Some of his earlier critics said he'd never make it in the NBL, but Wollongong Hawks cult figure Larry Davidson is having the last laugh.
Davidson will join elite company on Friday night when he becomes the sixth Hawks player to notch 200 games for the club. The others are Glen Saville, Mat Campbell, Chuck Harmison, Gordie McLeod and Melvin Thomas, legends whose retired jerseys hang from the WIN Entertainment Centre rafters.
"To be here for 200 games, it wasn't like it was a goal, but it was definitely something that I hoped that I could stay in one area for long enough to get something like that," Davidson said.
He arrived in Wollongong almost eight years ago, nervously looking over his shoulder after his previous two clubs had gone broke and collapsed.
When the Hawks were on the brink of capitulation after his first season with the club, Davidson wondered if he was cursed.
But the Hawks survived a couple of near-misses and Davidson, despite a string of knee problems and other injury setbacks, became a cornerstone of the team.
"When I started playing, I always hoped to stay with one club but they all started folding and I ended up in Wollongong," the 32-year-old from Terrigal said.
"I've liked being able to stay in the one spot. I never really wanted to move around and play for a bunch of teams.
"I've had a bit of experience with injuries and as time's gone on, I've learnt to be able to deal with them better. That's something I learnt from Campbell and Sav, that a lot of it is looking after your body off the court. You only have to look at Matty and Sav and how many games they played to know that stuff really matters. If you can stay on top of that for the most part, you'll get the rewards for it."
Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod said Davidson's milestone was a testament to his perseverance.
"It's nice to see him get some recognition for it," McLeod said.
"The big thing with Larry that a lot of people don't understand is that he had a lot of injury issues through his AIS days and his college days. There was a lot of doubters out there who weren't sure he'd make it through many seasons, so to play 200 games for this club really recognises his commitment. He changed a few things around and knuckled down at being a pro, really worked hard on looking after his body.
"He's been a great contributor to our club. He's a player that's got a certain skill set and he brings a lot to a team. A lot of people don't see what he brings to the practice court and other areas."