US basketball

Tim Cone ticks goal off bucket list with Heat coaching gig

Delfin Dioquino
Tim Cone ticks goal off bucket list with Heat coaching gig
Tim Cone joins the Miami Heat coaching staff for the NBA Summer League in July

MANILA, Philippines – Tim Cone has always wondered what goes on in an NBA locker room.

In July, the Barangay Ginebra mentor will get a first-hand experience as he joins the Miami Heat coaching staff in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Taking a break from the PBA for two weeks, Cone will serve as an assistant to former NBA veteran Malik Allen, who is one of the deputies of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

“Honestly, this is like a bucket list. You always see from the TV or even when you go to an NBA game, you see all that stuff on the court and then they leave the court. You wonder – what the heck is going on in that locker room?” Cone said.

“What are they talking about? What are they doing? What are they doing pre-game, what are they doing post-game? How do they handle those things? Is it like us? Do they do the same things? I’ve always had that in my mind, wondering.”

“For the first time, I might get a small preview of what goes on in that locker room. That, to me, is the most exciting,” Cone added.

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Tim Cone joins Miami Heat coaching staff for NBA Summer League

Tim Cone joins Miami Heat coaching staff for NBA Summer League

Cone bared the Heat wanted to bring him in earlier, but the pandemic and his commitment to the Gin Kings prevented him from coming on board.

“I was actually supposed to do this three years ago or two years ago, 2020. But the Summer League was cancelled because of the pandemic and then there was talk about me doing it last year, 2021. But we were in the playoffs, just entering the playoffs at that time,” Cone said.

“I think Summer League was like late August or something like that, [but] because of the pandemic, they moved it back. So the opportunity arose this time.”

While fans might assume that he is gunning for an NBA job, Cone clarified that his Heat gig is only temporary.

Not only does Cone believe he has to work all the way from the bottom to earn an NBA spot like what Spoelstra did and Stockton Kings’ assistant coach Jimmy Alapag is doing, he also feels he is already where he truly belongs: the PBA.

“I’m coming home. Four games [then] I’m coming home. I’ll be happy to get home and I’ll be happy to do my own thing,” Cone said.

“It is a step forward for me because of the knowledge I’m going to gain and that is enough for me. I’m home. I do not need to go anywhere.” –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.