Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at 9:50 am  |  27 responses

Manu Ginobili’s Contract Was Stolen By a Bird in Argentina

A San Antonio Spurs intern was tasked with hand-delivering Manu Ginobili’s new two-year deal to the star in his home country. There was just one problem: a bird stole it. Yes, really. The NY Times has the amazing tale: “Hours before the Spurs’ intern was to fly home from Buenos Aires, team officials said that he was strafed by a bird in a park. As he tidied up at a fountain, his backpack disappeared. Inside were Ginobili’s signed contract, along with the intern’s passport, cellphone and laptop. Luckily, an international sports crisis was averted. An assistant traveling to Buenos Aires soon after brought a fresh contract and returned it to Texas without incident. ‘No birds got to him,’ Sean Marks, the Spurs’ director of basketball operations, said with a laugh. ‘We were all waiting for Manu’s contract to show up on eBay. It hasn’t yet.’ Over the past 25 years, San Antonio has become one of the most ambitiously global sports franchises in North America. During the 2013 N.B.A. finals against Miami, the Spurs’ 15-man roster included nine players born outside the continental United States, a league record. After the playoffs, San Antonio signed a 10th international player — Marco Belinelli of Italy — and drafted a forward from France. The benefits of this embrace of intercontinental basketball have been clear: four championships won since 1999 with fluid movement, selfless passing and insistent defense. The drama with Ginobili’s contract aside, San Antonio’s immersion into global basketball has produced a run of prodigious consistency. The Spurs have won 50 or more games for 14 consecutive seasons and have reached the playoffs 16 straight years, the longest current streak in the league. On a late August morning, during an off-season workout, Tim Duncan, the almost-certain Hall of Fame forward from the United States Virgin Islands, prepared his 37-year-old body for another grind of a season. Joining him were centers Tiago Splitter of Brazil and Aron Baynes of Australia. There was also Marks, the director of basketball operations, who is from New Zealand, and Ime Udoka, an assistant who played for the Nigerian national team. Daisuke Yamaguchi, an assistant athletic trainer from Japan, monitored the workout. ‘All I think we’ve done is we’ve looked at basketball players and not tried to put a border to them,’ said R. C. Buford, the Spurs’ general manager, from Wichita, Kan. ‘Let’s not worry where they’re from, let’s worry about how they play and what their character is and their interest in being part of a team.’”

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  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe



    Insert joke about his contract containing Bird Rights.

  • fruizm

    Hahaha Ginobili with the “the dog ate my homework” routine!

  • coupcoupcal

    payback for that bat he murked.

  • Blackice87

    sean marks still with the organization, siick.

  • Bac

    An almost-certain hof? Wow

  • th866451

    Tim is certainly in the HOF, not almost-certainly

  • pposse

    that is what is called an ‘omen’ a bird stole that contract because the Spurs are reaching with that pay rate they giving Ginobli. The owner should have recinded the deal as soon as he hear of this.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    So what happened to that intern who also had his passport stolen by said bird?

  • coyboo

    the bat he killed with his bare hands is laughing on the ground right now. #karma

  • hoodsnake

    So birds sell on ebay now???

  • Saleem Rainman

    How do you think the Lakers will do this year?

  • Lloyd

    Had to click this after seeing the headline. But seriously, how big was this bird!? I mean a backpack with a phone and laptop inside isn’t exactly light.

  • spit hot fiyah

    larry bird trying to get ginobili without trading for him

  • bike

    Must have been a condor. Probably mistook the contract for rotten horse flesh, ate it, and crapped it out.

  • Rockwell

    LOL what is up with Manu and flying animals?

  • chingy

    That’s a pretty awesome intern job. Probably gets to fly first class to Europe just to hand over a contract to Manu.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    What the ….! They have Emu’s walking around the park in Buenos Aires?

  • davidR

    nice lol

  • RayJr

    Wow this is a top 10 misleading title of the year candidate before the season even starts! Hope you guys really didn’t think a damn bird stole the contract and all the stuff in the intern’s bag. The intern was attacked by a bird, went to a fountain to clean himself up, sat his bag down, and while he wasn’t looking his bag was stolen…

    …Or I am dead wrong and they have some pterodactyls flying around Argentina.

  • David Kim

    Argentina is not in Europe

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Birds will try and take you for everything just ask a bag of hot chips…. or Dirk Nowitzki!?

  • danpowers


  • The Mauve Avenger

    I need a paragraph from a favorite news source for a school assignment so I thought,”hey, just use a paragraph from SLAM”. Never mind.

  • chingy


  • BballConditioning

    #JustGimmeDeLikes J-Coyne

  • Obz

    calling Bird Man