Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is so big in his native Philippines that whatever he wants, he gets. He wants to be a senator, he gets voted in.
He also coaches a professional basketball team, the Kia Motors team. I guess he does that in between his senatorial duties and training to put his World Boxing Organization welterweight title on the line against Chris Algieri on November 23 in Macau.
All that wasn’t enough, apparently. He wanted to go full Bill Russell player/coach approach so he drafted himself. At age 35. Here’s the report via the Los Angeles Times.
That’s right. With the 10th overall pick in the 2014 Philippine Basketball Assn. rookie draft, Kia Motors selected its coach. Apparently, the plan all along was for Pacquiao to serve as a player-coach, but he needed to go through the draft in order to make that happen….
Continuing to focus on the familiar, Kia Motors went on to select its coach’s cousin, Rene Pacquiao, in the third round. Rene played at Southwestern University of Cebu and spent time in the Philippines’ D-League.
I don’t see what could possibly go wrong here.
I do know Manny Pacquiao is a huge basketball, specifically Boston Celtics, fan. He had a fight scheduled the night of Game 7 between the Celtics and Heat a couple years ago and wouldn’t step into the ring until it was over (he then took the distaste of that outcome out on his opponent).
My knowledge of the Philippines league is limited, but I know a marketing ploy when I see one. And when you make marketing moves over smart moves, well, your minor league baseball. But whatever sells tickets.
A good rule of thumb: If LeBron James is getting few breakaway dunks, the other team is in trouble.
Enter the Toronto Raptors, who got to watch a dunking clinic by LeBron as he had multiple breakaways during the Cavaliers’ 38-point win on Wednesday night. LeBron played well, and the Cavaliers got a balanced attack from their stars — 25 points from Kevin Love, 23 each from LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
Watch LeBron’s night above. Toronto needs to find a way to keep him from having another game like this Friday.
After a beatdown at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 — a loss where he was just 5-of-12 shooting, a loss that has the Raptors on the brink of playoff elimination — Kyle Lowry did what he had to do and went in front of the media to answer questions and try to explain that loss.
But really, his face when he walked into the interview room and saw the box score summed up the Raptors night perfectly.
Lowry and the Raptors need to turn it around and win at home Friday night to keep their playoff dream alive another day.
The Memphis Grizzlies have found their man — Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale has been offered the head coaching job in Memphis. He’s a smart coach who earned the trust of elite players and was a key part of the staff that helped Miami to a couple of rings.
It’s a good hire. Don’t just take my word for it, check out what a couple Heat players from that era had to say.
Mario Chalmers had a first-hand view — he was traded from Miami to Memphis in the middle of last season. The point guard who went the other way in that deal, Beno Udrih, also helped push the deal along.
Fizdale is going to be a popular hire with the players. That said, if the Grizzlies can’t keep Mike Conley in free agency the team is going to have struggles this season, regardless of who coaches them.
Before Game 5, Cavaliers’ coach Tyronn Lue told Kevin Love just to stay aggressive. Channing Frye told him the same thing.
Love took that advice to heart. From the opening tip of Game 5, Love was attacking — backing down the overmatched Luis Scola and knocking down threes. Love had 12 points in the first quarter on his way to a game-high 25, helping spark an easy, 38-point Cavaliers win in Game 5.
Now, can Love do this on the road in Game 6?