Coach Andrew Gaze reacts during a Sydney Kings match.
Coach Andrew Gaze reacts during a Sydney Kings match. CRAIG GOLDING

Gaze looking for end to Sydney Kings soap opera

BASKETBALL: For a man that has spent the majority of his life on television, Andrew Gaze's move into coaching was meant to be a change of pace.

The Australian basketball great, a seven-time NBL MVP, stepped away from his roles on the silver screen and radio when the rejuvenated Sydney Kings came calling before the start of last season.

Gaze became known for screaming "turn it up you dirty bludgers” on Fox Footy every Sunday evening before following in his legendary father Lindsay's footsteps with a clipboard in hand on the sidelines.

But instead of a change of pace, the Kings have been like a soap opera at times during Gaze's reign.

Early optimism before missing the playoffs last season, reports of infighting between imports and constant talk about who is actually putting together the squad, management or coaching staff.

Another Australian Boomers great, Chris Anstey, went through coaching troubles of his own at Melbourne United and can see his former teammate suffering.

"It is hurting him,” Anstey said.

"We all hope he can turn it around because I would hate to see his legacy in Australian basketball tarnished.

Jeremy Tyler of the Kings takes a shot against the Hawks.
Jeremy Tyler of the Kings takes a shot against the Hawks. DEAN LEWINS

"He has the talent there now with new imports Jeremy Tyler and Jerome Randle, they have had their training time.”

Gaze admits the club is going through a "genuine challenge” but, despite his sideline antics at times, wants to keep the positivity high, like he did during his days in the media.

"It is hard because you know it is necessary to stay upbeat in order for the guys to keep the belief,” Gaze said.

"Individually you feel it because you are disappointed because you are able to provide the guys with the formula to provide a better result.

"As coaches, we take a lot of responsibility on our own shoulders and that can effect your confidence and your demeanour, as it does the players.

"It is something we need to be conscious of but I try to maintain a positive outlook and keep things in perspective.

"No matter how resilient you are, when you care as much as we do, you are going to be affected by poor results.”

Andrew Gaze talks to the Sydney Kings players during a break in play.
Andrew Gaze talks to the Sydney Kings players during a break in play. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

NBL commentators often make the point the Kings players do not look to be fully listening during time-outs and Gaze's former Australia teammate Shane Heal says if that is true, it will almost impossible for the team to win.

"I do not get to see it that often but it is not a good sign because players need to be engaged,” Heal said.

"They have to be listening to instructions and it is not a great look when it happens.”

The 2-9 bottom-of-the-ladder Kings will be looking to get their season back on track on Thursday night against the last-start winning Cairns Taipans.

The Snakes will be looking to break a harbour city hoodoo. These two teams have played six times at Qudos Bank Arena and the Kings have won every time.

Cairns forward Stephen Weigh was sporting a moon boot at training on Tuesday and remains in doubt for the clash.

With Michael Carrera and Nate Jawai already sidelined, development player Tevin Jackson is expected to play.

NBL ROUND 8

When: Thursday, 6.30pm, Qudos Bank Arena

Taipans starters: Cameron Gliddon, Mitch McCarron, Scoochie Smith, Nnanna Egwu, Alex Loughton; coach Aaron Fearne

Kings starters: Jerome Randle, Brad Newley, Perry Ellis, Jeremy Tyler, Todd Blanchfield; coach Andrew Gaze



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