WHAT have you done for me lately? Strange as it seems, if Brian Goorjian's NBL return after more than a decade away had a theme song, it'd be Janet Jackson's 1986 pop hit. It reflects his mentality at least, even if he's a bit iffy on the melody.
Chat to the 67-year-old and it's the clear message. Amid all the warranted excitement and expectation around the six-time championship-winning coach's return to the NBL, the man himself is looking forward not back.
For perspective, you only need to consider the fact that the Hawks' youngest player, Max Darling, was eight years old when Goorjian won the last of his record six championships in 2009. At the other end of the scale, veteran skipper AJ Ogilvy was still just a sophomore at Vanderbilt.
Go back further to his first championship with the South East Melbourne Magic in 1992 and, of the current Hawks roster, only Ogilvy, Cam Bairstow and Deng Deng were even born - the latter only just.
None are concerned with what occurred a decade ago and, for his part, the master coach isn't either. While he remains arguably the most revered figure in the league, certainly as far as coaches go, he insists he has a point to prove, to his players more than anyone else.
"I've been out of this thing for 11 years and no one wants to hear about what you did 10 years ago, no one wants to hear about the Magic or the Dragons," Goorjian said.
"To me it's always about the players and I really sit and think, whatever I've done, that doesn't help Emmett Naar, that doesn't help a Sam Froling. None of these guys give a flying hoot about that stuff. I'm this 60-year-old guy walking in the door and [they're thinking] what have you got for me today?
"That's sport. This franchise has been in the mud for a while so no one wants to hear about the Magic. I do feel that pressure to perform and to give these guys development and make them better players. On that, I need to deliver so I've got some things to accomplish as well this year."
It's a button he's pushing every day with a young group that, to a man, has some sort of point to prove. It's by design. Even in a career as long as his, Goorjian has never been in a position to put an entire roster together piece by piece.
With the franchise coming out of administration, all existing contracts were voided, presenting the chance to truly take a sculptor's chisel to an uncut block of stone.
His unmatched resume gave the club a clout it's never had in the recruitment market, but Goorjian went down a specific path that didn't lead to the free agents list.
"The one thing I have that's unusual is that I've never come to a team where I get to pick every player," he said.
"I walked into this job and we didn't have anyone signed so, from day one, I got to pick each player individually. I decided not to go on the free agents list and guys that were on other teams, 27-28-year-old guys.
"I didn't re-sign guys like that and I didn't go for those players on Perth's list or United's list, I went young and long-term. They're hungry, they're excited, they want to prove themselves and there's that element to a lot of guys I've picked.
"Take the three guys that are from the team last year that I've selected and brought back, all three of them were affected last year by the LaMelo Ball situation. He was fantastic for the league and did a lot for basketball and Australia, but for those guys, a [Dan] Grida or a Naar, he stood in their box. He was there and the game was built around him and they sat and watched.
"Justinian Jessup is trying to get back into the NBA, the Warriors are watching that intently. Guys like Froling, they have not proven themselves in in this, they're nobody in the NBL. Deng Deng wasn't good enough to play at Sydney, he wasn't good enough to play at New Zealand and now he's hungry.
"[Deng] Adel needs a good year after it wasn't great from him last year with the two-way deal in the G-League. For him it's a very important time. That element runs right through this group and, believe me, I'm using that, myself included."
What he couldn't have known was how quickly the gamble on youth would pay off amid the chaos COVID has wrought on the beginning of the NBL season that's been plagued by false starts and false dawns.
The Hawks have been affected more than most, packing up and shifting to Albury on Boxing Day. Possible moves to Melbourne and Hobart didn't eventuate before they finally headed to Cairns ahead of their season-opener against Brisbane on Saturday.
It's nothing he could've been prepared for but having a young squad "with no baggage" has been a major plus through the tumult, and one he hadn't banked on.
"Something I've been preaching from day one is this is going to be a roller-coaster ride and challenging," Goorjian said.
"There's stuff coming at you every day. From having everyone's stuff in my room in the Mantra apartments and each day being told, today we may leave. All the guys are packed and ready, 'oh no, we're not leaving today'.
"We've had to move on the hop. When we got to Albury at the midpoint, are we going to Tasmania, are we going to Northern Territory? Now that I've gone through what I've gone through, I'm really fortunate on the decision I made.
"If you're 30 years old, you've played in the league for eights years and you're stuck in a room here in Albury with two kids and a wife... that's a different deal. With what's transpired, we're here under one roof, there's no wives, babies, these guys are all lean, mean, hungry.
"I did not take that into account, I had other reasons for making those [roster] decisions, but man that's been a huge benefit to what's gone on so far leading into the first game."
The enthusiasm an intensity comes down the phone, which is the only real means of talking in these COVID times. Even at 67, the new circumstances and heading up a new franchise has put a bolt of energy into a career that could easily have drifted into the sunset.
He certainly wouldn't have been criticised for taking that path, with many thinking his final season - and championship - with South Dragons in 2009 would be his last in NBL. He had his reasons for thinking the same.
Two championships from four grand finals in seven seasons with the original South East Melbourne didn't prevent a merger that "broke his heart" nor did three straight titles and five grand finals with the Kings prevent the club's collapse through the Firepower disaster.
When South Dragons folded on the back of a championship in its inaugural season - one year into his three-year deal - he headed to China. It offered bottomless coffers, and huge interest and certainty - things that had waxed and waned throughout his time in the NBL.
Given that experience, coming on board as the face of what's essentially a new franchise is a task he might struggle to find the stomach for, but he says it's the type of serendipity he's often enjoyed through his career.
"There were a lot of issues with me in Australia when I left," Goorjian said.
"The Boomers [coaching] finished up, we won the championship with the Dragons and the team no longer existed. The league was on a downer. So many aspects of what was missing in Australian basketball were satisfied when I was in China.
"Coaching Guangdong... it's like coaching Collingwood [in the AFL] but with a billion people. [The NBL's] not that, it's being on the floor, having total control and playing in such a strong competition. I was hungry for that again.
"I felt that and, once I've gotten on the floor, it was even more than I anticipated. A lot of things in life are timing and, I can't explain it, but I've always been blessed that way. This is right for me right now.
"I'm at an age where you can let this thing go, relax and play a different role or you can grab it with two hands and try and dominate each day. This gives me the opportunity to do that. I'm really energised by this thing, I feel a pressure in getting better every day and building this franchise.
"I'm nervous, I'm excited, all those emotions, I've got them. At this stage in my career, I haven't felt like this for a while."
What should read nicely for the Hawks faithful is the insistence that he's not in Wollongong for a swansong or super top-up. Having first shifted from his native California to play in Australia in 1977, captaining the Melbourne Tigers in the club's first NBL season in 1984, few are more aware of the Hawks place in history.
It's not something he'll readily cast off, but shedding the "battlers" tag is high on his agenda in the first of what's a two-year coaching deal.
"My feeling, truthfully, stepping into this is that [the franchise] had an era but it's been on a slide," Goorjian said.
"I had no players and I was out there recruiting and it was hard to get the guys that were here that could play back. I lost a couple. This was not a place or organisation that was kicking arse, it was in a hole.
"It does have a tradition and an image but we're starting fresh and new and I think you're going to see something different. It's always been the hard hat and guys punching above their weight but I'm trying to build something that's young and athletic and long-term, like a Perth.
"Two years from now, I want Deng Adel back in the NBA and the next player wants to come here. It isn't like that as we speak and that's what we're trying to build."
Will it come to quick fruition? Goorjian admits he's not sure, but his faith in his young group is unwavering, even if it hasn't featured highly in pundits championship predictions.
"There's not one team I look at and think 'we've got their number'," Goorjian said.
"On the flipside, there's an element of surprise [to us] and there's not one team I look at and think we can't pull their pants down and get one. Max Darling's 20, Sam Froling's 21, AK Gak's 18, this is not a team that's in its prime, but we can compete.
"I don't look at Perth or United and get intimidated by their staff or their team. I'm not an arrogant guy where I feel I'm better but I definitely feel I'm in a box where I can throw punches and deliver. But you've got to do it."
Amid all the disruption and curveballs tossed up so far in the preseason, Goorjian does retain a burning desire to put his team on the floor in Wollongong, where many fans are still wrestling with the controversial stripping of Illawarra from the team's name and logo.
They'll have to look on from afar in the interim, but Goorjian is confident his side is going to make it worth the wait when they do roll back into town.
"If we can get this team to be competitive and then get home and play on that home court, man that's exciting," he said.
"I can't wait to get down there because I was so excited for home games. Brendan [Joyce] and Gordie [McLeod] always told me what a great place it was, then I started living there [this year]. You go to practice and then you go the gym and then you walk down to the beach.
"You look up and there's that place [the WEC], you just think 'man getting that place full will be so great'. I keep thinking of our guys playing above the rim and blocking shots and running, really getting the place going and it's so exciting.
"You walk around the streets there just thinking about it. It's going to be down the road, but that day's going to come. I'm just hoping we can get some of these [early] road wins so those games, when we get to them, they matter."