Trade me not
Greg Slaughter on Saturday night announced his plan to step away from basketball indefinitely, leaving the legion of Barangay Ginebra fans wondering and the Gin Kings, as a team, without a legitimate force in the middle for the 45th season of the Philippine Basketball Association.
The Inquirer, however, learned from a person very close to the 7-foot behemoth that the trade rumors that have been going around for months now and a botched chance to try his luck in the NBA are the reasons why Slaughter has opted to step away with no definite timetable on his return to the league.
“He told me that he doesn’t want to leave Ginebra,” the source told the Inquirer over the phone. “He knows that he is the subject of a trade rumor and he told me that he just doesn’t see himself playing for another team.”
Another source intimated that Slaughter is asking for more playing time from coach Tim Cone, who, especially in import-flavored conferences, has found ways to win titles even with Slaughter seeing limited minutes on the floor.
The first source also said that Slaughter, whose contract with the Kings expired at the end of January, is also reportedly trying to reconnect with an NBA scout, who had tried to recruit him in 2010 while with University of the Visayas, only for Slaughter to take his act to Ateneo in the UAAP after playing three years as a Lancer in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. where he shared stellar—if not bigger billing—with reigning five-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo.The trade rumor supposedly would have Ginebra shipping Slaughter to NorthPort for Christian Standhardinger, though no side has confirmed that this is true.
But that, according to the first source, was enough to get Slaughter worried even as Cone on Monday said that he knew all along that his center was considering taking a leave.
“Contrary to some reports, I did know Greg was contemplating taking a break from basketball,” he told the Inquirer through a text message on Monday.
Cone and Slaughter have won four titles, and it was in the last campaign that the coach was made aware of the player’s intentions. —With a report from Denison Rey A. Dalupang INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.