CEBU CITY – Ramon Fernandez has had enough basketball in his lifetime that he doesn’t see himself becoming commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
A day after Spin.ph reported that his name was among those which cropped up in conversations among PBA board members as possible candidates for the post to be vacated by Chito Salud by the end of the season, the basketball legend was quick to reiterate he’s not interested in the high-profile job.
“Unless they allow the PBA commissioner to be dressed in just shorts and polo, I don’t think I would accept that position,” said Fernandez in jest.
Turning serious, Fernandez, who’s now based in this city, admitted he’s done being involved in big-time basketball.
“I have had enough of basketball. I’ve played in the PBA for over two decades. Tama na siguro yun,” said the four-time league MVP. “I’m still around the game with my basketball camps, pero hanggang dun na lang ako.”
Salud confirmed on Sunday during a mini-press conference that preceded the Commissioner’s Cup game between Talk `N Text and Ginebra that he will be stepping down as commissioner by the end of the league’s 40th season.
Almost immediately, a reported short list of candidates surfaced that mentioned the likes of Fernandez, former teammate and fellow basketball legend Robert Jaworski Sr., and Chito Loyzaga as possible replacement for Salud.
But Fernandez said he’s not really interested becoming head of the league that once served as his home.
He said he’s not inclined to uproot himself away from the Queen City of the South and the various business ventures he has established here.
A former commissioner of the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association and the United Regional Basketball League, Fernandez busies himself nowadays by attending games of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) especially when his alma mater, the University of San Carlos, is playing.
But showing he still has concern for Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league, Fernandez had some words of advice to people tasked to look for the next PBA commissioner.
“I think the next commissioner should be someone who is independent-minded. Alam naman natin na may dalawang faction sa PBA ngayon – the MVP group and the San Miguel group,” said the native of Maasin, Leyte, who retired as the league’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, and blocked shots.
“The next commissioner should be someone who will not be identified with either of those.”
Pressed if he has any person on his mind whom he thinks is qualified for the job, Fernandez readily mentioned coaching great and former UAAP commissioner Joe Lipa.