If news of Tim Cone finally calling it quits is indeed factual and final, then by golly we’re about to bid farewell to an iconic name and a timelessly recognizable face in Philippine basketball. News so unbelievable we have to say it twice – after 22 long years, Tim Cone is leaving Alaska.
Whether Tim retires only with Alaska or goes away for good is yet to be decided. Nonetheless, it shocks us just the same. It shakes things up just as heavily. We can only imagine what Alaska fans, and aren’t we all a fan at one point, must be feeling right now.
It’s like Kobe Bryant separating himself from his immense talents. Like Asi Taulava ditching his perennial blonde locks. Like Smart Gilas defeating a slew of NBA All-Stars in a pick-up game. We know it would happen one day, but we didn’t think it would actually happen either.
And so it did happen, but not without acknowledging the success he has brought during his tenure – 13 PBA titles with Alaska, a national team head coach, brought us Jojo Lastimosa and Johnny Abarrientos, and recognized as the PBA’s winningest coach in history.
Cone is also disregarding reports of him lending his services to teams such as the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados. “There’re no offers yet. They’re all rumors,” he revealed during a press conference earlier today, as reported by philstar.com. Well good thing he’s not transferring, just leaving. Heck, an iconic coach leaving is never a good thing.
Good news is basketball personalities have a knack for not entirely leaving the sport. Players resort to coaching and scouting, coaches resort to managing, and hoops commentators resort to calling boxing. So yes, Tim Cone is gone, but not really.
We guess what we’re saying goodbye to is the Alaska squad under Tim Cone era, and not Tim Cone the person. All the same, we bid the long-time Milkmen coach good luck to his future endeavors. And don’t he dare leave the sport for good.
Next: Some of Tim Cone's greatest quotes!