Manila, Philippines ---LeBron James, the hottest basketball player on the planet, will be in Manila on July 23 for a one-day visit that is expected to surpass the wild reception given to fellow superstars Kobe Bryant Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul two years ago.
The best-kept secret in basketball was finally out of the bag yesterday after Nike Philippines made the announcement of LeBron's visit which will come just months before an NBA pre-season game between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers set in October.
This will be the first visit for James whose star ascended higher after he led the Miami Heat to their second straight NBA championship last month with LeBron winning the Finals MVP to complement the NBA regular season MVP that was also awarded to him earlier.
Manila will not be alien to James despite not having previously set foot here. He must have been told of the experience of his coach Eric Spoelstra who had been here twice already to conduct coaching clinics this year and last.
Spoelstra's mother is from Laguna and is the only Asian-American coach in the NBA. He and LeBron have a wonderful coach-player relationship which probably will make James' visit to the Philippines something he is looking forward to.
Shortly after LeBron clinched his second NBA ring, Nike celebrated the athlete's success with its "Leave a Message" campaign on digital and social media channels which featured basketball luminaries and influential figures for James, including, Spike Lee, Warren Buffet, Dr. Dre, Coach K, Phil Knight, Drake, Bill Russell and kids from The LeBron James Family Foundation leaving congratulatory messages for LeBron on his answering machine.
In the same way, Filipino fans will have a special opportunity to leave personal messages for LeBron through social media, radio, and retail activation starting July 12.
By visiting the Nike Basketball Facebook and Twitter pages, fans can "leave a message" for the two-time champion along with a photo of themselves that express a personal message to LeBron.
The caption of the photo should tag Nike Basketball Philippines
(https://www.facebook.com/nikebasketball.phils) on Facebook or tag @NikePH on Twitter, both including the hashtag #WITNESSHISTORY.
Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Nike Park in Bonifacio Global City at 12 noon on July 17. It will be free of charge and only two tickets will be given per person.
Dubbed the "LeBron James Philippine Tour," James' visit hopes to inspire young Filipino athletes to work hard on their dreams and strive for greatness.