Did you root for the Miami Heat’s opponent? Hater!

erik-spoelstraAs GRP colleague ChinoF has pointed out, as long as someone who wins any international competition possesses even a tinge of Filipino blood, despite not even growing up here or honing his/her talents here, then Filipinos will, predictably, latch on to that person’s success and claim it as a victory of the Filipinos as a whole. Filipinos did this with Lea Salonga, Manny Pacquiao, Charice (before she turned lesbian), and Jessica Sanchez. And ChinoF described some people doing it with the Miami Heat and their Fil-Am coach, Erik Spoelstra, during the recently concluded National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals.

Of course, this is but an apparent and ever-present issue that always crops up when it comes to competitions where percentage Pinoys are involved. One other not-so-obvious issue, however, is that certain Filipino fans of the Miami Heat threw a rather disturbing label at their countrymen who rooted for the Heat’s opponent, the San Antonio Spurs.

They called them “haters”.Hater-300x198

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This begs an obvious question: Haters of what exactly?

While I will not attempt to probe or read the minds of such “passionate” Filipino Heat fans, I will try to look at things from their perspective. With the absence of the popular Los Angeles Lakers and their star Kobe Bryant, many Filipino fans looked instead to rooting for Lebron James and the Miami Heat. The Heat were a strong team even before the NBA Finals. With Lebron, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh as the stars of the team, plays worthy of the highlight reel are to be expected often; Filipinos like that. Lebron is MVP worthy, plus he’s got attitude (malakas ang dating). That makes them the popular team and the one more favored to win it. And actually did. Did I mention that Coach Spoelstra is half-Filipino?

So it becomes clear now. Lebron is popular among Filipinos. Plus, perhaps that attitude they see him oozing reflects some sort of attitude that Filipinos wish they had. Let’s not forget to mention that Coach Spoelstra is half-Filipino.

This whole “hater” thing that happened during the NBA finals, however, is but a mere manifestation of an underlying, deep, and profound cultural dysfunction that exists in Filipino society. Filipinos are reluctant, if not outright unwilling, to accept that there are people whose preferences are not the popular or obvious choice, or just simply not the same as theirs.

You can see it not just in the way they root for their favorite athletes, but in the way they make other choices like:

“You’re not Catholic? You’re going to hell!”
“You’re not rooting for the Pinoy? You are a traitor to your country!”
“You criticize Noynoy Aquino? You are a paid hack.”
“You’re not among those who showed outrage at this bad behavior? You’re kissing his/her ass!”
“You dare criticize my advocacy? You are a loser!”
“Hay naku. You guys are such haters for criticizing my publicity stunt. Get a life!”

Filipinos fall into patterns too easily, don’t they?

There’s one simple answer to all those heckling calls of “hater”:

Whom or what anyone roots for, or supports is nobody else’s business.

Nobody has the right to impose on me whom or what to support/root for, or has the right to judge me for whom or what I support/root for. My choice/stand is not the same as yours because I prefer mine better; it doesn’t mean that I hate yours. I respect your decision, respect mine. I may not agree with your decision, but I respect your ability to make it. Do the same with me.

Going back to the NBA Finals, a repost by a friend of mine, I think, says it very well. Speaking on behalf of San Antonio Spurs fans who got “hater” thrown at them:

Don’t call us haters just because we root for another team or root for any team your team goes up against. We simply just don’t like your team. It doesn’t mean we hate them. Even if we admit we do, it doesn’t give you the right to call us names.

Bakit pa kasi affected kayo masyado? Close kayo nila Lebron? Kamag-anak ninyo sila that you have to aggressively defend “your team”. (Why are you so affected by this? Are you guys close with Lebron? Are you guys relatives with Lebron that you have to aggressively defend “your team”.)

Kaya nga sport ang tawag. Kaya may kasabihan na “be a good sport” di ba? Nood lang at ienjoy ang panonood. (That’s why it’s called a sport. That’s why there’s a saying “be a good sport”, right? Just watch and enjoy.)

Simply put, Filipinos would do well to remember this Latin phrase: “De gustibus non est disputandum” – there is no disputing taste.

So Filipinos aren’t good sports, too? Not only sore losers, but sore winners, hmm? I guess taking everything personally comes natural to a people devoid of substance. Hey guys, it’s just a game.


I suppose the followers of Noynoy would throw this entire argument back at me and say: “But you’re doing the very same thing too when you criticize Noynoy and all those who favor him! You people don’t respect differing tastes either!”

These people will easily forget that no one accused them of being paid hacks. They will forget that Noynoy was the popular choice. As I recall, no one screamed “hater” when Noynoy won. As I recall, none of those who voted for someone else had the gall to declare a failure of elections, or threaten street protests when Noynoy won. Those who didn’t vote for Noynoy accepted that the Filipino people have made their choice to go with Noynoy. But that doesn’t mean they should stop from criticizing their choice. It was proven during the 2010 campaign that Noynoy was the most unqualified among the candidates.

Frankly, Filipinos didn’t need to be paid to support Noynoy back then, and until now, because they’re still emotionally beholden to that notion of the Aquinos’ being heroes of the EDSA Revolution and all.

If you step back from all that judgmental name-calling, heckling, and intolerance, one can discover a few more Filipino character traits that aren’t very desirable:

1) Filipinos are not only sore losers, they’re sore winners too, and;
2) Filipinos are forcing the concept of “unity”, instead of trying to accept, or celebrate their diversity.

They certainly have a lot to be proud about; such a “special” people, indeed.

20 Replies to “Did you root for the Miami Heat’s opponent? Hater!”

  1. I keep asking my friends who are Miami “fans” this question: “Where were you when Pat Riley was still the Heat coach?”

    There were some fans (that I consider okay) way before the “LeBron – Spoelstra” era, but there were also some who knew about the Heat because of the PH media (mentioning Spoelstra as Half-Filipino).

  2. Number 1 of Habits of the Filipino Jerk… Can’t take criticism.

    Makes you wonder if 99% of Filipinos are actually jerks.

  3. i asked one heat “super fan” who were their starting five before lebron & chris came in… he didn’t know.

  4. Yeah they’re not there during the fraudalent 2006 championship season also.

    This year’s Finals is also the same yet most of Filipinos don’t admit the reality in sports that there are people who are not impressed with the way Spoelstra coaches the team.

    I was bashed so many times when I put my favorite player into the conversation with LeBron because they don’t see why he’s not even the GOAT in the NBA history in general.

    Sorry to say but Filipinos tend to be one sided in terms of seeing the reality in all aspects.

  5. Just because your team did not make it, you claim the Heat’s triumph in 2006 as fraud? Do u have concrete proof to support your allegation or are u simply sour-graping?

  6. One thing people fail to realize is that most of the Heat fans who are rooting for them now are Lebron fans. Is it wrong to root for the team their favorite player plays for? I don’t think so. I myself have rooted for Lebron, regardless of how mistaken it was for him to do “The Decision” but in hindsight, it has paid off. The manner in which he did it was indeed incorrect, making it a high profile media extravaganza, but what can you do? It was for the money, something I can’t deny a person of trying to get more of. He used his resources, albeit his own marketable status to do so.

    So let’s not make it a point of “Where were they during the Alonzo Mourning days or the Glen Rice era?”, but make it a point of where will they be when YOUR particular favorite player moves?

    1. I was going to make a point until I read this. I agree 100%. Ano ba kasi ang mali kung ngayon ka lang naging fan, or dahil kay Spoelstra or sinong herodes? Hindi pwede? Generalization much?

      The “hater” thing is all about LeBron’s past. It’s not about Miami Heat vs any other NBA team. Matagal nang issue yan. I can’t pinpoint exactyly when it started, pero kasama dyan ang much publicized “The Decision” to leave Cleveland, his previous decision not to join the cause for Darfur because he didn’t know much about the issue (hindi sya bandwagoner e), and other “angas” comments he made in the past.

  7. I’m not sourgraping but the reality is the league itself doing this just to give the team a championship title.

    Remember the 2002 Western Conference Finals Game 6?? It was named ‘The Fix’.

    Look on the YouTube before you comment me back sir Mark del Rosario

    1. It’s not just the Heat, it’s also every team. I know that’s reality but don’t make it an excuse to be an ass to everyone.

      You should be careful because I can consider that as sourgraping because you’re BIASED.

      LeBron fan since 2003.

  8. I understand if people would support the heat because of LeBron (or any of their players) but I think it’s strange they’d support a NBA team just because of the coach, unless that coach also plays (or used to) or owns the team or is just THAT good, or any combination of those things.

  9. LeBron fan since 2003. The Miami Heat franchise was founded in 1989 as part of the NBA Expansion Draft.

    I was a 90s kid but all I remember about the Heat is Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning. Then there goes the Dywane Wade era with Udonis Haslem and I saw Lamar Odom playing with the team (before going to the Lakers).

    Then there goes Shaq along with Stan Van Gundy as coach. Until Pat Riley went back to coaching that paved the way for the Heat’s 1st NBA championship. That’s great for Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning.

    Then there goes D-Wade battling injuries and guys like Jermaine O’Neal and Michael Beasley. Then Pat Riley made a remarkable move: bring LeBron James, Dywane Wade, and Chris Bosh together. I’m proud of Spoelstra not as a Filipino but as a big fan of the sport since he’s a Pat Riley clone.

    Also, I’m very happy for LeBron James. 4x MVP and 2-time champ.

    1. You’re pretty much spot on about the rosters that came and went through the Miami Heat, I think.

      Lebron has still a good number of years ahead of him in the game. Good luck to him in his quest for more rings. 😉

      1. What’s really annoying is that most Filipinos parrot about Spoesltra, LeBron and Wade when we talk about the Heat. As a LeBron fan, I know about his playing style then also D-Wade and Bosh.

        But I have to give credit to Pat Riley on the Heat’s current success.

  10. Obviously, the writer does not know what he’s talking about –

    “So it becomes clear now. Lebron is popular among Filipinos. Plus, perhaps that attitude they see him oozing reflects some sort of attitude that Filipinos wish they had. Let’s not forget to mention that Coach Spoelstra is half-Filipino.

    This whole “hater” thing that happened during the NBA finals, however, is but a mere manifestation of an underlying, deep, and profound cultural dysfunction that exists in Filipino society. Filipinos are reluctant, if not outright unwilling, to accept that there are people whose preferences are not the popular or obvious choice, or just simply not the same as theirs.”

    – only a MORON could think of this and not a TRUE NBA FAN!

    1. TBH, the author has a good point. Most Pinoys became Heat fans due to Erik Spoelstra so you can call those Pinoy bandwagoner fans are not TRUE NBA fans.

      Your point?

    2. Will,

      Anyone can assert that other people don’t know what they’re talking about and call them morons. Very few are those who are able to articulate why that is such.

      I don’t see that in your comment, and I fail to see any point you’re trying to make.

    1. There are many Spurs fans who are bandwagon haters.

      Why don’t you try to find out yourself? Are you afraid? 😛

  11. It all ends to our very own Coach Spoesltra. Without him, Heat will never be in it’s current ranks. I hope he also leads Gilas in the coming FIBA world cup.

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