MANILA, Philippines -- Tim Cone's resume is virtually unmatched in the Philippine basketball landscape, after winning a record 22 championships in the Philippine Basketball Association, including two Grand Slams.
Yet after all this time, Cone has yet to lose the drive to keep coaching, and learning. In a previous interview, he explained that for him, "winning never gets old."
At this point in his career, however, it's not all about winning for Cone. In a recent appearance on the "Coaches Unfiltered" podcast, he said that his motivation now is no longer adding to his long list of accomplishments.
"For me, it's about watching, participating in the improvement of players that are around me. Watching guys grow and get better, that to me is really what it's about," Cone explained.
"It's the motivating factor, I think. As coaches, we can take great delight and just watch one player improve a certain part of his game, and know that you're a small part of that," he added.
Entering his sixth season with Barangay Ginebra, Cone said that he gains satisfaction in seeing how his players continue to grow their game.
He is proud of how his veterans -- such as Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, and Mark Caguioa -- have kept improving, and how they remain willing to be taught and coached despite their extensive experience in the league.
"I always tell the players, once they feel that there is no more for them to learn, then it's time for them to retire," he said. "If LA walks into the floor and says, 'I know it all, this is old, I've been doing this a million times,' if he walks in and says that, then LA, I'm sorry, it's time for you to retire."
He also expressed his delight in the development of Aljon Mariano, whom he called an "instinctive, great player."
"His skills haven't quite caught up to his instincts, but it's coming," he said. "I think he's gonna surprise people throughout his career."
These, according to Cone, are what drives him as a coach. The accomplishments "can come on their own," he added.
"I don't go out and say, 'Okay now I want to win No. 23,' or 'Now I wanna win a third Grand Slam'," he said. "I never ever think about that."
"I just like being around the guys and formulating practices, doing video work… All those little things," he added. "It's not work for me. I always tell my wife I haven't worked a day in the last 30 years. Seriously, this is not work, not work. I do it for free."
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