Remember Daniel Orton? The American import who was sent home for criticizing Manny Pacquiao’s role as playing coach in the PBA?
Well, the former Purefoods reinforcement, in a Q&A with News-OK, a website dedicated to news about Oklahoma City, expressed a bit of regret for “speaking my mind on it.”
A native of Oklahoma, the 24-year-old Orton was released by Purefoods last month after being quoted that Pacquiao is “a joke.”
Orton’s comments came after Pacquiao’s Kia Carnival, an expansion club, beat Orton and Purefoods in a mighty upset.
“I mean, you know going into the situation – I know who Manny Pacquiao is. I know what he means to that country. But I didn’t think I was going to be punished as bad as I was for telling the truth…So I guess that’s just a situation where you’ve got to come into it and be like, ‘Man, let me just keep my mouth shut on this thing’.”
Orton was also penalized by the league for over R200,000 for hitting the referees, something the NBA journeyman didn’t protest.
“The fine not so much. I mean, the fine is OK because I said something about the refs, which I didn’t lie about that either. But I said something about the refs. But just to get kicked off the team was a little crazy,” he said.
But what really blew Orton’s mind was when Purefoods team manager Rene Pardo’s came to Pacquiao’s rescue.
“And then for the president of our team to compare Manny Pacquiao to Martin Luther King was just absurd,” said Orton whose not-so-impressive performance may have also contributed to his being given the pink slip.
Ranged against Kia’s man-mountain PJ Ramos, 7-3 and 270 lbs, the 6-10 Orton just managed to come up with six points and three rebounds in a 95-84 loss.
Still, Orton admits having fond memories of his short stint in the Philippines.
“The Philippines was a lot of fun,” said Orton, who is hoping to return to the NBA after playing with Orlando, Philadelphia and Oklahoma.