Where the NBA goes, the PBA isn’t far behind. Follow the leader.
And why not? The NBA has been acknowledged as the world leader in everything good about basketball for nearly eight decades now.
Even the Fiba, the old guardian of amateur basketball, has bowed to NBA rule. It discarded its purist stance if only to survive, in the process adapting to the rapidly changing times.
To stay mainly amateur was the surest path to suicide, forcing the Fiba to embrace the NBA as its own. No more amateurs and pros. They are all one and the same.
The Olympic movement also hummed Fiba’s new tune in no time. No more distinction between an amateur and a pro. One is simply an athlete, period. As in, a Jesus Christ believer is a Christian, period—whether one is a born-again, a Baptist, a Seventh-Day Adventist, an Orthodox or a Roman Catholic.
Okay. Strictly speaking now: Only those playing for their school are considered amateurs because they are not paid for their athletic skills. Only athletes that are paid to exhibit their skills are considered pros.
Yes, the amateurs receive allowances, mostly pittance, but their main reward is free education collectively tagged athletic scholarship. That’s as clear as Trump’s big lie on his claim that American President Biden stole the election last November.
But back to the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association).
The PBA loves to copy the NBA because, as I said, the NBA is the undisputed leader in global basketball.
Always, your barometer for success is success itself. That’s why the saying, “you can’t argue with success.”
So that when the NBA went into a bubble in Florida’s Epcot to sidestep the pandemic last year, the PBA also sheltered itself, successfully like the NBA, at Clark Freeport in Pampanga.
With the NBA now adopting the home-to-venue-and-back scheme—no stopovers coming home from the arena of battle—the PBA is almost ready to mimic it.
Only fine-tuning is left before the PBA’s 46th season is finally launched late next month.
The government can only nod in approval, avoiding a wrath from a public that treats basketball as almost more than a religion.