Today, the NBA announced its unofficial Euro Day. Honoring a European player for the Most Improved player award was somehow predictable, but the announcement of a Filipino-Dutch-Irish-American head coach for the Miami Heat was more like the magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat.
First of all, congratulations to Hedo Turkoglu from Turkey. The Orlando Magic forward won the Most Improved player award, an award that another European won two years ago in the person of Boris Diaw, and even more popular Euro-guy Gheorghe Muresan won in 1996. So not a lot to add to this, except that you can enjoy these good words from his teammates.
The big surprise of the day, though, was the new head coach of the Miami Heat. I’ll just insert the Skype chat I had with Tobi tonight here to explain what happened to you.[Tobi] Pat Riley resigned
[Christophe] so what
[Tobi] the new head coach has played in Europe
[Christophe] which new head coach?
[Tobi] of the Miami Heat
[Christophe] I see, who is it?
[Tobi] Eric Spoelstra
[Tobi] I don’t know him either
[Christophe] His name sounds like he is freaking Dutch guy
[Tobi] He just said that he played in Europe in the press conference…
[Christophe] He even looks like a Dutch guy: http://www.nba.com/coachfile/erik_spoelstra/index.html. And I was not even wrong. He is 1/4 Dutch Irish on his dad’s side, and Filipino on his mom’s side. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Spoelstra We have the first foreign NBA Head coach. hahahahaha
So no Ettore, no David Blatt. Eric Spoelstra is the first NBA head coach with foreign origins. He may not be a European but he is a Filipino-American with a European father. Good luck, Eric!