Tim Cone: ‘All-Star Game is for the fans’
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Basketball Association’s proverbial bar for coaches has weighed in on the All-Star balloting that has social media abuzz lately.
“There’s always going to be guys who are deserving and don’t make it,” coach Tim Cone said on Sunday.
“It happens in the [National Basketball Association] all the time. In all sports: Football, baseball, basketball, soccer—it doesn’t matter. All-Star teams always leave deserving players off,” the nine-time All-Star mentor said.
This year’s edition of the exhibition has prompted a bevy of divisive exchanges on social media.
How can a guy like James Yap—a two-time Most Valuable Player who has hardly seen action this season–make the 22-man pool from which top vote-getters Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson will build their respective squads?
Or how can Nards Pinto, a role player at Ginebra whose foremost task is to roughen up the enemy, be a more logical choice than standouts from less-popular clubs?
Then there’s Gian Mamuyac’s case. How can someone who started only in 12 of the Painters’ 25 games this season be worthy of playing alongside the league’s crème de la crème?
“I think we all forget about the fans, it’s a fans’ game. It’s for nobody else but the fans. The All-Star Game is for the fans, totally,” Cone said.
“Yes, you want to reward those guys who are deserving, I think that’s important, but basically, it’s a fans’ game. So I don’t have anything wrong with fans picking the teams,” the PBA’s winningest tactician said.
Cone also hit the same tenor that some fans are trying to get at on social media: NLEX guard Don Trollano and Converge ace Maverick Ahanmisi both deserve a nod.
“I thought Don Trollano deserved to be in. I thought [Maverick] Ahanmisi had a really good… the way that he’s been playing. I tend to reward guys who are playing good now,” he said.
But the champion mentor was swift to toss a reality check to go with his take.
“That’s just the nature of the All-Star (showcase): Not enough spots for everybody,” he said.