The Sydney Kings have made some huge import changes the past few weeks.
They let go of young guard Michael Bryson and swapped him with NBA veteran Steve Blake. That is one hell of a statement to make after they just recently added rugged NBA journeyman Josh Powell to the mix.
Looking at this formidable line-up here are five big reasons why the Sydney Kings are going to win the NBL championship this season.
Sydney’s new club owner and management have brought in the big guns. NBA stars Steve Blake and Josh Powell, Olympian Kevin Lisch, Boomers players Maric and Brad Newley, stud Greg Whittington, alongside holdovers Jason Cadee and Julian Khazzouh.
It’s a fact that stars deliver titles and the Kings look like the milky way galaxy right now. I haven’t seen a unit like this since the days of McClain, Uthoff, McClary, Keogh, Morrissey, Dalton brothers or the Brian Goorjian era.
2. ALL-NBL STARTING FIVE
Currently, they got Cadee at PG, Lisch at the two, Newley at SF, Whittingon at PF and Maric at the five. Blake and Khazzouh’s arrival will deliver a formidable unit that looks strong on paper. Which other NBL club can match up pound for pound against this star-studded lineup? Bring it on!
3. DEEP BENCH MOB
It’s a long season, but Kings management made a strong commitment to win. The Kings bench mob is stronger compared to last year. Former captain Tom Garlepp, Powell and sophomore Jeromie Hill are already coming off the bench. Blake and Khazzouh are expected to come in next week in the starting five, you got Cadee and Maric likely to go back to the bench. The Kings got plenty of fire power and blue-collar workers that can match up with other clubs. Solid.
4. WINNING ATTITUDE
Coaches Andrew Gaze, Lanard Copeland and Dean Vickerman, are both winners and extremely competitive.
From their Melbourne Tigers days, this trio knows what it takes to win. They are trying to build a winning culture that will make their players accountable, play for each other and take pride in the jersey and in the city they play for.
The training sessions would be something to watch with Gaze and Copes barking orders from the sidelines. Powell won rings with the LA Lakers, Newley won in Europe, while Blake knows what it takes to get the job done.
5. GREAT LEADERSHIP
Blake and Powell have played for some of the top NBA teams alongside some of the best NBA players. They bring in toughness, experience and leadership, something that you can’t always measure on a stat sheet or scoreboard.
Their addition will help elevate everyone’s game on and off the court. Veterans Newley and Maric bring more experience after recent stints in Europe. It’s a process and everyone is buying into the vision Gaze and company has put together. The expectations are heightened more when the calibre of NBA stars start leading the way.
Sydney is making all the right moves, and so far the results are showing. With eight new players in the squad, it may take more time to build chemistry. So far, so good.
With a 3-1 record in the first three weeks of the NBL season, there is a strong reason to believe that the Sydney Kings are going to be a title contender this season.
It’s a new day. A title beckons, Sydney is on its way.