James Harden Says Manila Is His Favorite Place In The World

I feel like sitting on the fence today. I really don’t feel like making waves. I just want to say I feel the title of this piece which is identical to a MSN article is complete and utter bull crap. A lot of what I write is based on what I see in the news and applying a few of my core beliefs. As you may know one of them is ” KSP is the root of all evil“. Another one that I quote less is from the immortal 1987 movie The Princess Bride.

Pinoys just love to believe they are worthy of attention

The Philippines is the only country in the world where not only is basketball king but there is no queen, prince, princess, bishop, knight or even pawn. There is no other team sport or even Olympic sport that competes for the best pinoy athletes. Basketball is the default sport for anybody slightly coordinated. Yet that tunnel vision has produced nothing in terms of being competitive abroad. I have said many times that there is nothing wrong with enjoying basketball without being good at it. I just find the pinoy quest for validation abroad as soothing as fingernails on a chalkboard.

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1. Do you really believe that he believes Manila is his favorite place in the whole wide world? 2. Wow he skipped the NBA awards to be with pinoys out of the goodness of his heart!

The article that spawned this blog piece said that Harden skipped the NBA awards night to come here. That makes as much sense as me skipping binge watching Star Trek Discovery on Netflix to go to work. You don’t skip something if you are instead attending to something that you are paid to do and you are living up to an obligation. Once again spreading the illusion that the Philippines is actually loved by somebody who is  actually good at basketball.

The day I believe that James Harden really loves the Philippines in his heart of hearts above any other place on Earth will be the day he gets an endorsement contract for Gillette. Why does it need to be said? Why is it so easily believed? The simple reason is desperate people will believe anything. It does not matter if Google exists or not. There is nothing wrong with wanting attention but as we see time and time again Filipinos always want attention without achievement. As I said before that is why beauty pageants are so valued in this culture. God does most of the work and every single representative has at least a smattering of Caucasian genes. Very seldom do we have a Miss Philippines looking like a typical barrio lass.

Speaking of the NBA Awards let us look at some of the men recognized that night:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece and Nigeria) the Most Valuable Player
  • Pascal Siakam ( Cameroon) the Most Improved ( as well as most recent NBA champion)
  • Luka Doncic (Slovenia) the Rookie of the Year
  • Rudy Gobert (France) the Defensive Player of the Year

The website The Ringer  said that the NBA has made a concerted effort over the past decade to grow the game outside the USA. A few of the NBA’s standouts who were not born in the USA only began playing basketball as teenagers and they cited Siakam and Giannis. Unlike the Philippines where basketball is a birthright. It is the only team sport the nation cares about . The NBA is the only professional league that plays abroad that pinoys care about to any significant extent. Football dominates Europe, Africa and everywhere else yet that is where all the NBA players come from. The best basketball league in the world is full of reminders how irrelevant the only nation on Earth that focuses on basketball is.

Let us start with a simple fact. Nobody who is good at basketball comes to the Philippines to get players or coaches. Nobody looks at the PBA on tips how to run their league. Talent goes where the money is. If pinoys were talented in basketball they would win games as a nation, they would contend for NBA awards like people from Cameroon or Nigeria or Slovenia.  Since they are not in the periphery of being remotely competitive in the world, they console themselves with calling themselves astig and have muse contests. 

I really don’t care if nobody cares about the PBA outside of Cubao , what annoys me is when people pretend that the best should learn from the most unaccomplished. That is not how it works in the real world. The PBA has proven that 1) no other nation cares to watch their games 2) no other league that pays more money cares to poach their players. Luka Doncic won an MVP award playing for the #2 basketball league in the world at 18 years old. To put that is perspective  every native born PBA player since 1975 has failed to make an NBA roster or even a pro team of any significance abroad. Yet pinoys approach basketball like   they are entitled to basketball glory and attention.

Shame on the NBA for not paying attention to the PBA and learning from them !!!

If you don’t believe my statement that nobody else in the world watches the PBA please show me a sports website that carries the results of the games and publishes articles about the games and players.  Assuming you can’t then can you agree with me that expecting the best basketball in the league to learn from the PBA is ridiculous?  For some reason Quinito Henson in a tweet believes that the PBA unlocked something the NBA ignored.  Trying to make up for the fact that nobody outside of Cubao cares about the PBA.

“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” – Why is this so hard to understand?? James Harden says this place is his favorite place on Earth. Pinoys eat it up and several places publish it like it was a royal proclamation. Please watch the Princess Bride. Pinoy basketball is painful for the rest of the world to watch otherwise they would be watching it. James Harden is paid by Adidas to come here and promote their products. In my world to promote products is to sell them. The article I referred to said :

During a fast talk interview, the Houston Rockets superstar was asked to name is favorite place in the world, and almost expectedly, he said “Manila.”

There is a saying that goes:  ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer. Pinoys rejoice at a stupid answer.  He is in Manila and paid to sell to Filipinos. What do you expect him to say?  ” Gary, Indiana”? Go up to any young mother and ask them to name the cutest kid in the world. They will give you a better, more truthful  answer than James Harden. At least Adidas is not paying for their answer.

If James Harden really believes that answer then he will answer “Manila” and promote “Manila” wherever Adidas sends him. I am 100% sure that never happened. Why am I so confident? I truly have faith in Pinoy media to be there when it does happen and to play that comment on a loop in perpetuity. If James Harden really believes Manila is his favorite place then he would have property here , retire here. You know, come here at his own expense. He will bring his family to witness ” his favorite place in the world”. He will put his money where his mouth his.

Robert De Niro at least bothered to show up to a place that he endorsed.

All this talk about one of the best NBA players proclaiming Manila is the best made me think of a similar situation. I visited City of Dreams near Mall of Asia exactly once. I remember seeing the gigantic faces of Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese proclaiming its virtues. Every promo I read about it has their names attached to it. One interesting note though. I see no evidence of  the latter two ever going here to give credibility to their endorsement. What does that say about the casino and Manila?  It is beneath Martin and Leonardo   to actually come here?

Pinoys have been using the NBA to try to make themselves feel significant for awhile. Even if they have to resort to faking it.

Pinoys have a habit of spreading fake news and doctored pictures that the best in basketball care about the Philippines . I almost finalized this piece on James Harden when I remembered that fake LeBron James pic. I even forgot that I devoted a very early GRP blog to it.  Pinoys love to insert themselves in the NBA  and can not accept the fact that their play is so substandard. Other countries produce players that thrive in the NBA. Pinoys do weird things to make themselves feel they are part of the NBA. Enjoy the NBA yes but do not expect it to enjoy you or even acknowledge your existence.

I don’t pull my punches where I believe pinoy basketball belongs in the overall scheme of things. Of course a lot of vitriol has been thrown my way from those who are so proud to be pinoy. Yet not one of them even attempts to answer the question why the one country on earth where basketball has a monopoly on the local consciousness is so irrelevant beyond its own shores? Pinoys, just admit no one currently cares about your contribution to basketball and just behave with the appropriate humility.

14 Replies to “James Harden Says Manila Is His Favorite Place In The World”

  1. Here is Pinoy basketball play in a nutshell. Ball is inbounded and the player goes down the court and the game is now a 1 on 5 game, because the guy with the ball will NEVER pass off even if the other 4 players have wide open shots.

    A couple years ago I read about some American import being referred to as a “6’4″ behemoth.” Mind you that a guy only 6’4″ is usually a point guard on an American HIGH SCHOOL team and unless there is a steal and a breakaway, a coach will sit a player who does not pass the ball.

    1. Jerry, not only did you summarize why pinoys do not win against disciplined international competition and why nobody cares for their teams or their players. You also captured why pinoys only love basketball. By the rules, all 5 players/ positions on the court per team can score. It doesn’t matter what position you play , you are not really limited with your movement on the court. The pinoy mind can not grasp the concept of a team sport where certain positions are excluded from feeding their vanity. The pinoy when doing anything has to show off. They can never comprehend appreciating an offensive tackle or a defender in soccer or a stay at home defense man in hockey. Even in basketball , grunts are necessary to win. Pinoy culture impedes itself from international competition. We have many decades of futile results to back up that conclusion.

    2. I just recalled that the term for that is “Bwakaw.” Means scrooge or one who doesn’t share. Quite ironic that Filipinos will be quick to gang up on people who don’t share things such as food or money (which a person has the right to buy only for himself), but are bwakaw in other things.

  2. Let us accept it; those NBA guys who come here, are selling something to us. So, If you ask them any question; they will answer in good affirmative answer; so that you will; buy their products. Filipinos are just naive to the point that they are too ignorant on how people can scam them.

    I have never seen a Filipino, who played in the NBA. It is because, no matter what they do, they will never excel in Basketball !

  3. The problem of the PBA is also a reflection of the problem of the Pilipino society, the failure to create teamwork.

  4. Filipinos are the perfect zombies to lap up advertising baloney and accept it as actual sentiment. Probably a lot of Filipino culture (and its dysfunctions) are a product of the ad industry.

    1. It is this product discontentment(gotta have it!), “keeping up with the Joneses” and “riding the bandwagon” is what the ad industry relied most upon to keep it alive. So even if they don’t have the financial capability, people would still want more.

      1. I suspect Pinoy Pride at least in part was the product of a marketing strategy too. It’s meant to create discontent with oneself, the kind where people believe they don’t get enough praise and adulation, so they should demand it, or at least buy the product that makes them feel proud.

  5. Looking at some of things online, James Harden is here to promote his new Adidas shoe in which everyone else in the PH is going to buy even when they don’t need to, but because they need to up their “shoe game”. Most NBA players would be doing that simply to promote the products they are endorsing for. Under Armour for Stephen Curry, Nike for Kevin Durant/Lebron James, it’s just a selling point.

    When James Harden said “Manila is his favorite place in the world”, that’s just marketing ploy so that his PH fans will simply eat it up and boy that was hook, line and sinker. As far as Filipino players in the NBA go, there’s a guy named Jordan Clarkson who seems to be the player that many a folk here have a hard-on just because he holds a PH Passport and he did play for the National Team but he didn’t exactly make a dent on the International competition stage. I guess there’s also a good reason why the NBA won’t even let him play for the National Team considering how dysfunctional it is and the possibility of injury may hurt his chances of making more money in the NBA.

    It is funny though that we had so many of these “PBA Legends” but none of them even garnered interest in the NBA or maybe if there were, it just wasn’t meant to be.

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