Earlier this year
'Home' for Brian would be the US, wouldn't it?
That aside, unless he has markedly changed his approach to the game since he last coached in the NBL I hope he gets nowhere near the league again.
I honestly believe the 'Goorgianisation' of the league was one of the factors that contributed to its decline in popularity and in my opinion the last thing the sport - or the league - needs at this stage of its re-emergence is another dose of his cynical 'foul and just keep on fouling until the refs come to accept it as OK' philosophy.
Can you imagine what the game would be like with a coach taking that approach with the current batch of referees?
However, if, as I think someone suggested a while ago, he has moved away from that approach to place higher value on offence and - in my opinion - to show more respect for the game, he could be a valuable asset, whether in Sydney or somewhere else.
Actually, might be interesting to see if he could actually manage Bogut, who this season seemed to be a law unto himself and to show a distinct lack of interest when under any sort of pressure. Not something the Goorgian of a couple of decades ago would accept, I suspect.
Earlier this year
The race for the next Sydney Kings coach has been blown wide open with the franchise's most successful coach Brian Goorjian indicating a desire to return from China and reconnect with the club.
Goorjian guided the Kings to three NBL championships in four seasons between 2002 and 2005.
Sydney became the first NBL team to win three consecutive titles.
Good times: Sydney Kings captain Shane Heal and coach Brian Goorjian show off championship trophy in 2003. Picture: Stephen Cooper
Goorjian also claimed his record fifth Coach of the Year award after steering the Kings to 27-3 record during the 2007-2008 regular season.
The highly respected former Boomers mentor has spent the past decade in China coaching different teams in division one.
After leaving Australia, Goorjian took charge of the Dongguan Leopards (now known as the Schenzen Leopards), making the finals in each of his five seasons.
He spent two years with the Shanghai Sharks from as their associate coach, having held a similar role with the Guangdong Tigers prior to that.
That role included player development, talent identification, scouting and game analysis.
Goorjian is highly paid in China but it’s understood he has a desire to return to Sydney.
The Kings are on the lookout for a new coach after parting ways with Andrew Gaze after three seasons.
Sydney coach Andrew Gaze will cut ties with the club after three seasons. Picture: Brett Costello
Former Illawarra coach Rob Beveridge has been heavily linked to Sydney given his strong
relationship with Andrew Bogut and Brad Newley from the 2003 Junior World Championships in Greece.
Beveridge coached the Australian Emus to the Gold medal while Bogut was named tournament MVP.
Beveridge has also coached Kings skipper Kevin Lisch at Perth and Illawarra.
Despite this, Sydney officials have indicated they will go through a process of multiple interviews before appointing a new coach.
Goorjian’s successful links with the Kings place him in a strong position.
Goorjian guided the Kings to three NBL championships in four seasons between 2002 and 2005.Uh...what?
It's technically true, depending on how you're defining your years, but that's a strange way to describe a three-peat given his tenure was longer than four seasons.
I'd take Bevo over Goorj
Goorj could bring immediate success. But so could Bevo. And you've got a much better chance of having a 10 year coach with Bevo.
Gleeson and the Cats is the current blueprint. Team oriented Aussies who aren't necessarily stars who might be tempted by Europe, but are good role players and contribute immensely to the teams success. Eg Martin, perfect NBL player really.
Top it off with elite imports.
Sydney is behind the 8 ball, as they have an older group and the best younger Aussie prospects Kay and McCarron are locked up long term (players in the Damien Martin, role player or good player mould who may be quality NBL mainstays, but without the talent/tools to have NBA ambitions like a Mitch Creek).
But Bevo will attract and develop the right players in the medium term, and with those sort of resources behind him Bevo will develop a consistently successful program like we're seeing with Perth and now United
NBL can't afford to let him back,pretty sure Sydney disappeared after he left,pretty much like every other team he coached in the NBL,at what price does it come to the league,this season has been a ripper,apart from losing momentum going into semi finals,I would hate the league to go back to losing sides after title runs,yes he can coach but we don’t need him back, and won’t be sad to see Joey Wright go either,petulant child that he is,
The people in this thread who are criticizing Goorjian are missing the point
The game is reffed differently now. Goorj would have to adapt.
Goorjian pushed the boundaries and tested the refs to see how far he could go. This is what successful coaches do
If you took a video of the Spurs from 2005, you'd think damn, I don't wanna see that basketball
The Spurs of today and the past few years are vastly different. But they've remained successful and Pop remains a great coach
I suspect Same will be true of Goorj.
Supposedly the deal is already done for our new coach? Depending on who you ask, its either Nielsen or Bevo.
I'm unsure whether Goorj would be a goodthing. Would his bullying style work in today's league? If you're saying he have to adapt then what exactly is he bringing? A record of winning with a coaching style that no longer works, and game plan he can nolonger implement.
Bevo would be good, but I'm excited about the prospect of Nielsen. He's definitely the future, and apparently has done really good work in Perth.
Earlier this year
Yeah, blaming Goorj for the Dragons and Firepower Kings disappearing is just plain ignorant... There will be talks of "he comes with a high price tag" stuff like the best trainers and supplements or whatever, but in this day and age, surely that is less different than in the past...
I've been wanting Goorj back ever since the Kings returned to the league and especially the last three seasons under Gaze, but when faced with a choice between him and Bevo, it is actually more difficult than I would have thought...
Like LV said above, with Bevo, there's a serious chance, if management don't stuff things up, that Bevo could be at the team very long term, which is great for us... If they give him the reigns and JvG is disappeared and never heard from again and he can recruit his team, a not-bandaid-fix approach is taken, then it has the potential to be a Wildcats-style era... Especially if key veterans are retained to help ease in the incoming young talent...
Bevo is still a significant drawcard for talent and is respected enough that veterans will listen to him, he won't take shit from anyone, and can identify young talent for the longer vision...
Bevo is the only one that I would take over Goorj, so if that works out, awesome... Kings diehard fans will be a bit butthurt if a choice was made like that, but long term, there will be wins and a better chance of championships than they've seen in many years, so they'll get over it...
If it IS Goorj though, the pressure will be on... He's been coaching in a very different league since, and the NBL has definitely stepped up it's game, even if the officiating has taken a turn for the worse... Already there are the calls of "there'll be immediate success" so expectations will be high again, just like when Bogut came onboard, so much so that even making the Semi's (and sure, getting swept) has been seen as a failure... I can't help but smile when I picture BG back in Kings colours again, but is it best for the team long term?
Is it too greedy to wonder if they could sign both? Has the head coaching gig been a bit stressful for Bevo? Would taking an assistant role in a big organisation with the budget to contend not really be a step back, but considering his statements at the end of the season of questioning whether or not he'd even be coaching next season, or want to be, actually be a relief? Allow him to utilise his talents and even then contend for the Boomers HC gig to replace LePenis? Seems a bit greedy, but having his huge skillset would be of value to the Kings and also not have all the pressure placed on him and allow him to maintain a healthy work/life balance and even go for national team duties without that "our head coach is off doing national team stuff" issues for the team as well...
How does goorjian make teams fold? It is the owner's responsibility to keep the club running well. If he has expensive demands that would put the club's finances in jeopardy then the owner should learn how to say no. Goorjian doesn't control the team's finances so don't blame him.
Should Goorjian return he would be the best coach in our league, by a long shot. No disrespect to the others but should he return, whomever he coaches will instantly be a title contender.
LV is right when stating that his style was predicated upon the way the game was officiated and played. 15 years ago the physical contact on defense, especially high on the floor and off the dribble was much more acceptable than today. The modern game has followed the European game which always refereed contact off the dribble harshly since the 90's.
Don’t forget Goorjian would’ve coached with and against many ex-nba’ers in that league tougher than we have in the nbl due to the better $ on offer. The likes of Tracy McGrady, etc. In fact I recall him saying on a podcast a couple of years ago he had to develop a comedown strategy against postups (double teaming) in China due to the ex nba talent whereas in Oz he never really bothered with that just yoyo’d the ballside wing defender.
Earlier this year
If Bevo really is your back-up option, you'd have to be very happy with the choices as a Kings fan.
"Allow him to utilise his talents and even then contend for the Boomers HC gig to replace LePenis?"
Not that I want to get rid of Lemanis from the Boomers job, but it does seem like a sensible solution for the Boomers coach to moonlight as an NBL assistant, rather than the heavy load of a head coach.
It would be interesting to know what Lemanis thinks about the workload of leading the university games team, the NBL Boomers in the Commonwealth Games, the NBL Boomers in the Asia Cup, the mostly-NBL Boomers in each qualification window, the real-Boomers in major tournaments, while also acting as a head coach of an NBL team. That's a lot of different teams in a short time, often shuffled throughout the year, with several completely different rosters to manage. All that time the Boomers coach would also be expected to keep in contact with our A-team players, so that sensitive players like Simmons want to commit to the national team. I suspect think people underestimate the amount of preparation that Lemanis is required to do to do his job properly, yet he has still produced good results throughout.
If Lemanis wants a rest, I'd be targeting Bevo if I were BA.
"Pretty courageous/stupid move"
Oh yeah, Kings would NEVER do that. (facepalm)
As somebody said before, it all comes down to JVG. Picking Nielsen fits his style. Just can't seen him and Goorj fitting their heads in the same room.
If Sydney gets rid of him, and still has the money, then Goorj would be a good fit. But what of the rumours that the money is drying up?
Any halfway capable coach would have won a championship with this lineup - do we really need to shell out the big bucks for Goorj?
Kings have a lot of talent yes, but didn't have any balance to their lineup.. for example who was their defensive stopper? If you look at championship teams of any level there are core players and role players filling different roles and intermeshing with each other seamlessly.. the wildcats would be an example of a much better balanced team albeit less talented.
The Kings look like they were selecting a fantasy team putting this lineup together but forgot only one ball is allowed on the court during a game. Less is more in their case and any experienced coach including Goorjian or Bevo understand this well.
It was still an excellent roster and if they were playing their best basketball at the right time of the season they could have challenged for a title but to claim that they were show-ins for the title under any decent coach is ridiculous not to mention insulting to Melbourne's roster which is arguably the best in NBL history. That last part I am not going to argue now because the season is not over but I am tipping that the next couple of weeks will only strengthen my argument on it.
Earlier this year
He does make a valid point. Melb could arguably have the best team in history.
It wouldn't be a good argument. And would be easy to shut down. Because it's just not true, not even close to being true.
But that doesn't mean the argument can't be had.
Yeah, some people be tripping on drugs.
Kings easily had the best lineup, by far. In fact they had the best lineup before adding Bowen.
Sure there was no balance or cohesion, but thats down to the Coach.
Give this year's lineup to Goorjen and he wins a ring, but the same ould be true if you ave it to Bevo or even Joey. Nielsen I'm not so sure about, but he certainly has the credentials.
United doesn't have the greatest roster of all time. I’m not sure who was the greatest roster, but I’d be pretty confident it’s not United.
Their frontcourt doesn’t even have one elite player.
Yes, Boone was all NBL last year. And I’m hoping he plays the finals like he played last season. But he appears to have slowed a little this year and has no longer consistently looked an elite NBL big. In Game 1 of the semis he was brilliant, but that’s been an occasional thing- not the norm, like it was last season.
Sometimes the best rosters on paper don’t achieve results.
If I look through the Melbourne Tigers history (and the last few years of United) the best roster was probably 2004/05.
But they didn’t even make the semi finals.
Bradtke- the best big man in the comp (2005 was the last of his 10 all NBL 1st team selections)
Tucker (Signed mid way through season)- who had 6 triple doubles the previous season with Perth
Gaze- who was still one of the best pure scorers in the NBL
D-Mac- who had plenty left in the tank, as he proved in the Westover era when he made all NBL teams and won a championship as the starting point guard
Then Copeland, Hoare, Stiff, Mottram, Corletto. Definitely the deepest team the Tigers ever had.
The problem was all in the coaching and setup.
I am used to people underrating Boone but I'm not used to his own fans doing it. Maybe he is not 'elite' but if he out plays someone who is elite then that's just as good if not better. I'm not sure what your point is in naming a collection of players who were all good at some point but not the year in question. If your point is to prove that names don't equal results then I agree.
Well that's what "greatest roster" means doesn't it? Greatest collection of individuals
Of course, anyone who's been following basketball for more than 5 minutes (or any sport) knows it's about having the pieces working together well, moreso than a talented bunch of individuals. Great teams are generally both. A champion team rather than a team of champions and all that
Boone looks a bit slower, has looked like he's struggling with his body at times- hopefully his body can back up from these finals games- Game 1 finishes after midnight Melbourne time Friday night, then a long flight Saturday.
Last year he was the best 5 man in the comp. This year Bogut and Long were a "long" way ahead, pardon the pun. Boone's production dropped. That's not underrating Boone- it's just stating reality.
Boone brought his best to game 1 of the semis and turned the tables on Bogut. Hopefully his body's right and he brings his best in the GF.
Copeland was way past his best and should've been used as a pinch hitter for 15 minutes off the bench.
Bradtke and D-Mac were still great players - as they proved the next couple of years, D-Mac under Westover and Bradtke in Brisbane.
(There was talk D-Mac was suffering Osteistis Pubis during his first year or two with the Tigers, so maybe that particular year he was a bit off. So maybe they were load managing him).
Gaze was obviously slow on the defensive end, but as a pure shooter and pure scorer he was still right up there with the best in the NBL.
The problems were, in no particular order:
- Lindsay's favoritism - watching Copes in the starting 5 throwing up bricks every night while Tucker played like 10 minutes a game was truly an awful experience as a long time Tigers fan. One, because of the wasted season and two, it soured my memory of the great Lanard Copeland (and the great Lindsay Gaze- who in my view, coached a year or two too long).
- Related to the first issue- running the same plays the Tigers had run for 15 years, when personnel had aged and new people were in the team.
With another coach that 2005 Tigers team would’ve been in the grand final. That was a great lineup.
Gaze didn't play well after the 2002 season (I think it was) where he injured his ankle. He lost a step, stopped getting calls, overheld the ball and didn't defend. Copeland was well past his best, and Bradtke, while still good, wasn't the dominant factor he had been.
I'm not saying the roster was bad, it still should have made playoffs, but it doesn't deserve to be anywhere near discussions for the best roster ever.
They had an elite big in Bradtke- with a strong group of role players around him in Hoare, Stiff, Mottram. Rebounding, rim protection, genuine size- in the days when those things mattered even more than they do now.
They had a very good forward/wing rotation- with Tucker and DT being a pair of athletic forwards with complementary skill sets.
Gaze and D-Mac in the backcourt- with Copes and a young Corletto also. Talk about their age all you want, but I repeat that D-Mac's efforts under Westover proved he was still one of the better guards in the NBL. D-Mac dominated CJ Bruton in the 2006 finals and was arguably almost as important as Anstey to that Tigers championship team.
Gaze was Gaze- even at 39. Yes, he was never the same after the injury in 2001/02. Agreed. But he was the favourite for MVP in 2001/02 before getting injured! So that’s not saying much! He still had all the crafty cuts, the veteran moves, and could shoot with the best of them. I think he finished 6th in the NBL scoring in 2004/05. As I said, Copeland was well and truly past it by 2004/05, and no longer deserved to be starting. But even he lasted a couple more years with Brisbane and Adelaide. Corletto was ready to contribute by that stage.
Don’t forget, the majority of that team went on to win the championship the next season. Most of that team went to 2, 3 or even 4 straight grand finals. Yes, Anstey was added to the mix. But they already had the best 5 man in the NBL (Bradtke). Him, Gaze, and Copeland all left.
They had inside and outside scoring, rebounding. They had creators like Tucker and D-mac, they had pass first team guys like Hoare. Guys who need the ball to be effective, guys who didn’t. The only elite individual defender was DT but plenty of decent defenders too. They had everything they needed to win a championship. Except a good system and a good coach.
Earlier this year
I'm closer to LV on this one re: the 2004/05 Tigers being deep. While Gaze and Copeland were well off their peak, the depth on the team was outstanding. Lindsay had been struggling for several seasons, especially with respect to using depth. Anyone who had followed the NBL knew the way Lindsay overplayed starters and always underutilised his bench. He was set in his ways overplaying Copeland and Gaze, while not taking advantage of players like Dmac and Tucker. The argument that they lacked two-way players only applies because of this mismanagement of players like Gaze and Copeland. Defensive talent was there. Bradtke was still arguably the best centre in the league, then you had an elite defender in Thomas, the always underrated Hoare, offensively and defensively, Stiff was a winner, and Corletto could've probably had a more notable career on another team. LV's point about having coaching and a system to take advantage of talent is not better illustrated than on this team. Look what happened to the team in subsequent seasons under a different coach. The Kings pre-Goorjian can demonstrate it well too.
So many memories.
Poor personnel selections is a different thing, but just as frustrating as a fan.
Which Tigers fan could forget that ridiculous season where the club spent an inordinate proportion of their salary cap bringing together a bunch of 7 footers in Luke Nevill, Wade Helliwell and Matt Burston, which they somehow thought would work with their number one prize recruit Cam Tragardh. Hmmmmm.... Tragardh at small forward lasted about one quarter.
They supplemented this lumbering group with a pair of tiny, ball dominant American guards, turning the whole season into a tragic comedy.
Then there was the 2009 season, where I still believe the failed Barlow- the-Magic-Johnson experiment cost the Tigers the championship.
By the time the coaching staff cottoned onto what a horrendous idea that was, and signed Kendall as a back up point guard and releasing Barlow back to a suitable role, the damage was done.
The Tigers and Dragons were and shoulders the best two teams. They played each other twice on the eve of the playoffs and then in the best of 5 grand final. Tigers won the 3 games at The Cage and Dragons won the 4 at Hisense. The Dragons were 18-2 at Hisense arena that year, and Tigers were something like 62-12 overall across the previous 4 seasons at The Cage. It was the Tigers poor start due to poor personnel decisions that allowed the Dragons home court advantage.
Which Tigers fan could forget that ridiculous season where the club spent an inordinate proportion of their salary cap bringing together a bunch of 7 footers in Luke Nevill, Wade Helliwell and Matt Burston, which they somehow thought would work with their number one prize recruit Cam Tragardh.The 30-turnover game vs Perth that year was truly hilarious to watch.
This thread has me reminiscing about the many great trials, tribulations, victories and spoils of the two decade long battle between Goorjian and the Tigers
So many great moments I can recall
Easter 2002, Copes and Hoges turned the clock back after Gazes injury, Hoges won MVP but Tigers were expected to be bundled out of the playoffs by the minor premier Titans. Tigers finished 6th I'm fairly sure, old system was 1 vs 6
Copes torched the highly rated Titans for 37 points and got the series to a deciding game. I was away- Before smart phones and I didn't even have a mobile. Returned home from camping 3 hours away in the middle of nowhere, walked into Hisense Arena during the 2nd quarter of the final game.....
Tigers up by 20 odd. 44 24 I think
What a feeling
Earlier this year
That 30 turnover game was indeed hilarious, almost as hilarious as the decisions behind that roster. Who were the two import guards again, one was that Syracuse guard from memory that I believe ended up in the NZBL, and a sub-6 foot PG who I can't recall.
Earlier this year
It's interesting how many of the imports from that era - where you were basically allowed to mug guards in the NBL - that were considered poor players out here as a result, have gone on to very solid European careers. The quality of players in the league at that time was sold short by how physical the game was.
I was away- Before smart phones and I didn't even have a mobile
n00b. I used to have people call me with results on landlines. Most surprising result via phone was while in Europe getting a call that the Wildcats won their elimination final against Brisbane in 2006.
Earlier this year
Was the NBL considered more physical than Europe a decade ago? I really only started watching European basketball 5-6 years ago, but I know my impression of Euro ball in general has always been that it's physical.
Fresh out of college is a real gamble for import PGs. For every Wilbekin there's a dozen TJ's or Scoochies. Not bad players, but in need of seasoning before they're NBL-ready. I've been following Kendrick Perry since he left the Kings and he's put together a nice run of years and is now over in Russia doing well. Looked mostly just like an Athlete in Sydney but he's developed nicely.
The wildcats in 2006 playoffs vs Brisbane instituted a new offense they had been secretly working on for a couple of weeks prior.. as such the caught Brisbane and Wollongong unaware in sudden death finals. Looked similar to what a couple teams were doing at the 2004 Olympics. They went on to give a very good eventual champion Melbourne Tigers led by Ansett a run for their money in the best of 3 semi's. From memory a late three if made by Peter Crawford could’ve stolen a game they lost.
From memory again, that was the Grace, Ronaldson, Roswell Ellis lineup wasn't it? I really liked Rosell Ellis, they were going to cut him and he comes up with something like a 37 point, 20 rebound game- was either that year or the year before. Smashed a few too may brain cells to remember exactly almost 15 years ago
It's been way too long but I do remember Ellis was a player who was very honest effort wise. The season where Ellis and Ontario Lett were our imports highlighted this - like chalk and cheese those two - Ellis was the ultimate hustle guy who would sacrifice his body and dive onto the floor to save a possession while Lett was fat and would just stand there. The game that really showcased this was one vs. Tigers at the Cage. Weird I can remember that game vividly but the rest is a blur now. That '06 playoff game I only watched on replay after arriving back home knowing the score so can't recall too much, maybe didn't pay attention that much since it wasn't live.
I never said what year the game featuring Rossel's hustle was from? The 2006 comment made was to JR about the Bullets elimination final discussed earlier, not this Tigers win.
Look at that hustle. Funny how I could picture Ellis' hustle play in my head but forgot what happened straight after.
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