Wollongong Hawks guard Adris Deleon is expecting war when he confronts his old New York sparring partner Gary Ervin tomorrow afternoon at WIN Entertainment Centre.
Deleon and Townsville import Ervin "go way back" when they were making names for themselves as standout high school basketballers.
While Deleon describes former Hawks star Ervin as a friend, he believes his one-time teammate will stop at nothing to gain the upper hand in tomorrow's clash.
"I know Gary real, real well," Deleon said.
"We're probably going to end up fighting. We bump and talk and there'll probably be elbows and all of that.
"He's real competitive and I'm real competitive. I know him. He's going to try and elbow me and I'm gonna try to swing one back. It's gonna happen.
"He's a good friend. We've been playing together and against each other for years. Even back home in New York we play against each other every summer.
"We played together my first year out of college for a team in the Canadian league. The next year he came here and I went to Spain, but it was a good experience playing with him.
"I was watching him play [last week against Perth] and I thought he was a little shy, probably because it was his first game.
"He usually goes up a level in the fourth quarter, but it was his first game and probably he didn't want to seem like he was taking over.
"Now that he's played that first game, I think he's going to be real aggressive, so we have to be ready for that."
Ervin and the Crocs took on the New Zealand Breakers last night in Auckland.
They fly to Sydney today before travelling by bus to Wollongong to prepare for their third game in a week.
Ervin wasn't as keen to talk up a potential rivalry with Deleon, saying he was only concerned with winning.
"It doesn't matter to me," the 2011 NBL MVP said.
"Anybody that knows me from playing in Australia, I never get into one on one matchups and things like that. It is what it is. He's playing for the Hawks now.
"I've been playing against him and playing with him for a long time, so it's not one of those things where it's all about a matchup.
"It's about who wins the basketball game.
"It's about the Townsville Crocs versus the Wollongong Hawks. There's no Adris versus Gary. It's never like that with me."
Ervin scored eight points on 2/7 shooting and had five turnovers in his debut with the Crocs.