BRIAN Goorjian has made his thoughts known, but the NBL has tempered calls for an immediate restoration of the 'Illawarra Hawks' saying their position hasn't changed despite the legendary coach's passionate call on Thursday night.
Goorjian caused a stir with his vehement call to see 'Illawarra' re-instated on the club's logo after it was stripped by the NBL in granting the new ownership group the franchise license last year.
"I've been thinking about it and, I've been around Chuck Harmison, Greg Hubbard, Glen Saville, Mat Campbell... these guys have earned that right," Goorjian said.
"They're Illawarra and we're Illawarra. I'm feeling that strong about it now. I've been around the block and that [Illawarra] community's special.
"It's been around longer, we've been around longer, than [Perth's] Red Army. It's time. We want to come back, we want them to fill that stadium and we want to hear 'Illawarra, Illawarra'."
The hard and fast stipulation that the new ownership drop the name has been roundly criticised, in the Illawarra and beyond, but NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger says the league has not yet seen enough to warrant a reversion to the foundation Illawarra Hawks brand.
"Last November the Hawks approached the NBL and expressed their desire to restore the club's name to the Illawarra Hawks," Loeliger said in a statement.
"The NBL indicated to the Hawks that we were prepared to consider this request if there was sufficient support from the Illawarra community to make the club a viable proposition into the future in the local market.
"Our position has not changed. We have the utmost faith in the new owners and the work they are doing to build a successful club. They have brought back the NBL's most successful coach Brian Goorjian and enjoyed their best start to a season on the court since 2013.
"However, as the new owners have also indicated, the club needs to build a long-term and sustainable future. They have set a bold membership target as part of their 'Illawarra Proud' campaign and are working closely with the local business community to get behind the foundation club.
"We fully support their efforts and encourage everyone across the Illawarra region to support the Hawks. We will continue to monitor the club's progress and work closely with the Hawks ownership to ensure their long term viability and success."
For the league, sufficient support amounted to 4379 members, a target it set the club in November when approached about re-instating the region on the logo.
The ownership group, led by co-owner and president Dorry Kordahi, have looked multiple strategies and have secured Pepper Money as major sponsor.
The club pulled off another major coup in bringing Multi Civil and Rail back on as a sponsor this week on the back of an impressive 3-0 start to the season.
MCR's return is a major development given former MCR boss Tory Lavalle had previously launched an unsuccessful ownership bid involving former Hawk and current Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball.
MCR had been the Illawarra Hawks major sponsor and financial backer, and Lavalle said at the time of being overlooked by the NBL that he remained open-minded to staying on board in some capacity.MCR to adorn the back of the Hawks playing strip.
"Once again, this is a massive endorsement for what we are trying to achieve with this basketball club," Hawks president and co-owner Dorry Kordahi said.
"We welcome MCR to our stable of corporate partners with open arms and can't wait to share the journey with them this season.
"The team at MCR has long supported The Hawks and basketball in this region, so it's fitting we partner up once again and embark on this exciting new chapter in Hawks history together.
"I know [MCR operations manager] Alin [Finna] and the team are huge Hawks fans and passionate advocates for the local community, two qualities we love and admire."