Daniel Orton may think that Manny Pacquiao's status as a player/coach in the Philippine Basketball Assn. is a joke, but the former NBA player quickly learned that the boxing great's status in that country is no joke.
Orton was released from the PBA's Purefoods Star Hotshots late last week soon after he made remarks questioning Pacquiao's basketball abilities.
"Professional boxer? Yeah. Congressman? All right. But professional basketball player? Seriously? It's a joke," Orton said after the Hotshots' upset loss to Pacquiao's Kia Carnival on Feb. 18.
Orton was released by Purefoods after only three games with the team.
"Everyone is angry at him... it is like he went to the United States and insulted the name of Martin Luther King," Purefoods top administrator Rene Pardo told reporters.
Orton's comment about Pacquiao was part of a larger rant about the officiating during the game, which the 2010 first-round pick of the Orlando Magic deemed "a mockery."
During the game Pacquiao played 4 minutes, 39 seconds off the bench and went 0 for 2 from the floor. But Pacquiao also went 1 for 2 from the free-throw line to score his first-ever PBA point.
Orton was fined $5,650 by the PBA for his comments.
"This office disapproves of and frowns upon the cavalier manner in which Mr. Orton issued his comments and the unwarranted antics and liberties he has taken with the league and a fellow player," PBA commissioner Chito Salud said. "This insulting behavior will never be condoned by the league."
Orton, who also played for Oklahoma City and Philadelphia during his three-year NBA stint, tweeted on Monday: "I thank God for my time in the Philippines and thank Purefoods for everything. I wish the team the best of luck this conference!! God Bless!"
Pacquiao, who is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas on May 2, went scoreless in 6 1/2 minutes played during Kia's 106-103 win over Talk 'N Text on Wednesday.