Tim Cone has no PBA ‘GOAT,’ says Sonny Jaworski ‘most important player of all time’
MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone knows greatness when he sees it.
He has coached some of the greatest in PBA’s rich history like Johnny Abarrientos, Bong Hawkins, Abet Guidaben, Marlou Aquino, Alvin Patrimonio, and Allan Caidic in both the club and country levels.
Cone, the league’s most successful head coach with 21 titles, also coached against the legendary Robert Jaworski several times in the 1990s and late 80s and of course his Alaska team went up against Patrimonio’s Purefoods team in the same period.
The level of grandeur Cone has with him and surrounding him is second to none so when he said there’s no definite “greatest player of all time” then, it has to be true.
Cone said it’s almost impossible to compare the eras in determining the greatest PBA player since June Mar Fajardo, the league’s only five-time MVP, didn’t play against four-time winners Ramon Fernandez and Patrimonio.
“I think it’s very difficult to compare eras. Mon Fernandez was incredible, I coached against Alvin Patrimonio for many years, he’s incredible,” said Cone after Ginebra’s 90-79 win over TNT in the PBA’s season opener Sunday at Philippine Arena. “I think June Mar is by far the best player in our era but I think it just comes down to who you talk to. You talk to a 70-year-old man who watched Mon he’ll tell you he’s the best ever.”
“I mean June Mar is number one [in terms of MVPs] but you know Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who’s my favorite player, had six MVPs but they don’t consider him the best of all time cause it’s a different era. Michael Jordan came later, LeBron (James) came later, Bill Russell before all of them. So it’s really difficult to compare eras. If I say June Mar then, that’s saying something about Mon, that’s saying something about Alvin.”
Cone may have said that there’s no definitive greatest player, but he can determine who the most important player in league history is.
And that’s the “Living Legend” Robert Jaworski.
The architect of Ginebra’s “never say die” mantra has only one MVP in his belt but it was Jaworski’s infectious personality and other worldly charm that made him, in Cone’s words, the most important PBA player in history.
Jaworski also became a senator from 1998 to 2004 wherein he has authored and co-authored bills that eventually became laws that protected several environmental and ecological areas in the Philippines.
“The Big J” also co-authored the Clean Air Act and Solid Waste Management Act.
“He may not be the best player but the biggest personality, the most important player of all time? Jaworski. Sonny. He won one MVP but the most important personality in our league, it was Jaworski.”
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