in this locker-room. At times it can be very light-hearted. You have to have thick skin to be in our locker-room. You also have to have a little bit of a different personality and have some confidence to be in our locker-room.

"Our guys have a sense of when not to take it over the line but there's not a handbook on this. And the more awareness that we're all forced to take on this issue, I think is better."

The NFL is investigating the troubled relationship between Dolphins offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.

Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by coach Joe Philbin for his treatment of Martin, who quit the team last week because of emotional issues.

Heat star LeBron James said there are no issues in his team's locker-room.

"We're OK here," said James. "We're a very, very close group, and obviously we laugh and joke and we get on each other, we all get on each other. But we never cross that line, man.

"What's going on with the Dolphins, that's a sensitive subject, I don't want to harp on what's going on there because I don't know all the information, but as far as our team, we don't need to take a step back and look. We know what we're about."

The harassment of Martin included text messages that were racist and threatening, according to The Associated Press citing two people familiar with the situation.

Incognito, a ninth-year NFL pro, is white. Martin, in his sophomore season, is biracial.

It's unclear whether Dolphins coaches or management knew of any harassment between the players before Martin left the team.

B.C. Lions coach Mike Benevides echoed Spoelstra's sentiment, but added it's impossible to be aware of absolutely everything that goes on in the locker-room.

"Over time, whether it's the leadership group, whether it's a certain veteran, whether it's our training staff or doctors, for the most part, you always know what's going on. It's hard not to know if it's to that extent," he said.

"You don't know what's going on with all these guys. There's 60 different personalities and lifestyles, but I think it's important that you have enough communication between your players and your committed people that are in your organization to know those things."

"It is impossible to know everything that happens on the 24-hour clock," he added. "That's impossible."

— With files from The Associated Press

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