The San Antonio Spurs are one of the classiest organizations in the NBA, so it comes as no surprise that despite all of today's technological advances, they prefer hand-delivering their player contracts.
Of course, with a workforce as globally diverse as theirs, this can lead to some inherent challenges. International flights and necessary travel documents are a must. Apparently, so too is an effective defense against bird attacks.
Trust me, it will all make sense here shortly.
Per Jere Longman of The New York Times, the Spurs sent an intern to Argentina armed with a new contract for free agent Manu Ginobili. After Ginobili put his signature on the paper, the intern started preparing for his trip home.
That's when disaster struck. Via Longman:
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.
Being the worldwide franchise that it is, San Antonio naturally had another assistant traveling to Buenos Aires shortly thereafter. This person brought Ginobili a new contract, and that one has since been returned and formalized.
As for that original contract, its location is anyone's guess.
"We were all waiting for Manu’s contract to show up on eBay," Sean Marks, San Antonio's director of basketball operations, told Longman. "It hasn't yet."
As Deadspin's Tom Ley pointed out, something was definitely going on behind the scenes here:
Either we've got a highly intelligent bird that values non-traditional sports memorabilia on our hands, or the backpack was taken by an international gang of thieves that deploys attack birds when pulling off heists. Either way, that intern is lucky to have escaped with his life.
But what if the bird was simply acting out of its own aggression? Why would it have beef with the Spurs intern?
Well, the intern may have been an unwilling participant in Ginobili's battle with the animal kingdom. Remember, Manu drew first blood in this war back in 2009, swatting a bat of out the air after it had interrupted a Spurs game with the Sacramento Kings.
Let's get a quick scoreboard check here: Ginobili took the early lead, but the animal kingdom fired back with a run that included a heist of a signed contract, passport, cellphone and laptop.
Something tells me this battle is far from being finished. At the very least, I think we've all learned that betting against the Spurs is always a bad move.