Trophy Tour Blog Matt
SATURDAY, JULY 13
Larry made his second and final appearance in New Hampshire on Saturday, this time in the city of Portsmouth for the second annual “Sneakers and Speakers” event. Hosted by Matt and Luke Bonner, the all-day music festival benefits the brothers' Rock On Foundation.
From 2-6 p.m., the trophy was on display for all those in attendance at a local Brewery called Redhook. Many Spurs fans drove from all over the New England area to catch a glimpse (and a selfie) with the trophy. One Spurs fan drove 200 miles just to meet Larry and of course, Matt. A few San Antonio natives also made the trip, including a man who has followed the Spurs since the late 1970’s. Larry definitely enjoyed the attention.
At 5:30 p.m., New Hampshire’s governor, Maggie Hassan, made an appearance at the event to take photos with Matt and the trophy. Most importantly, the second term governor issued a proclamation, announcing July 12, 2014 as “Rock On Foundation Day” in the state of New Hampshire in front of the crowd between 2-3k.
Beginning at 6 p.m., the event hosted three featured bands on the main stage. Of course, Larry wasn’t to be outdone. He perched himself right in center stage for the rest of the evening while band members performed around him. He is sure coming out of his shell in just his second stop of the #SpursTrophyTour.
That’s it for New Hampshire. Was a great couple days spending with the Red Rocket and his closest friends and family. Larry heads back in his case and will travel clear to Australia to visit Spurs players Patty Mills and Aron Baynes. The trio is set to make numerous stops over a nine-day span in the land Down Under— so stay tuned!
FRIDAY, JULY 11
The Larry O’Brien Trophy — aka Larry — has returned to the United States, this weekend visiting the one and only Matt Bonner — aka Red Rocket — in the great state of New Hampshire.
On this stop of the #SpursTrophyTour, I met Matt and his family at the annual Matt Bonner camp hosted in his hometown of Concord. Per the plan, I arrived to the gym near a back entrance as the final day of camp was concluding and the campers were receiving awards. The last award was the “2014 NBA Champions” award, which I then appeared from behind the crowd with Larry in hand to award Matt the trophy (I felt quite popular) upon much excitement and applause from the kids in attendance. Most were skeptical that this wasn’t the real NBA Championship trophy — but those feelings quickly vanished when they were able to touch and take photos (including many, many selfies) with the shiny ball for the next two hours.
Upon the conclusion of camp, the trophy then went on a city-wide tour to spots around Concord that served much significance to Matt as he was growing up in the New England town. Two of the stops were neighborhood courts that he spent endless hours playing basketball alongside his friends. Another court we visited in White Park was significant to Matt and his brother, Luke, because they helped renovate the court via their foundation’s funds. Prior to the makeover, the courts were run down with old and worn out goals. When we arrived this week, the shiny new court and sturdy goals were being taken advantage of by many local youngsters. One of the highlights of my trip thus far was seeing the kids react to Matt (he is a legend in this state) and witnessing their look of disbelief when the trophy was taken out of its case.
Other spots on the city tour hosted by the Red Rocket included a trip to the Boys Club (where Matt said he hung out a lot playing games, other than basketball) and the New Hampshire State House. Possibly the coolest spot of the day was when we pulled up to Concord High School, where Matt guided his team to three state championships (Matt quickly barked it should have been four). Upon entering the gym, Matt’s No. 15 jersey hung near the ceiling, ensuring it was the first thing you noticed walking in. Also in the entrance was a trophy case and display of all of Matt’s accomplishments while in high school that was labeled “An Athlete and a Scholar.” Matt quickly placed the Larry O’Brien trophy next to the case for photos. He then took pictures in the gym where he made his mark from grades 9-12.
After a full day, Larry will take a rest and resume the New Hampshire tour on Saturday at the second annual "Sneakers and Speakers” benefit concert, hosted and curated by Matt and Luke to benefit the Rock On Foundation in beautiful Portsmouth, NH.