The New York Times has a story about the San Antonio Spurs' legacy of fostering foreign talent, and it contains a wonderful anecdote about an offseason mishap in Argentina involving Manu Ginobili's contract, a frightened intern, and an angry bird.
In July, the Spurs sent an intern to Argentina to deliver a new contract to Ginobili, but before the intern could complete his mission, disaster struck:
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.”
I refuse to believe that this bird attack and the theft of the intern's belongings are a coincidence. 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.