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Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao drafts himself onto his own team to be player/coach

Aug 26, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

Manny Pacquiao AP

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is so big in his native Philippines that whatever he wants, he gets. He wants to be a senator, he gets voted in.

He also coaches a professional basketball team, the Kia Motors team. I guess he does that in between his senatorial duties and training to put his World Boxing Organization welterweight title on the line against Chris Algieri on November 23 in Macau.

All that wasn’t enough, apparently. He wanted to go full Bill Russell player/coach approach so he drafted himself. At age 35. Here’s the report via the Los Angeles Times.

That’s right. With the 10th overall pick in the 2014 Philippine Basketball Assn. rookie draft, Kia Motors selected its coach. Apparently, the plan all along was for Pacquiao to serve as a player-coach, but he needed to go through the draft in order to make that happen….

Continuing to focus on the familiar, Kia Motors went on to select its coach’s cousin, Rene Pacquiao, in the third round. Rene played at Southwestern University of Cebu and spent time in the Philippines’ D-League.

I don’t see what could possibly go wrong here.

I do know Manny Pacquiao is a huge basketball, specifically Boston Celtics, fan. He had a fight scheduled the night of Game 7 between the Celtics and Heat a couple years ago and wouldn’t step into the ring until it was over (he then took the distaste of that outcome out on his opponent).

My knowledge of the Philippines league is limited, but I know a marketing ploy when I see one. And when you make marketing moves over smart moves, well, your minor league baseball. But whatever sells tickets.

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