Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’
MANILA, Philippines– Tim Cone is keeping the door ajar as far as coaching the national team is concerned.
But if the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas wants to continue utilizing the country’s most decorated mentor as Gilas Pilipinas head coach, it would have to wrangle with a lot of complexities.
“It’s a complicated dynamic,” the 21-time PBA champion and Barangay Ginebra coach told the Inquirer when asked about the possibility of steering the National five anew.
“It’s not a simple yes or no. But obviously, the honor will great.”
Recently, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio told reporters that all coaches “are always in consideration” as the next head coach for Gilas Pilipinas. So even as he skirted around reengaging Cone, the possibility was there for the SBP.
How to work it out is a problem that even Cone, who had said his stint as National coach was a one-shot deal for the SEA Games, can’t seem to sort out yet.
“I don’t want to preempt anything by saying that yes, I want to do it, or no I don’t want to do it,” Cone said.
Currently, Cone is, as Panlilio pointed out, very “busy with the (PBA) Finals,” where the Gin Kings are currently trying to close out the Meralco Bolts in Game 5 of their Governors’ Cup title showdown at press time.
And the SBP is working on naming an interim coach for the FIBA Asia Cup’s window of qualifiers instead of appointing a long-term coach for the national program.
But even such a short-term deal, Cone said, is “something that would take conversations” to work out.
“I’d have to take a look and how the program runs,” said the two-time PBA Grand Slam winner.
Cone said that the SEA Games became a reality because the leadership was looking for “someone in a hurry.”
“It was very uncomplicated and it was an easy answer,” he said. “But if it’s going to be more complex than that, then it needs a more complex answer.”
The tangled complexities include the national team’s makeup, his stint with Ginebra, and of course, time with his family.
“It would have to be like, ‘Do you want me to coach a bunch of young players?’ I’m not sure I want to do something like that, if that’s the direction you want to go.”
“Do they want me to go full-time and leave Ginebra? I’m not sure if I want to do that either.
“Do they want me to go coach Ginebra and do it? Then have a break in the next three, four years because … as soon as we stop PBA, the national team [preparation] starts. I’m not sure that my family would be (fine with it).”
The only thing that Cone can say for certain is that he does want another crack at coaching against South Korea, the country that dealt his Centennial Team a painful beating in the 1998 Asian Games.
“I would love to get another shot at Korea,” he said. “Every time we play Korea at practice games, or I go to Korea, it’s like a personal war. “
“I told you that I move on [from things quickly]. But there are just certain things you can never move on from—that moment in the Asian Games, I’ll never move on from that. I try to not think about it since It really upsets me.”
“But yeah, I’d love to have another crack. But again, [there is no] simple answer,” Cone said, who also pointed to his own weakness as one of the many hurdles he has to consider.
“The primary thing is I am not a multitasker,” he said. “I put blinders on and focus on one thing. I say this over and over again about landing one plane at a time. I believe that’s what I’m good at: landing one plane at a time.”
Cone, said he prefers having “hyperfocus for the thing in front.”
“For me to be juggling two or three or four things at a time? I’m not very good at that,” he said.
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