It’s great to see Jerome Randle back in the NBL. We know he can flat-out play.
And what makes it even better is his first game is likely to be against the Hawks next week.
We had a massive rivalry with Randle at Adelaide, as we all saw in the semi-finals series, but now he’s joined the Kings, it goes to another level.
The Sydney Kings shook the league by announcing the signing of reigning MVP Randle and former NBA player Jeremy Tyler.
Randle has an amazing ability to come up with crucial and game-winning plays when it matters.
As the Kings moved for revolution to reignite their season, the Hawks’ evolution continued with important wins over Brisbane and the Kings.
A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting on the phone with my good mate Shawn Dennis, now coaching in Japan, after the Townsville Crocodiles exit from the NBL.
The Shiga Lake Stars were 0-2, while back home in Wollongong, the Hawks were pushing on through the demanding away schedule we’ve faced early in the season.
We talked about our respective situations, the issues and distractions around the club and what we could change. It quickly became pretty clear.
We’re both experience coaches, it was time to go back to believing in what we know works and putting the focus back on winning games of basketball.
Cutting through the external noise can be important when a team is facing difficult times, as the Hawks were at 1-5.
It was the honest discussion we needed.
Following that chat, the Lake Stars have won five of their past six in the Japanese western conference to move up the ladder. We’re now effectively back to even par, with a 3-5 record, after beating Brisbane and Sydney last weekend.
And while there’s still a hard road ahead, the boys have been working hard to make this season a success.
The Brisbane win was important, as we were able to go on the road and control the contest, for the first time since against Adelaide in game three of the semi-final series last season.
NBL – HAWKS SCHEDULE
Round six: Saturday v Adelaide 36ers (Away)
Round seven: November 16 v Sydney (Home), November 18 v Cairns (Away).
Round eight: December 4 v Melbourne United (Away).
Round nine: December 10 v Perth Wildcats (Home).
Round 10: December 16 v Melbourne United (Home).
Round 11: December 23 v Perth Wildcats (Home)
Round 12: December 28 v Cairns Taipans (Home), December 31 v Brisbane (Home)
Round 13: January 6 v Melbourne United (Home)
Round 14: January 13 v New Zealand Breakers (Home)