JAKARTA, Indonesia: (ABL Season 3): When John Todd Purves gave up his video coordinator-cum-advance scout job with NBA giants Sacramento Kings to take over as the chief helmsman of the underachieving Indonesia Warriors for the third season of the Asean Basketball Legaue, he had one goal in mind: Win the ABL.
Well as the season the ended on Saturday, Purves had won two, not one, awards – the Indonesia Warriors winning the title and also Purves himself being voted as the Coach of the Season by an electoral college that comprised the coaches of all the teams.
In his first interview after the ABL triumph, Purves spoke exclusively to this website.
FIBA Asia: At the end of the season, what is the feeling?
Purves: I had feelings of pride for my players more than anything else when we won the title.
Certainly there was a great deal of joy but pride, gratitude, and humility were the most significant things I felt right after our game.
FIBA Asia: Talk us through the Finals
Purves: I knew it would come down to the wire. I was not surprised to see the Beermen make a fierce run at the end, as they are a resilient and relentless team. A true reflection of their coach.
FIBA Asia: When you lost the first game (in the Finals) what were your thoughts? What did you tell the team?
Purves: After our loss in the first game I wrote one thing on the board. ‘The true test of a man is how he responds to adversity.’ I expected the team to respond and they did in style. I can’t ask for more.
FIBA Asia: You were also named Coach of the Year by your peers? Does it matter as much as the win? How would you see the personal achievement?
Purves: I am grateful to my peers for their respect and it is humbling to say the least.
It really doesn't compare to the championship though. We only have a team concept here and bringing the title to Indonesia was always our ultimate goal.
FIBA Asia: When you took over the Warriors this season, did you anticipate the way it has ended?
Purves: Although I had aspirations of fielding a competitive team and raising the level of basketball in Southeast Asia, nothing could have prepared me for the tremendous season we had and the love I have been shown by the people of Indonesia.
FIBA Asia: Any other comments?
Purves: A trip to Bali (laughs)!! I need some time to relax.
Now that the season is over I will sit down with our ownership group and discuss my specific basketball future. Nothing is certain at this point but the treatment I have got here has been second to none. I love the people of Indonesia!!
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia