HE'S still a fresh arrival in Wollongong but star import Josh Boone is already embracing the Hawks' famous underdog mentality.
It's a marked change after three years with the NBL's glamour club Melbourne United who couldn't, and never tried, to claim that tag no matter who they took the floor against.
It's the default position for Illawarra, the bluest of blue-collar clubs, but it's been an easy shift for the product of small-town Maryland to embrace.
"It's obviously a very different situation for me both from a basketball perspective and a lifestyle perspective - Melbourne being a big city and Wollongong a nice smaller little town," he said.
"That's what I'm used to, I'm very much a small-town person. I grew up in small towns and I've never really enjoyed living in cities so it's nice to get back to that.
"I was pretty excited from the very beginning. Since I've come into the league Wollongong has always been a place I've looked at and thought 'I could play there, I could live there and be happy'.
"Basketball-wise it's a different situation to. We've got a lot of young guys who are first or second-year players and we've got a couple of guys who've been around forever so it's a nice mix."
It also hasn't taken long for the 34-year-old to buy into the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality, suggesting most observers have slept on the Hawks despite it's formidable roster.
It's nothing new for the NBL's only remaining foundation club, but it's throwing fresh fuel on the fire for Boone.
"As a team this year I don't think there's a tonne of outside pressure on us," Boone said.
"I've been in Melbourne for three years and every year it's 'championship, championship, championship'. This year I think a lot of people are overlooking us.
"We went out and got a 12-13 year NBA veteran in Aaron Brooks and no one really said anything about it. That kind of tells you where the outside expectations are but internally we know what our expectations are.
"I think teams that aren't really expected to do too much and people don't pay a lot of attention to can often be very dangerous. I think we're going to come out and we're going to surprise a lot of people."
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If it sounds personal it's because it is given the manner of his departure for Melbourne - the first inkling that he was on the outer coming when Shawn Long announced his signing with United on social media.
As a 14-year veteran of the pro game Boone accepts that's the game, but he's keen to prove a point with his new club. He's not a alone in that regard, which bodes well for the Hawks faithful.
"I kind of assumed if they were signing [Long] they weren't going to be signing me," he said.
"That was how I found out [on social media] but that's just how this thing works sometimes. I'm not disappointed to be here by any means.
"There's 100 per cent championship ingredients here and that's why I think a lot of people are underestimating us. As a team you always come in thinking championship and that's our mentality as well.
"I think this is a great spot for me and I'm looking forward to a lot of new challenges with this team and once again proving myself as an individual."
Boone will get his first crack at his former club in Friday's clash with United in Ballarat - part of a 12-day stretch of preseason road games.
"It's exciting, we've got a lot of young guys who are first or second-year players but they're hungry, they're eager to learn and they're ready to go," Boone said.
"This next week and a half we've got coming up is going to be a good litmus test for us to put it together and see where we're at."