The paperwork for the announcement of Matt Flinn as the new Hawks coach had been sitting on a desk at NBL headquarters for some days.
We knew it. Most of the NBL expected it. It was a fairly open secret.
So after confirming the situation with not one, but three very reliable sources independent of each other, the Mercury decided to pull the trigger.
It was pointless massaging out the announcement with the Hawks, because it would only have resulted in a hurried smother release, after days of stalling for reasons unknown.
On Tuesday, we ran a front page photo and back page story declaring Flinn, the long-time assistant, would take over from Rob Beveridge.
The next day, the official announcement was made, when the Hawks released a bizarre press release, voicing displeasure the Mercury would dare break the story.
"We endeavour to inform our loyal supporters of any new announcements first and foremost and were very disappointed to see this confidential information, much like our Canberra announcement, leaked to the media before allowing us to make any official statement" it read.
Let's put a few things straight. The story we ran was positive.
The towel boy and former player, a loyal servant of the club, earning a shot at the big time after years of being the right-hand man.
The "Canberra announcement" wasn't leaked, officials from ACT Basketball went on record about a game being played in the national capital, before the Hawks were ready to announce it.
Even a quick glance over the past six months of coverage shows how overwhelmingly positive the Illawarra Mercury has been.
We have every reason to be supportive of the small-market battlers of the NBL.
But we're also a news organisation, not a PR arm of the club, beholden to their whims. So what was all of this really about?
Partly, it's about owner Simon Stratford and the fractured relationship with Beveridge, who walked away after four years in charge.
The Mercury had a great working relationship with Bevo, who understood the importance of promoting the club. In contrast, Stratford rarely seeks the spotlight.
When the allegations of the Hawks failing to pay players and staff, including super entitlements, emerged on social media - the rumours had been swirling for a while - we pitched the idea of a broad-ranging interview with Stratford. We're still waiting. The offer is open-ended.
Hawks fans, more than those of any other sporting club in Australia, deserve transparency about its direction, given the tumultuous past.
Having saved the club in 2008, now general manager Mat Campbell should know it better than anyone.
Without Stratford's input, the speculation persists about the club's viability.
“It’s never been a short-term vision for me and never has been,” he said in a rare interview, with colleague Mitch Cohen in September.
“I rallied the NBL to give me this thing for the long term. They were hesitant at the start, but I said if I want to make a go of this then I can’t turn it around in one year or one week. The investment from me is long term and I need that investment from the fans, media and everyone [in the community] for it to be long term.”
While the Kings, United and Wildcats are cashed-up and well-resourced, the Hawks tightly hold their oily rag. Sniff.
And the critics argue there's a lack of ambition from the Hawks, by hiring from within, in a league which is rapidly rising in popularity and gaining ever-closer connections to the NBA. The romantics love the fact an Illawarra junior, a former player, someone who has devoted countless and thankless hours to the game here, has been appointed head coach.
We don't need a press release to tell us the significance of it. About the opportunity it presents.
The story to be written if Flinny is successful next season against powerhouse clubs like Perth, Sydney and Melbourne would be one of the great fairytales in Illawarra sporting history.