The Hawks held their official season launch on Wednesday but president Dorry Kordahi admits he still doesn't know how he got there.
Kordahi formed part of an ownership group with big plans that was awarded the Hawks license after the foundation club fell into administration last year, but just about all of its best-laid plans were thrown out the window by the COVID pandemic.
Still, just two days out from a season tip-off many times delayed, he says the most important things - the best coach of all time and an exciting young roster - are locked in.
"It's been the longest pre-season we've ever had, it's been a whirlwind, but we're excited to be here launching our season," Kordahi said.
"I don't even know how we did to be honest. You just have to roll with the punches. We are in a COVID year and it's something we were prepared for from the start, we weren't oblivious to the challenges that were going to be put in front of us. We know this is what we signed up for, it wasn't going to be easy, but we're excited to be where we are.
"There's been a massive amount of work done in a five-month period, it was a really tight time-frame to re-establish the club. What we've done in that period and what we've achieved, putting a quality roster on the floor, getting marquee players, players from overseas, some talented Australian players, establishing ourselves in the Illawarra region, it's a testament to our club, our supporters, our staff and our players for buying into it and where our club is going.
"We're excited to get the season underway now, we've had our first two games announced and we're excited to see this team on the road and start playing. It's probably the first time we've had a launch without the team there but these are unprecedented times, we just have to expect the unexpected."
The Hawks are currently based in Cairns and will open their season against the Bullets in Brisbane on Saturday. They'll fly back to Cairns for a Monday-night clash with the Taipans ahead of another trip to Brisbane next Thursday. Queensland is likely to remain their base prior to the NBL Cup which is set to take over Melbourne for a month come February 20.
"Our mindset right now is we're staying up in Queensland until we're told to move," Kordahi said.
"I'm speaking to Brian Goorjian every day and his mindset is 'we're staying up here' until it's time to move for the NBL Cup [in Melbourne in February]. If we get home prior to that, it's a bonus, but we're preparing to stay up in Queensland for the duration of this [pre-Cup] period."
The club also announced new corporate partnerships, with Exclusive Bus Hire - providing an eye-catching red Hawks bus - and new major sponsor Pepper Money.
"This is a great announcement for the Hawks and another huge endorsement for what we are trying to achieve as a club,' Kordahi said.
"We welcome a proud brand like Exclusive Bus Hire into our corporate family with open arms. This is another step in the right direction for the Hawks as we show the community we are serious about providing a professional environment for this team. We hope this bus will become an iconic fixture in the region as it drives our players to and from home games once we return to the Illawarra.
"Pepper Money is demonstrating great faith in us and the direction we are taking the club. We are excited to partner with them and build great synergies between our two organisations. This is a major announcement for the Hawks and a huge show of confidence from a well established and industry leading brand. It is one of the biggest investment in the club's history and another indication of how the narrative is changing around this franchise."