Thursday, February 26, 2015

International media pounced but missed the point on Orton-Pacquiao issue

By  | The Underdog – Wed, Feb 25, 2015 

Orton cut from Philippine team after insulting Pacquiao
Headlines such as the one above proliferated the Internet Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Citing quotes from similar sources, their plots were the same.
Because former NBA player Daniel Orton insulted Manny Pacquiao’s basketball ability, he was fired from his spot with the Purefoods Star Hotshots.
It was a catchy headline, a perfect way for basketball writers to join the Floyd Mayweather versus Pacquiao click caravan without veering off topic.
They painted Purefoods as a team so enamored with Pacquiao that they fired their import for insulting the playing coach of the opposing team.
Don’t get me wrong. I also think Orton was out of line with his comments but more than what he said about Pacquiao, I think what he said about the PBA was the bigger cause for the fine.
Manny Pacquiao scored one point against Purefoods, his first in the PBA. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA Images)Manny Pacquiao scored one point against Purefoods, his first in the PBA. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA Images)
What irks me with how the U.S. media covered it is how they took away the context of the firing. They zoned in on the Pacquiao part because it was more clickable and basically looked past everything else.
If you browse through all of these articles, you won’t see how Orton scored only six points and grabbed three rebounds in a bad loss to an expansion team.
Even if he was in foul trouble, he still played 19 minutes and many of these were lousy.
No one brought up the fact that Orton absolutely bulldozed his defender late in the fourth quarter for his sixth foul just when KIA was starting to run away with the game. No one mentioned that he went 1-2 in three games in the PBA. Purefoods got the win not because of Orton but because Marc Pingris managed to limit the production of NLEX import Al Thronton.
In fairness to Orton, he was really stuck in a difficult situation. He replaced the beloved Marqus Blakely who won two titles for Purefoods. During Orton’s stint with the team, former import Denzel Bowles was also blatantly expressing his desire to play in the PBA again.
Purefoods fans were never really on Orton’s side because they felt either Blakely or Bowles was better. They turned their backs completely after the loss to KIA. During that game, I tweeted that his performance could cost him his job.
If head coach Tim Cone dropped Orton after that, no one would called him out on it. However, because of Orton’s comments on Pacquiao, it now looks like Cone was looking out for Pacquiao's best interest and not Purefoods'.
Imports like GlobalPort’s CJ Leslie, Alaska’s DJ Covington, and San Miguel Beer’s Ronald Roberts all had better numbers compared to Orton but they were all replaced. Yet, some members of the media zoned in on Orton because of the Pacquiao angle.
I don’t mind this issue making it internationally, but I hoped they could have done more research and put in some effort to paint a complete picture.

The PBA offers so much more in the basketball than just Pacquiao. It sucks that basketball fans from around the world will think of this issue first before they get real a taste of what the league has to offer.