Sean Chambers couldn't forget the night he got the best validation from two of the best imports that the PBA had ever seen in Bobby Parks and Norman Black.
In an episode of An Eternity of Basketball, Chambers shared the night he went out to dinner with the two when his career in the PBA was just starting to gain steam.
"I remember when I was starting to kinda dominate the league. We're talking about the players and imports, and they were saying everybody is now trying to find an import to match up to me," said Chambers.
According to Chambers, Parks, whom he described as the "best player in the Philippines," told him he was now the gold standard for the imports.
"(Parks said) 'Everybody's trying to find an import that can match up to you. It ain't me anymore, it's you now. You're the level everybody has to get to,'" he said.
It was a night he won't ever forget.
"Having dinner with Bobby and Norman that day, I kinda felt it was like the three generations passing the torch. It went from Norman, to Bobby, to me. Three different generations of dominance," he said.
Parks was on point. In a career spanning 12 years, Chambers defined the term "resident import," winning six championships - the most by any import - for the Alaska franchise.
When he called it a career in 2001, he had a Best Import nod and Mr. 100 Percent award under his belt while normed third all-time 30.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.
While he was paid the ultimate compliment, it cannot be denied that Parks also had an illustrious career. He won seven Best Import plums. No one else has ever won more than three. No wonder the award was named after Parks when he died of cancer in 2013. "When I came here Bobby Parks was the most dominating player at all aspects of the game. He was rebounding, he was shooting, he was defending, he was passing, and the whole time he was completely emotionless, stoic, went about his business," said Chambers.
"He never got rattled. He never showed that he would lose composure. He was just the most gifted I've ever seen."
Then there was also a man named Tony Harris.
Harris came into the league with guns ablaze, dazzling fans with his offensive repertoire that also saw him drop 105 points for Swift in a 151-147 win over Ginebra.
"I'll give Tony Harris a lot of props. He was such a phenom when he came in. He was so good it was almost too good to be true during a scrimmage (at the Reyes Gym). Tim (Cone) and I were like, 'Whoa this is scary,'" he said.
Chambers said Harris "came in so fast and dominating, and blew out so fast." Suddenly after just a couple of years in the PBA, he was never the same beast.
Harris was so good that Chambers felt he could have become the best import in league history.
"If he would have maintained a personality like Lamont Strothers and Derrick Brown, we'd be talking about Tony Harris as the greatest of all time," said Chambers, who added Strothers and Brown were two of his toughest matchups when he got a little older.
Chambers beats the Black Superman
During Sean Chambers' first visit to the Philippines in 1987, he won a slam dunk contest at the expense of Billy Ray Bates -- a win that catapulted him to stardom.
Right now, though, the gold standard for imports, according to the Cal Poly Hall of Famer, is Ginebra's Justin Brownlee.
Chambers was all praises for the amiable Brownlee, who was the catalyst behind Ginebra's resurgence in the June Mar Fajardo era.
"Justin is phenomenal. He's really an incredible player. I don't see myself compared to his skill level," he said, "Justin can shoot threes, he can get to the rim, and he kinda just allowed the game to come to him in a right way."
Like Chambers, Brownlee also came in as replacement for a Tim Cone-coached team. Like Chambers, Brownlee has won a Best Import nod once.
That's why the former Alaska superstar said the PBA should consider bringing back the Mr. 100 Percent award, which has only been given to Black and Chambers.
"I think the commissioner should bring that back. I think it's something that should be considered," he said.
"I would definitely advocate for Brownlee if he were ever in a situation again where they make a strong run and he did not get the best import award, he should be awarded the Mr. 100 Percent award because he plays like that all the time."