‘Goosebumps’ for All-Star Coach Spoelstra as PH host FIBA Basketball World Cup
“I got goosebumps when I found out the world championships are coming,” said Filipino-American Erik Spoelstra, who will coach Durant at the NBA All-Star Game.
MANILA, Philippines – NBA All-Star Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat seems ecstatic that the Philippines will become the basketball hub of the world when they host the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
Speaking to the media at the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend festivities in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday, February 20 (Manila time), Filipino-American Spoelstra was asked his thoughts on what it would be like to visit Manila again next year. , this time as part of the Team USA coaching staff who will go for gold in the tournament.
“We’re going there, that’s one of the first things I heard about when they talked about this next segment for Team USA. We’ll be there. I got goosebumps when I ‘ve heard that the world championships will be held. It will be fun, “said the two-time NBA champion coach.
Along with Indonesia and Japan, the Philippines were unanimously selected by the FIBA Central Board in 2017 to host the next World Cup, beating the bid of Argentina and Uruguay .
Spoelstra, who greeted this reporter with the classic Filipino greeting of “Mabouhay!” at NBA post-game press conferences in the past, also talked about how he looks forward to letting everyone know what he’s already doing – that Filipinos’ love and passion for basketball- ball are huge.
“I’m really grateful that everyone can see Manila and just the worldwide enthusiasm for basketball. The fanbase there is as good as anywhere in the world,” the 51-year-old tactician said.
“I’m just glad everyone can see this.”
The World Cup group stage will take place in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, with Araneta Coliseum and Mall of Asia Arena serving as host venues.
Then, the Philippine Arena in Bulacan is ready to host the final phase, including the World Cup final.
Spoelstra, whose Heat sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 38-21 All-Star Break record, will serve as head coach of Team Durant in this year’s All-Star Game, facing to the LeBron team coached by Monty Williams who also has Jimmy Butler, the only Miami player representative during All-Star Weekend.
It’s the first time Spoelstra has coached the All-Star Game since 2013, last season Miami won an NBA title.
With nine years between appearances, Spoelstra reflected on the time since.
“I hope things slow down, and when I say slow down, that’s from the perspective that you can still be extremely focused and driven and your work ethic can be demanding, but you also want to be able to enjoy the ride. “, he explained. .
“It goes by so fast. I can’t believe it was nine years ago. It feels like it was yesterday. Sometimes it brings me so much joy, and sometimes it makes me sad, realizing that those are different chapters, so I just want to be able to reflect and share those memories with great people and those relationships that you develop in the locker room, they just transcend the team and the season that you’re in.
Spoelstra coached the East team in their final All-Star game, losing to their West counterparts, 143-138.
While a win for the competitive head coach is always a goal, he also has other aspirations for this edition of the NBA’s annual midseason festivities.
“I think back to the players and the teams that I’ve coached, and they text me, and we exchange communications, and ultimately it’s a matter of substance, it’s about winning, but it’s about “It’s about those relationships. It’s about shared experiences and memories. It’s what we’ll all take with us when we’re all retired and everything. I want to make the most of it.”
Perhaps Spoelstra will also cultivate new relationships when he visits a welcoming Philippines next year. – Rappler.com