NBA legend Sam Perkins answers questions from the media during a press conference on Tuesday to launch the 100-day countdown to the NBA Global Games Philippines. -- Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – NBA legend Sam Perkins visited Manila to help promote the upcoming NBA pre-season game between the Indiana Pacers and the Houston Rockets this October.
On Tuesday, Perkins, who suited up for four different NBA clubs, joined the league’s country manager Carlo Singson at the Mall of Asia Arena to launch the 100-day countdown to the NBA Global Games Philippines.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the process in staging the preseason here,” said the 6-foot-9 former center, who has seen action with Dallas Mavericks, Seattle Supersonics, Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers.
Perkins, known as “The Big Smooth” for his outside shooting prowess, has marveled at how big the NBA has become.
With the explosion of NBA’s popularity, Perkins said it has become a must for the league to visit places like the Philippines.
“You cannot [not] stop in places like the Philippines, in Asia, in China and all these developed countries with respect for the game," he said.
Perkins was a teammate of Michael Jordan and James Worthy before being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1984. There he averaged 11 points and 7.4 rebounds per game and made it to the NBA All-Rookie team.
In 1990, he moved to Los Angeles to reunite with Worthy on a team that featured Magic Johnson. He was part of the Lakers team that fought the Chicago Bulls in the 1991 Finals. In the Laker’s only win in that series, Perkins hit a buzzer-beating triple for the victory.
He was later traded to Seattle, where he continued to prosper as a three-point shooting center. From 1998 to 2001, he spent the rest of his playing career as a Pacer.
Meanwhile, Singson said the countdown is just part of a series of events leading up to the NBA Global Games Philippines, which will take place on October 10.
Among the other events atre the NBA 3X Philippines and the annual NBA FIT.
Houston Rockets’ James Harden and New Orleans Pelicans’ Eric Gordon will be visiting the Philippines for the NBA 3X, which takes place on July 26 to 28.
“We’ll also have fan events… a lot for fans to get involved leading to the game,” he said.