CHRIS Ellis expects to be reborn at Barangay Ginebra especially with coach Tim Cone coming on board for the coming 41st PBA season.
“Totally repackaged (me), it’s all mental now,” said Ellis with enthusiasm right in the team’s first day of training camp on Monday.
That the returning high-flying forward out of Mary-Hardin Baylor can’t wait to get going under Cone is understandable.
Spin.ph learned from sources how Cone has long coveted Ellis’ services – along with big men Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar - even while he was still coaching the Star Hotshots.
Apparently, Ellis himself has heard the whispers even before.
“I’ve heard things (about how coach Tim wanted me), I am just excited (now). I felt like I have a lot to offer to teams in the league. I am just excited that I could get in and work in coach Tim’s offense and hopefully flourish in his offense,” said Ellis.
“Yeah, I consider myself as a defensive player. Maybe, maybe, you’ll never know, men,” said Ellis, when asked if he thinks his defense is one of the reasons why Cone has his eyes on him.
His stay with the Kings tainted by injuries and inconsistent playing minutes, Ellis is optimistic all of that will change for the better with the master of the triangle offense around.
“Having an injury for three conferences is pretty tough, but I’ve been working my tail off in trying to do the right things. So hopefully, things will do me a favor,” said the 6-foot-5 former PBA slam dunk champion.
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Ellis believes high leapers like him will flourish under Cone’s system, which produced a total of 11 championships for NBA greats Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant while playing for coach Phil Jackson.
“Definitely, ‘cause Kobe and Jordan were able to do it. Scottie (Pippen) was able to do it. It’s about getting to gaps, the 15 feet (area), really opens up opportunities to get to the basket, uncontested,” he said.
“I’ll definitely be looking for a lot of close rub-offs and opportunities to attack the basket.”
Ellis bared he already did his homework, re-educating himself and studying the deeper concept of the triangle as soon as it was announced Cone was taking over the Ginebra coaching rein from Frankie Lim.
“I’ve been studying the triangle since I got word that he is going to be the coach,” he said, adding he’s been watching a lot of videos showing Jackson teaching the system to the Chicago Bulls, and later, the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I also watched a lot of Scottie and Michael and Kobe, how they were able to exploit their positions at the triangle,” he said.
Asked what he will be in Cone’s system, Ellis replied: “I’ll be Jordan on offense and Scottie on defense.”