July 18, 2022

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Cone NBA gig as assistant to Allen in Summer League

It’s tremendous, indescribable how great it was. I don’t have words for it.

DECORATED mentor Tim Cone could not be grateful enough for his National Basketball Association (NBA) Summer League stint for the Miami Heat with hopes of instilling the valuable learnings to his Barangay Ginebra club in the PBA — sooner or later.

Triumphant in his homecoming after missing time for the Gin Kings, the PBA’s winningest coach said the NBA gig as assistant for the Heat was a fascinating chapter in his decorated career that would only make him an even better mentor down the road.

“It’s an incredible experience being around with a staff like that daily to watch their progress and process. Watching the progression of games, it’s really fascinating to be part of it,” said Mr. Cone after his PBA return marked by Ginebra’s 100-93 win over NorthPort.

Mr. Cone, holder of 24 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) titles, served as a deputy for Malik Allen in Miami’s Summer League team and thus missed four games for the Gin Kings in the ongoing Philippine Cup.

But while the whole different landscape of NBA game added vital pieces to Mr. Cone’s arsenal, it was the daily chat with officials and coaches led by Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra that stood out the most for him.

For Mr. Cone, it’s where he got to soak more in invaluable wisdom.

“It’s really fascinating. We have a whole crew walking so I walk with ‘Spo’ and his assistants. You got a lot of interaction and you learn a lot. Those are the special ones. It made the trip special,” he added on good friend and also Filipino-American Mr. Spoelstra.

Now, the challenge for the master guru is exactly when to apply those lessons to the Gin Kings, who are already gearing up for the playoffs with a proven and tested system under his watch with six titles and counting.

“I’ve been wrestling with this because how much (new things) do I bring to the team and how fast do I bring it in? If I bring it right away, it will disrupt us going to the playoffs. So, do I wait until afterwards? These are things I’m wrestling with now,” he noted.

Whenever that is, the 64-year-old Mr. Cone promised to give the novel NBA methods he just acquired a shot in a bid to continue improving his already established winning gene.

“I have been exposed to so many new things and I certainly like to try some of that out. It’s tremendous. It’s indescribable how great it was. I don’t have words for it,” beamed Mr. Cone. — John Bryan Ulanday