Andrew Gaze channels Paul Roos as the Sydney Kings set out to change their culture

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Culture comes first: Andrew Gaze is overhauling the Sydney Kings, on and off the court. Photo: Wolter Peeters In charge: Gaze takes control at Kings training. Photo: Wolter Peeters

杭州桑拿

New look side: Gaze with the new Kings. Photo: Chris Hyde

Passion for the game: Gaze is still as animated coaching as he was playing. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Andrew Gaze is not trying to win a championship. Well, not in his first year anyway.

One of the biggest names in Australian basketball is out to reform the Sydney Kings and rebuild the club, on and off the court, rather than simply putting together a team that will deliver instant gratification.

Modelling himself on legendary Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos, whose rejuvenation of the Swans in the mid-2000s led to the 2005 and 2012 premierships, as well as three other grand final appearances, Gaze is out to forge new ground for the glamour club of Australian basketball.

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Implementing the famous “no dickheads policy” that the Swans employed under Roos’ reign, Gaze has recruited a roster of big Australian names, such as Kevin Lisch, who will lead the team in 2016-17, while keeping only a few players from last season’s wooden-spoon side. Gaze has complemented the squad with two young Americans – Greg Whittington and Michael Bryson – who are fresh out of college.

The idea behind the recruitments is to forge a culture that puts the Sydney Kings first – and the individual second.

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The Kings recently returned from a four-game tour of China and have signed Bo Liu on a development contract; the first Chinese-born player to sign with an NBL team, reinforcing this relationship and the growing importance of Asian basketball.

And while the NBL has struggled with an “unhealthy” concoction of teams entering and exiting the competition, Gaze now believes the league is in a strong position.

He puts this strength down to one key element: uncertainty of outcome.

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