David Stern on Filipino playing in NBA: It’s about determination


ALL ABOUT DETERMINATION. Stern shares the secrets of making it and staying in the NBA. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino in the NBA? For commissioner David Stern, it will all depend on an athlete’s determination to push himself into the world’s biggest basketball league. 

Speaking to reporters two hours before the NBA Global Games here, the long-time top NBA official praised the Filipinos’ unparalleled passion for the sport, but noted that getting into the NBA requires more than just basketball talent.

“It’s about sacrifice, discipline, hard work and teamwork. Increasingly, we see that our players make it not just because they’re good athletes,” Stern said. “They work very hard to practice, practice, practice and practice.”

Stern, who is visiting the country for the first time, added that while it is already hard to make it to the big league, it is even harder to keep a job in the NBA.

“It’s hard to get here and it’s hard to stay here,” the 71-year-old lawyer, who is retiring in February, added. “It’s a tribute to all the hard work and commitment our players.”

Stern added that the possibility of a Filipino basketball player making it to the NBA is there, but it will all boil down to that athlete’s commitment on making the leap.

“I’m sure there will be Filipino athletes who will be competent and capable of playing in the NBA,” he said. “It will depend on how committed they are into taking that next step.”

According to NBA.com, a total of 84 foreign-born players were on opening-night rosters in 2012-13, with Western Conference champion San Antonio having the most international players with 8. – Rappler.com

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