Attend a Hawks training session and you'll see a licorice all-sorts of strips and uniforms. Names like 'Conger', 'Forman' and 'Ellis' still feature on the back of singlets.
It's what happens when the club budget only allows for one set of training gear per player. New players are forced into hand-me-downs.
In a league where the gap between rich and poor is growing exponentially, it's a reality the club, its players and staff accept. But we all have limits.
With the financial disparity between the rich and poor clubs rapidly growing, the latter absolutely must get the basics right - things like paying staff in full and on time is a start.
The Hawks on-court inconsistency this season has come amid payroll issues that saw players and staff not receive all their super entitlements. It attracted the attention of the NBL, the players' association and even the ATO before it was thankfully resolved.
Depending on who you talk to it's the sign of a club at death's door, or a payroll glitch that barely rates a mention. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
The NBL has been across it and doesn't hold any fears for the club's immediate future. It does go a long way to explaining Rob Beveridge's reluctance to commit to another year at the helm.
He said of his future this week: "it’s about being in an environment where you’re happy to turn up to work every day and work hard." In a role where you're already starting well behind the financial eight-ball it's an essential ethos.
When the front office doesn't have its act together, it can quickly be eroded. A look at the front office Beveridge has dealt with in his four years should go a long way to explaining his reticence to readily recommit.
At last year's presentation evening, outgoing general manager Kim Welch stood up on stage and went out of his way to thank just about everyone, with one exception. He quite deliberately made no mention of Beveridge.
It was overt, and deliberate and didn't go unnoticed in the room. It was a big insight into the level of front-office dysfunction Beveridge endured through the previous ownership of which the current issues are an apparent legacy.
Attempts through the club to reach current owner Simon Stratford for comment on it on Friday were unsuccessful. He's been notoriously media shy. That is of course his prerogative.
A lot of club owners don't covet media attention. Fans - and yes the media - often want clarity before there is any. However, when there's a void in information people will fill it with whatever else they hear. It's why when these latest reports surfaced fans immediately thought the worst.
The Hawks entered last off-season amid similar uncertainty, with a substantial debt to the NBL that still exists. The club stayed silent on talks with the league at the time and it fell to NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger to pump up the Hawks tyres in The Mercury last April.
The Hawks faithful are an incredible breed, passionate yet well-attuned to the financial realities faced by their club. As long as they have a team that shows up and gives their all, they'll show up and do the same.
They've also grown accustomed to the uncertainty that comes with being the NBL's battlers and accept it with good grace. The club simply doesn't do enough to ease at least some of that burden.
That lack of truly strong leadership has seen Beveridge required to fill roles well beyond his job description. Dealing with players concerned about super was just the latest instance.
This week, he said his decision is not about money. It's often a cliche but in his case it's the truth, his actions in the past have proven that.
He took the helm with the club coming out of voluntary administration and took it to the playoffs. His adopted son Kevin Lisch was MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. He was promptly lured away by the much bigger coin on offer at Sydney.
A year later, Beveridge took a less talented team to a grand final series. Young-guns Mitch Norton and Nick Kay became Boomers. Like Lisch, they were eventually wooed by the bigger dollars on offer in Perth.
It was a kick in the guts on both occasions. Like those licorice all-sorts training kits it was something he accepted, but we all have limits.
Beveridge may stay, he may not, but if he does decide to go on his own terms, he's earned the right to do so.
*General manager Mat Campbell did not respond to this column's calls on Friday seeking elaboration on a statement released via email.