On the riverbank of Paul Smith's Minnamurra property stands a huge flagpole. Some may recognise the flagpole as it stood proudly at the now defunct Dapto Bowls Club before Smith bought it at the liquidation sale and had it relocated to his property.
The property has a majestic view of Minnamurra River. It will soon be redeveloped from the ramshackle shacks currently residing on it despite the fact Smith, lounging in shorts and thongs, looks right at home.
On this breezy Saturday, two flags fly proudly on the flagpole - a gold Sydney Kings flag and a pirate flag. Both speak volumes of Smith.
As described in part one of the series published on Saturday, Smith rose from the housing commission surrounds of Warilla to build a global business empire, selling Repucom to Neilsen in 2016 for $US195 million.
Despite all that, he remains relatively unknown in the Illawarra even while regularly spending his weekends here at Minnamurra.
In July last year, Smith returned to Australia after the better part of two decades abroad took back the reigns of his Australian company Total Sports and Entertainment (TSE), which now is the full owner of glamour National Basketball League franchise, the Sydney Kings.
The Kings would become Smith's new passion project and he is rebuilding a firm profile in Sydney, but loves nothing more than paddling the Minnamurra River with mates.
He has a strong family connection with the seas of the Illawarra. His brother Martin is a well-known Warilla surf lifesaving identity and his nephew David is an Olympic gold medallist.
For someone who spends his week dealing with corporate Sydney, it provides a nice change of pace for Smith. When he finally returned to Australia last year, TSE bought 50 per cent of the Sydney Kings and took full control this year. Smith is a realist about owning a sports franchise in Australia.
"You do not get rich in this country owning a sports team," he say. "In fact you get poorer. I'm getting a bit poorer lately but I don't want to get poorer. We want to bring a sophisticated model to the exploitation of a sports asset like the Kings. We want to develop a set of partnerships in an approach to sponsorship that is different "
And as much as Smith has a relaxed nature and loves stirring the pot, he is clearly a calculated and considered businessman.
"I'm not obsessive. I will make business decisions," he states. Proof of that came when the whole basketball world thought the Kings would appoint former Hawks coach Rob Beveridge as their new coach for this season, before eventually going with NBA G league and Boomers assistant coach Will Weaver. Smith describes it as one of the toughest calls he's made.
"Every CEO, every owner of any business, you reach these various times and points when you are lonely and you realise what you're up against. And that was a lonely point," he said.
"We'd only just taken 100 per cent ownership of the team and I was it. And it was then I realised this is what comes with team ownership. You have to make tough decisions.
"You know what, I have no doubt Bevo would have done a good job. But I think Will Weaver will do a better job for us. And where we are in the life or our organisation, we needed to move in a direction that was going to allow us to shake off a lot of things. That call to Bevo was difficult, but I'll make those calls."
Smith too has been on the other end of those calls. It was revealed last year Smith was the other unsuccessful bidder chasing a half stake in his beloved St George Illawarra Dragons.
Despite reports of Smith's bid being significantly higher, the Dragons went to Bruce Gordon's WIN Corporation. Asked if he is still angry at losing out on the Dragons, he doesn't answer directly, choosing instead to consider the Dragons' current plight with Jack De Belin facing serious sex assault allegations.
"Why the surprise the AFL, NRL Rugby Australia fumble moral and ethical issues?" he questions. "Because they just are not trained to deal with it. Most corporations aren't. I think there's an unreasonable perception from fans around expectations. Not the athletes behaviour, but the expectations of administrators to deal with these things. They're very complex.
"So to answer your question ... ,: he finally concludes. "Sometimes when you lose you win. For the life of me, as I reflect and cease to be a smartass, I cannot even contemplate what I would do in their shoes. I reflect on it in great disappointment that we weren't able to get there because I really believed I could have been a bridge between the Illawarra and the Dragons, but it was not a decision I could control."
Besides now, Smith is a big believer in basketball and its rise back to national prominence in recent years after almost falling into obscurity. He has seen what billionaire NBL owner Larry Kestleman has done to get basketball back on its feet.
"At Kiama Downs, near Minnamurra, I go to the shops there and I don't know whether it's because I'm only interested in basketball now but I notice there's some hoops there and I see every other Saturday grown men playing there," he said. "That's the litmus test. What Larry's achieved ... it's the tip of the arrow. Basketball is cool."
'I believe in the Hawks and our rivalry'
Our second of three meetings for this two-part series came at the Auburn Basketball Stadium in Sydney, a facility long way removed from the glitz and glamour of the Sydney Kings' home stadium at Qudos Arena. Think a smaller version of The Snakepit. Maybe that's why Smith likes it so much and intends on developing it into the Kings' home away from home. For those who understand the bitter and historic rivalry between the big brother Sydney Kings and the little brother Illawarra Hawks, it is a little odd a Warilla-bred Sydney businessman owns the Kings. So, the question needs asking: Why don't you own the Illawarra Hawks?
"Well, firstly, it's an easy answer in the sense that no one asked me," he says. "We were asked to come on board with the Kings and I don't push on closed doors."
Yet despite all his bravado and tongue-in-cheek sledging on social media, Smith wants the Kings' arch rival Hawks to be successful. He's keen to push what he has tagged the #freewayseries, the battle for bragging rights in NSW basketball.
"I believe in the Hawks and I believe that we need a strong rivalry," he said. " I think we need to be hating on one another in a good way and we can grow this freeway series into something that people anticipate. A new mini State of Origin".
His goal for the Sydney Kings, which has often not lived up to the lofty expectations set for the franchise, is uncomplicated but aspirational. "My sole objective for the Sydney Kings is to be the most respected sports franchise in Australia. Now I know we're the most hated, but his team has an obligation to the league and the eight other clubs to be the Sydney Kings, not the Sydney Chumps "
He is under no illusion of the challenge he faces. "Sydney is a hard town," he says. "It's a big town, but there's 21 sports franchises in the city that we compete against. The fact of the matter is, in this town, you need to win and that's the expectation."
As Mercury photographer Robert Peet snaps Smith relaxing at his Minnamurra property, playing it up for the camera and his trademark personality on show, it's Smith's daughter Maddie who remarks .... "Welcome to the Kingdom". Welcome to the Kingdom indeed.