Ginebra Coach Tim Cone's Vision for Tony Bishop
Ginebra coach Tim Cone is steadfast in his decision to move forward without the beloved Justin Brownlee, whose extended suspension from the squad was precipitated by a failed test for a prohibited drug just after Gilas Pilipinas won the Asian Games gold medal. The veteran coach feels Tony Bishop, the team’s replacement for Brownlee, will be crucial to their success in the next PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
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Cone’s faith in Bishop’s capacity to lead Ginebra to triumph originates from his judgment that drawing analogies between Bishop and Brownlee would be unjust to both Bishop and the squad. Brownlee’s stellar career has earned him the moniker of “greatest of all time import,” a designation that sets a high standard for any successor. Recognizing this, Cone underlines the need to let Bishop shine without the burden of comparison.
“Justin can almost justify the title of greatest of all time import, so comparing anyone to Justin is unfair.” Everyone will come up short. “So I think that’s what we’re grasping as a team,” Cone says. According to Cone, the Ginebra players adopt this viewpoint and are focused on maximizing Tony’s skills. They are resolved not to make excuses and will strive vigorously for the crown.
Cone compares the scenario to trying to reach any player in the NBA, such as the iconic Michael Jordan. Making a direct comparison between Bishop and Brownlee, considering Brownlee’s considerable contributions to the team, is just as absurd as comparing anybody to Jordan.
While Cone recognizes the problematic challenge ahead with Brownlee’s absence, he remains enthusiastic about the team’s possibilities. His acquaintance with Bishop, which he garnered during their confrontations in the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals while Bishop was playing for Meralco, was critical in his choice to bring Bishop on board.
Cone compassioned Brownlee and their teammates, who adored the leaving import. However, he underlines the need to move forward and explore the potential Bishop offers to the squad. Cone chose Bishop because he believes Bishop’s flexibility and ability to work well with teammates make him an excellent match for Ginebra. Bishop’s selflessness and willingness to do the “dirty work” align with the team’s beliefs and contribute to its success. This approach underscores Cone’s commitment to transitioning to the post-Brownlee era and making the most of the talents at his disposal.