Tim Cone joins Miami Heat as NBA Summer League assistant coach

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Basketball coach Tim Cone. (Photo: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel/Facebook)
Basketball coach Tim Cone. (Photo: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel/Facebook)

Hot off of joining Gilas Pilipinas’ coaching staff for the 2023 Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) Basketball World Cup, Tim Cone bagged another opportunity in the United States. Now, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tactician was tapped to be assistant coach for Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Summer League.

“And so now, I’ve been invited to work with the Heat [for] their Summer League team which starts in San Francisco and goes in through Vegas,” Cone told Cignal TV’s Paolo del Rosario on Wednesday (June 22).

He clarified that his friend and the Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra “does not involve himself in the Summer League.” Instead, he will be working with Malik Allen, Spoelstra’s Number Two.

According to Cone, Spoelstra pitched the idea to him after Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) superstar Jimmy Alapag became guest coach for the Sacramento Kings, then later an assistant coach for the aforementioned team’s G-League.

“So one day, I was speaking to Erik Spoelstra, and Eric said to me ‘hey, I heard Jimmy’s here doing something with the Sacramento Kings [...] So why aren’t you doing that with us?’ And I go ‘well, I’ve never been invited’ [...] I’m not gonna to ask if you’d invite me, but I told him I would love to do something like that one day. Just [to] get a chance to immerse myself and be a fly on the wall if necessary, or go get coffee. Whatever it takes,” Cone enthused.

He, however, said in a separate statement that he was unsure what his exact duties as assistant coach will be.

“I don’t know what exactly my duties are, but I've been told [that] I’m gonna be an assistant coach, so whatever the assistant coach’s duties are, I assume I would take over,” Cone told the media in a Mall of Asia presser, after the Gin Kings bested the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Road Warriors also that Wednesday.

Cone couldn’t contain his excitement upon finally joining Heat’s coaching staff after not securing the gig since 2020. According to him, this was due to the Summer League being delayed numerous times by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides hoping that he could share new lessons with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team, Cone said that he would not stick with the NBA beyond the Summer League. He emphasized that “I’m home. I don’t need to go anywhere.”

The upcoming NBA Summer League will span for 11 days, beginning this July 7. While Cone is busy with Heat, assistant coach Richard del Rosario will lead Ginebra against Converge FiberXers, Meralco Bolts, Terrafirma Dyip, and TNT Tropang Giga in local games.

Reuben Pio Martinez is a news writer who covers stories on various communities and scientific matters. He regularly tunes in to local happenings. The views expressed are his own.

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