Rollin’ with the Spo’
Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra (Half-Filipino for those who aren’t in the know) has been in town since Monday and has been all over Manila promoting the great game of basketball. My day job has given me the chance to meet great people like Spoelstra and an even better opportunity to interact with him.
Last Wednesday we had a one-on-one interview with him and today, I had the chance to arrange a shoot for the network. After the shoot, we brought Coach Erik to the office to meet and greet the employees. After a brief engagement with the group, we had an even more intimate lunch (albeit a short one as he had to rush to another clinic for another appearance). So for him to get to his destination, I personally chauffeured Coach Spoelstra, his agent and our NBA hook up Carlo (oh, and Lia too). He’s real folks.
Erik Spoelstra’s very nice, accommodating and acted like any other dude (no air, no primadonna-type mentality whatsoever). Thanks to the busy Friday traffic, we were able to talk about a whole lotta things. From Slumdog Millionare, Jollibee, Jeepneys and Jumpers, Michael Beasley, Chris Paul, and DWade, Coach was an interesting convo.
Sometimes, experiences like these feel so surreal. Just trying to fathom the scenario- NBA Head Coach. Erik acknowledging your presence. Imagine, this guy bosses DWade and B-Easy around like it ain’t no thing. This guy is also a Pat Riley disciple. This guy won an NBA ring as an assistant to Pat Riley 3 years ago. This guy’s currently the youngest coach in the NBA and held it down for a whole season. And this guy’s right beside me?!?! Surreal.
But like most good things, it had to end. We reached our destination (San Andres Gym) and I had to drop them off. He thanked me for the ride and appreciated the effort of personally driving them to the clinic. The pleasure was all mine and was all smiles after the experience. It was an honor to be in the presence of the first ever Asian-American Head Coach of any Professional Sports Team.
for photos, check back next week