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September 30, 2011

Spoelstra in the Philippines.

Spending a few days abroad with the coach of the Miami Heat


Somewhere north of the U.S. embassy in Manila the white charter bus carrying Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made a wrong turn. This turn lead them down a gravel road straight into the dense jungle of the South Eastern part of the Philippines. Spoelstra sat in the back of the bus, upon request by Heat GM Pat Reilly. This is where he stayed, sitting patiently. You could tell he noticed the change in scenery around the bus. His worried eyes stared straight out the side of the bus, watching as the vehicle went deeper and deeper into the tropical forest.

The driver kept trekking ahead, almost as if he was trying to be the real life version of the Simpsons bus driver. He had long curly hair, and was smoking some sort of drug based cigarette. Being that this was prime heroin country, It's safe to assume that that was likely the drug of choice for Otto. A pan around the bus would leave an Islander to believe only one thing. Tourists. The white man crawling all along our coasts, eating our fish and pleasuring our women. These were the opposite of the nationals. They were Expos. And exposed they were.

A kid at the front of the bus, the ball boy in fact, was the first to question the situation. He walked to the front of the bus, leaned down to ask the driver where they were, but mid sentence, a loud noise popped from the surrounding foliage. The boy laid on the ground, blood streaming from his barely intact skull. It was a sniper. 

The first to action was Udonis Haslem running to the scene, but before getting there, he ripped his ACL, falling face first into the pool of blood. He vomited. The bus erupted in screams. Mike Bibby ran for a window, only to find the exit blocked by Philippine nationals. Lebron James, in the moment, kneeled down behind a seat in the fetal position and began crying. "I WANT MY MOMMY. I DON'T CARE IF YOU FUCKED DELONTE." The rest of the bus was panicking, except for Spoelstra. He sat in the back, a glazed face staring straight ahead at the front of the bus. The bus was hijacked. 

 Erik Spoelstra was a good basketball player. In his years in high school, he showed the promise that one day he could emerge into a possible scholarship athlete at a division II college. He had all the spunk of a young basketballer raised on the streets. A great jump shot. Poor left hand and the ability to make layups 60% of the time.  The problem with growing up on the streets with basketball is that it puts you in a bad crowd. His best friend at the time, Spanks Mendenhall was a drug dealer and a bookie, and used his skills in sports betting to make a living off Spoelstra. Unfortunately, that also ment that Spoelstra would ride the accomplishments of Mendenhall into a life as a drug dealer. He spent two years as a prodigy among the drug community. Some would call him "the coldest mother fucker I've ever seen." He became what is known in the drug community as the "muscle" or the hit man. 

Mendenhall and Spoelstra were a killer drug combination. Spanks was a master salesman, while Spoelstra would do the cleaning up. Their territory grew, and with it, their enemies. In the winter of '99 they had a raid on their stash of cocaine by a rival gang. Spoelstra, being the muscle, made a counter attack. He killed 9 men, and retrieved every ounce stolen. In the drug trade, this is a smashing success, but for Spoelstra it was a nightmare. The next night, three gang members entered Mendenhall's apartment and murdered him. He had 32 stab wounds when the police found the body. Spoelstra, wrought with grief, made a counter attack. On the night of January 21st, 1999, Spoelstra entered a house, and three hours later, left, leaving behind 19 bodies. That same night, Spoelstra left Oshkosh, Wisconsin, never to come back.

The bus rumbled as the nationals entered it. Carrying AK-47s, they held the team up at gun point, yelling orders in Philipino. Spoelstra still sat there. The team was forced out. Spoestra still sat there, with a dead look on his face. He was the only one still on the bus. One of the guards came back to grab Spoelstra. One wasn't enough. Spoelstra quickly jutted a ball point pen into the temple of the guard, redering him unconscious. Quickly, Spoelstra grabbed the Russian made gun and set it on his shoulders. What happened next would make Rambo jealous with envy. 

Two shots rang from the bus. Three nationals went down. The Philippines rushed towards the bus with their arms drawn. Five more shots. A couple guards ran back to the forest screaming "DIABLO." Then an explosion at the front of the bus. 18 men were on the ground either dying of dead. From the fiery wreckage of the once bus came Spoelstra, now with two AK-47s. He screamed "THIS IS FOR YOU SPANKS!" as he ran straight for the head of the Philippine nationals. He fired six rounds, killing 9 before reaching the leader. He took the butt of one of the AK-47s and smashed it into the Philippine leader, cracking his skull louder than a Lebron James open court dunk, and sending the leader into a small fit of convulsions before spewing blood and finally laying there restless. No breath came from a Philippine. The only audible breaths heard were the ones emanating from Spoelstra's lungs. Spoelstra dropped the guns and turned back towards to road from whence they came, and walked away. He didn't turn back. He didn't bat an eye lash. Just one small tear crept down his left cheek. 

It leaves you thinking, where was this during the 2011 playoffs?

Wilts Stilts is a keen observer and a highly qualified journalist on assignment in the Philippines. For more, visit his website or on twitter @kberthusen