INSTEAD of being critical of one another, Tim Cone urged fellow basketball coaches in the country to support and help one another.
The most accomplished mentor in PBA history underlined this point in light of the controversial statements made by former Gilas Pilipinas mentor Tab Baldwin regarding the 'tactically immature' coaching in the 45-year-old pro league.
Cone sees coaching as brotherhood especially in a country where basketball is almost a religion.
“I just don’t think coaches should criticize other coaches,” said the owner of 22 PBA championships, including two grand slams. “We are and should be a fraternity and help each other out.”
While Cone declined to comment on Baldwin's comment on PBA coaching, officiating, and the one import conference format, he admitted getting a 'little offended' by the American-New Zealander.
“I was a little offended by the statements,” said the 62-year-old Cone, who’s been coaching in the league for 31 years now.
He referred to fellow PBA coaches as ‘very creative and innovative in their approach.’
“And that’s mostly because of the format of three different conferences – no import (All-Filipino), which China, Korea, and Japan don’t have, one big import, and one small import,” said Cone, who as national coach led the country to the gold medal in last year’s Southeast Asian Games and a bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok.
“That totally changes in the way you have to coach in each conference,” he added. “You’re constantly making adjustments and trying to figure out how best to use your personnel through the year
“But of course, I am biased since I am a PBA coach as well.”
Cone’s non-confrontational take on the issue was in stark contrast to the reaction Baldwin has been getting from coaches and basketball officials alike since coming out with those controversial statements in a Coaches Unfiltered podcast.
A fine awaits the project director of Gilas Pilipinas, from the PBA for his statements that are ‘detrimental to the league,’ according to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.
Still, the league chief will hear out Baldwin’s side on the issue after the former national coach personally called him and sought an audience.
The Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP) under president Louie Gonzalez also came out with a statement condemning Baldwin’s remarks, while San Miguel Corporation (SMC) sports director Alfrancis Chua, NLEX coach and former Gilas Pilipinas mentor Yeng Guiao, NorthPort team and owner and Deputy House Speaker Mikee Romero, and Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy all denounced the behavior shown by the veteran international coach.