TIM Cone sees a promising coach in former player and now retired Don Allado if ever he pursues a coaching career.
Unfortunately, in as much as he wanted to give the 6-foot-6 veteran the needed break, there’s just not enough room for Cone to accommodate him in his staff.
“He could be a very good coach because he is studious,” said Cone when asked about the big man out of La Salle, who announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 15-year pro career. “I know he’ll be up for the job.
“We don’t have a room right now. I’m not allowed to hire anybody at the moment,” said Cone, laughing. “But I’m the kind of guy who will hire him.”
Cone definitely knows where he’s coming from, having been Allado’s first PBA coach fresh out of college as Alaska’s direct hire in 1999.
Allado won two championships as part of the Alaska franchise and was once considered a major piece of its core when the Aces’ Big Three of Jojo Lastimosa, Johnny Abarrientos, and Bong Hawkins left the team one after the other.
“He came in at the height of that grand slam team with Bong, Johnny, Jolas,” recalled Cone. “It was a difficult transition for him because he had those established players. But about a year or two, he started being ‘the man’ because Bong left, Jojo left, and Johnny left.”
What endeared Allado to Cone though, was the fact that he immediately had a full grasp of the triangle offense, no matter how intricate the system is for a rookie like him back then.
“He picked up the triangle really quickly,” Cone stressed. “So we tried to build the team around him a little bit.
“He was a guy who always understood the game in the league well. Most big guys don’t pick up the game real quick but he has a very studious mind and that’s one thing I appreciate about Don.”
Allado played for the Aces until 2006 when he was traded to Talk ‘N Text for two-time league MVP Willie Miller and John Ferriols.
He would also suit up for Air21, Star, Barako Bull, Meralco, before returning to Star last year where he finally ended his career.
A former UAAP MVP and a key player in La Salle’s title run in 1998 and 1999, Allado had career averages of 7.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 612 games.
“I am officially announcing my retirement from playin professional basketball. Been blessed to have 16 years of pure bliss. The journey continues. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart,” said Allado in an official statement about his retirement posted on his Instagram account@alotofdon.
He specifically mentioned and thanked Cone, with whom Allado said he spent half of his career.
“He built my game, my skills in basketball and gave me a career. So humble and goal-oriented. I owe so much to you. Thank you coach Tim,” said Allado.