JASON Webb is not putting added pressure on himself after replacing Tim Cone at Star.
The rookie coach admitted that taking over from the PBA’s most successful coach is a tall order, and is hoping to handle the Hotshots simply the best he can as he tries to make a name for himself.
“He’s the greatest coach in the PBA,” Webb said of Cone, owner of 18 championships, including two grand slams who is now at the helm of Barangay Ginebra. “Those shoes are not fillable.”
“One thing you have to remember is when coach Tim made this move, there was a vacancy,” the 41-year-old coach added. “And I think this is one way for me to lessen the pressure — that maybe I’m just getting into a vacancy rather than replacing coach Tim.”
Webb goes into the job with no prior head-coaching experience in the top leagues, his ascent to the Star top job coming just over a year after leaving the TV broadcast panel to join Cone's staff as an assistant.
The former De La Salle star, who played six seasons in the pro league with Sta. Lucia Realty and Tanduay, becomes the first son of a former PBA coach to take on a similar role in Asia's first play-for-pay league.
The son of former Tanduay star and Shell coach Freddie Webb was also the second second-generation player after Dudut Jaworski to play in the PBA.
The young Webb compared his situation replacing Cone to the time of Phil Jackson, saying he simply wants to fare better than the coaches who replaced the NBA’s greatest coach at Chicago and twice at Los Angeles.
“I just want to be different from the Tim Floyds, the Rudy Tomjanovichs, and the Mike Browns,” he said. “They really didn’t have a lot of success.”
The former pro is set to veer away from Cone’s triangle offense, but will still use some principles of the proven system.
“I asked coach Tim and the one thing he told me was you have to be true to yourself,” Webb said. “His personality is to the pace of his system. So when I come in, whatever I’m going to do is going to be true to me.”
“For those who remembered my short playing minutes when I was still playing, I was very aggressive, high-intensity,” he added. “So it’s going to be something like that.”
“Offensively, we’re not going to run the triangle, but the principles of the triangle, we will take some of them into our offense, because you have to be able to adapt,” he continued.
Webb said he already had a talk with the other holdovers of the Star coaching staff in assistant coaches Johnny Abarrientos and Mon Jose.
Another former Star assistant, Richard del Rosario, is joining Cone at Ginebra.
“They signified that they’re excited of what’s ahead,” he said. “But it doesn’t end there. Even if the coaches remain, we are going to be short on coaches because that’s minus two (Cone and del Rosario). That’s one of the things at hand, because we have to get that settled before the draft.”