MIAMI Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will be bringing with him the NBA championship trophy he won with LeBron James and Co. when he comes over for a visit next week, keeping a promise he made almost a year ago.
The 41-year-old Fil-Am mentor whose mother Elisa Celino is from San Pablo, Laguna, had vowed in a visit last year to take with him the shining Larry 'O Brien trophy should the Heat nail the big one in the lockout-shortened season.
Led by James, both the season and Finals MVP, the Heat thumped the young Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1, in the Finals. The victory made Spoelstra the first head coach of Asian descent to win an NBA title.
This will be Spoelstra’s fourth trip to the Philippines, but the first time he will be honored as a champion by way of the `NBA Trophy Tour’ from August 2-5.
Spoelstra is arriving on August 1 to inaugurate the Green Gate of the Smart Araneta Coliseum, and hopefully watch the Finals of the PBA Governors Cup if there will be Game Five of the title series between Rain or Shine and B-Meg.
He will later have dinner with Araneta management and Smart/PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan.
A press conference for the Heat coach is set the following day, August 2.
The NBA Trophy Tour will be kick off on August 4 at The Block Atrium of the SM North Edsa from 2-3 p.m. The following day, the trophy will be displayed at the Event Center of the SM Megamall (2:30-3:30 p.m.), then is moved to the Mall of Asia Music Hall (4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.).
During the visit, the former Miami Heat video coordinator turned coach, will also conduct an NBA 3X Clinic for teen boys and girls at the Jose Rizal University gym on August 2 in preparation for the NBA 3X that takes place on August 17-19.
As part of his Manila trip, Spoelstra will host an interactive viewing party at the Mall of Asia Center Stage, where the NBA will air an NBA Finals game as fans will be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime viewing experience.