TAB Baldwin admitted that he has stirred controversy in the past with blunt statements about Philippine basketball, but made it clear that his words were only said in order to tell what he believes is the truth.
Baldwin took quite some heat last year from PBA officials and coaches ffor statements made in the Coaches Unfiltered podcast about Philippine basketball, from coaching to officiating to the way the game is being run in the country.
His statements sparked an uproar from the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP) and Baldwin ended up being fined by the PBA, in his capacity as TNT consultant, for comments deemed 'detrimental to the league.' Baldwin was later taken out in the role with the Tropang GIGA.
The Gilas Pilipinas program director, however, said he understands the negative response from the basketball community.
When asked during an appearance in the Zoom In on SPIN livecast how much he has made compromises since to the sensitivities of Filipinos, Baldwin said: “Probably more than I like to and maybe not as much as I should have.”
The American-Kiwi coach said he has learned a lot about Filipinos since.
“Without being a derogatory term, I don’t think sensitivity is probably the right characterization of Filipinos. I think they are kind,” Baldwin continued.
“I think they are kind-hearted. And when they see somebody like me who is blunt and to the point, they probably mischaracterize it as not kind-hearted. I think I am. I think I have great affinity for people.”
“But I’m a firm believer in the truth. I’ve always been a person that wants to hear the truth about me no matter how much it hurts me because I felt I couldn’t improve myself if I didn’t know what my shortcomings were,” Baldwin said.
The former Gilas coach has moved on from the fallout, helping in the development of the national pool that is being groomed for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup in his capacity as program director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
Even with the statements that got him in trouble with his colleagues in the country, Baldwin insisted he cares a lot for Philippine basketball and intends to help in whatever way he can for its development.
His statements were never meant to demean anyone, Baldwin added.
“Where I may have spoken out of turn, whether I was right or not, there was never any intention to ruffle feathers or step on toes. There was only an intention to tell the truth as I perceived it to be,” said Baldwin.
“If I offended people, they should know that that was never my intent. I do care about coaches. I care about the fans. I care about the players very much. More than all of that, I care about the game because everybody that’s involved in the game has been given a gift.”
“We should all respect the game with tremendous love. That’s I think what I tried to do in my career. And if that led me astray at times, I apologize but I’ll never apologize for my passion for the game,” said Baldwin.
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