There’s a new man entering the ranks of professional basketball coaching that no one would want to fight for a job: Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao was named the next head coach of Team Kia in the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) yesterday. Though Pacman’s love for basketball is well documented, this is his first basketball-related job. Apparently Team Kia isn’t worried about that.
Regardless of Pacquiao’s abilities as a coach, he will almost certainly displace Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra as the Philippines most beloved basketball coach. Spoelstra reacted to the news yesterday.
“Well, I’m not taking a boxing job,” he joked. “But I know he’s a huge basketball fan, so it doesn’t surprise me. I'll hopefully be able to see him this summer, see what's up. Maybe I'll check out a practice."
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Pacquiao said his coaching gig is no publicity stunt and he’s taking the job very seriously. He called the job “a great responsibility.”
"I really love basketball. That's why even though I've had my accomplishments in boxing, I'm still fond of basketball," he said. "Im really focused now on getting good players and in organizing a good team. I'm thinking of the fans. I don't want to be embarrassed."
What remains to be seen is how Pacquiao will balance his basketball and boxing careers. His next fight is scheduled for November, which is soon after the PBA season will start. Rumor has it he’ll fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fifth time, but nothing has been announced yet.
With his new job, Pacquiao is now a boxer, congressman, and professional basketball coach. One position it looks like he may never hold, though, is that of a Floyd Mayweather opponent.