BARANGAY Ginebra will always have a soft spot in Willy Wilson’s heart, so much so that he admitted feeling bad upon hearing some fans of the PBA’s most popular ballclub say they wanted him out of the team even before he was traded to Barako Bull on Draft Day.
The 33-year-old former De La Salle big man said he never felt short of giving all his best during his six-year stint with the Kings - the reason he was hurt by comments on social networking sites and comment sections from fans saying they wanted him out of Ginebra a long time ago.
“Of course, I felt bad. I’ve been at Ginebra for six years already. I made so many relationships over there. The friendship I had with those guys will never end," said the veteran forward.
“Everybody has their own opinion on what they think Ginebra can do. I know how every fan is a GM, every fan wants to be the coach. They want to dictate what the team does."
“But that’s their freedom. They can do that if they want to.”
Wilson was dealt by Ginebra to Barako Bull on Sunday along with lanky center Rico Maierhofer for the Energy Cola’s No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft, which turned out to be Fil-Canadian James Forrester.
Yet in the face of the rude comments, Wilson said the Kings will remain very dear to him.
“Definitely, I miss my teammates, the coaches. I loved my time there. The fans are great, I mean the fans that wanted me there…” he said with a smile.
But he also understands basketball is a business, and being traded is part of a player’s career.
“We, as professional basketball players know that we’re in the business of building basketball teams and winning games and the managers and bosses will do what they felt is good for the team. And all we can do is just to play and work hard every day,” Wilson said.
Now he looks forward to playing and giving his best out with his new team.
“But I am happy where I am now, and I am ready to move on and time to make new friends,” said the Sun Valley, California-raised cager.
Wilson said he will continue doing what he does best now that he’s with the Energy Cola - give quality minutes as a role player.
“I play hard every game. I play my best for any team,” he said.
“I don’t follow write-ups about myself. I have two kids. I don’t have time to read about those stuff. I just focus on things I can control, which is whatever happens on the court, try to work as hard as I can and be the best teammate as I can be.”
Asked if he will be motivated to play his best against Ginebra, Wilson replied: “No, that’s just another team. No rivalry for me. No added motivation, no added inspiration.”
“What else can you do, you go out there and compete and do the best you can. I can guarantee to give everything I can.”
And how does he want the fans to treat him?
“They can treat me any way they want. They can boo me, that’s fine. They cheer for me, that’s fine," he said.
“I am a role player, I’ve always been a role player, I will always be a role player. I’m just gonna go out there and do my job and do it to the best of my ability,” he said.