Former Wollongong star Gary Ervin expects to keep his emotions in check when he leads Townsville into battle against the Hawks on Sunday at WIN Entertainment Centre.
Ervin lit up the NBL in the 2010-11 NBL season, leading the league in scoring and becoming the first Hawks player in 30 years to capture MVP honours.
Wollongong were unable to lure him back for a second tour of duty and he spent last season playing in Europe.
But he recently severed ties with a Croatian club after an apparent dispute over payments and the Crocodiles wasted no time snapping him up.
His first appearance in Townsville colours ended in a 24-point mauling from the Perth Wildcats and the 182-centimetre guard is eager to make amends this weekend.
The Crocs have a date with titleholders New Zealand in Auckland tomorrow before flying back across the Tasman for their meeting with the league-leading Hawks.
"Going back to Wollongong is definitely going to be weird," the 29-year-old New Yorker said.
"That was my home for a year, I was welcomed the right way, it was an awesome place. I loved it. I actually thought about coming back [this season].
"There's a lot of great memories there for me and there'll be a lot of emotion floating in the air.
"The thing for us is that we have to take one day at a time and I'm really not focused on that game yet. We have a big one against New Zealand on Friday and that's my main focus right now.
"But it was a great season in Wollongong and I loved everything about it. I'm definitely curious about what it's going to be like going back there."
Ervin wasn't his usual explosive self in last Sunday's big loss to the Wildcats.
Playing more than 35 minutes, he looked tired in the second half, finishing with eight points (2/7 shooting), four assists, three steals and five turnovers.
"I'm still a little tired and jetlagged from being in three different time zones," he said.
"It's one of those things, like, 'welcome back', but I just have to make a quick adjustment. It's a process you have to go through.
"I'm human. You're coming off a plane for 30 hours and having a couple of practices, so it's an adjustment, I don't care who you are. People who know me expect me to come out with an awesome game and do spectacular things, but it's not like I've been here for weeks and know the team.
"I don't think it was a make or break, it was just bad because it was a tough loss and you don't want to lose like that."
Townsville and Melbourne are the league's only winless teams after two rounds.
The Crocs face a tough ask this weekend but Ervin insists morale is high.
"We'll be all right. The guys are confident - believe that," he said.