As the starting center of the Chicago Bulls’ second three-peat, Luc Longley is intimately familiar with the triangle offense, having run it under Phil Jackson and Tex Winter. And he’s looking forward to watching the Filipino stamp on the offensive system when he attends Game Six of the Commissioner’s Cup finals Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
B-MEG, which is seeking to clinch the title against the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, also runs the triangle offense under Tim Cone, who has been running the system since his own mid-1990s dynasty with the Alaska Aces. Longley said he learned about Cone after reading Pacific Rims, Rafe Bartholomew’s seminal book about Philippine basketball, which chronicled Cone and the Aces’ run to the 2007 Fiesta Conference title.
“[Tim] Cone is the coach, the triangle disciple – it’s good to see how they (B-Meg) run it. Looking forward to seeing the crowd, the people and how it goes down,” said Longley.
Since running the triangle offense, Cone has become friends with Winter, Jackson’s former assistant coach with the Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers who developed the offensive system. At one point, Winter reportedly said that Cone’s Aces squad ran the triangle offense better than the Lakers.
The 7-foot-2 Australian center is in town as part of the 2012 Jr. NBA program. He will be part of the Jr. NBA national camp, which is scheduled to end on Saturday. He also traveled to Cagayan De Oro on Tuesday as part of the NBA Cares program.
Longley said he has been surprised by his popularity — even among young kids who weren’t even born yet during his Bulls years.
“I got little kids who are 10 years old – they all come up to me and say ‘Mr. Longley, sir, I wish you can still play the old game,” Longley said.
“These little kids remember me. So that tells you the currency of NBA basketball.”
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