Coaches rivalry built on respect

Joey Wright and Rob Beveridge have a healthy respect for each other
Joey Wright and Rob Beveridge have a healthy respect for each other

THEY share similar coaching philosophies but Illawarra coach Rob Beveridge says he and fellow championship winning coach Joey Wright will leave their mutual admiration at the white-line on Thursday night.

Beveridge boasts the best playoff streak of active NBL coaches having gone to the finals in his last 6 seasons as coach while Wright is heading to the post-season for the tenth time in his past 12 seasons. They’ve met twice before in the playoffs with Beveridge’s Perth Wildcats and Wright’s Gold Coast Blaze meeting in the semi finals in 2010 and 2012 with the Beveridge winning on both occasions.

“I spent hours with Joey at the NBL awards on Monday night and we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other," Beveridge said.

“But he’ll tell you, like I will, that when we go over that white line it’s on. There’s no question he wants to kick my arse and I want to kick his arse and I think that just comes out of the mutual respect we have there.”