Cone speaks up on Slaughter: 'He got beat up on the internet a lot'
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone felt Greg Slaughter needed to take a "mental break" as the seven-footer became a constant subject of harsh criticism on social media.
Despite winning another PBA championship with the Gin Kings in the Governors' Cup last season, Slaughter surprisingly announced that he is taking a hiatus.
"[Slaughter] got beat up on the internet a lot. A lot of unfairness was directed towards him," Cone said – speaking for the first time about the big man – in the PBA Media Day on Thursday, February 27.
"He sacrificed a lot for us in winning the championship in terms of minutes and touches so that we could win the championship. I don't think he got recognized for that," the multi-titled coach added.
Expectations have always been high for the one-time Best Player of the Conference, especially since he is the tallest player in the league.
But his towering physique has also led to comparisons with June Mar Fajardo, with fans attacking Slaughter for not reaching the heights the reigning five-time PBA Most Valuable Player have accomplished.
"The concern was more with his family. His family was upset of what was being said on the internet and I think they just wanted him to take a break and he thought it was a good idea," said Cone.
Cone said the break was necessary for Slaughter to "get himself mentally right to come back and play."
"It takes some strength and character to be able to walk from the game when you're not right. It was a courageous decision for him."
For now, Ginebra waits for the time Slaughter returns.
"I think maybe there's a good chance he'll come back in the second conference. But you have to talk to him. You're talking to me and I'm just guessing. It's just my sense that he'll be back," Cone said.
Ginebra kicks off its bid to win its first Philippine Cup title under Cone against Blackwater in Balanga, Bataan on March 14. – Rappler.com