The Mahindra Floodbusters suffered an early exit in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup after a 124-87 loss to the Purefoods Star Hotshots on Wednesday. As preparation for the next conference, Mahindra’s first-year coach Chris Gavina expressed his intention to tap the services of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.
“We’re actually gonna dinner out to discuss our possible selection so hopefully we can have a monster import. I hope Kobe Bryant is available, maybe he’s on our budget,” he said, tongue-in-cheek.
Getting the service of Kobe Bryant would be a “shot to the moon”
Gavina’s desire to have a player like Kobe Bryant on their team would be a “shot to the moon”. As most people think, the Mahindra Floodbusters cannot financially convince Bryant to play with their team. Recalling the recent offseason, they were forced to let go KG Canaleta due to their inability to give him a maximum salary.
During the 2016 Philippine Governor’s cup, Mahindra earned numerous achievements including their best start in the franchise history with a 4–0 record. They also made their first playoff appearance. But, they lost to the Meralco Bolts in the quarterfinals. After a few disappointing offseason moves, Gavina feels that his team is starting again from scratch.
Despite suffering an early elimination, Gavina remains optimistic that Mahindra can bounce back in the next conference. Newcomers like Alex Mallari showed their capability to lead the team in the succeeding years.
“We’re going to have extended time to really start teaching guys just how to play basketball, the way we need them to play – not the way they think they need to play – and develop guys’ skillsets that I feel like we need to maximize them in our system,” he said.
Manny Pacquiao could help Mahindra acquire Kobe Bryant
Gavina hopes the Mahindra Floodbusters could get a dependable import like Kobe Bryant. However, with their current financial situation, it is very unlikely that they could get the service of Bryant unless they receive support from playing coach Manny Pacquiao.
Last season, Pacquiao considered tapping the services of Lakers veteran forward Metta World Peace. The Filipino boxing icon is a close friend of Ron Artest and realized his team’s need for a good import. Unfortunately, a deal didn’t happen as Mahindra chose a different import.
Getting the service of Bryant is very unlikely to happen. The 2015-16 NBA season marked the end of Bryant’s basketball career. As of now, he’s enjoying his retirement and shows no sign or interest of returning to the court.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr