New Zealand Rumors
Marc Stein: The New Zealand Breakers, I’m told, have offered their vacant head coaching position to former Louisville coach Rick Pitino. The @NZBreakers play in Australia’s @NBL and their new American ownership has been pitching Pitino’s representative on the post this week.
A former NBA star and the co-owner of English Premier League club Swansea City are part of the new ownership group of the New Zealand Breakers, announced today. Long time club owners and directors Paul and Liz Blackwell today announced that a newly formed company, Breakers Basketball Ltd, will take control of the club from March 1, on the eve of the club’s eight appearance in 11 years in the NBL semifinals. The consortium is headed by former NBA player Matt Walsh, along with business partners Adam Goodman, Romie Chaudhari and NBA All-Star Shawn Marion.
Walsh will take a hands-on role in leading the club into the next phase of its development, with a strong focus on the commercial activities of the four-time championship winning club. He will relocate from the United States to work out of the club’s Auckland headquarters.
Henare was hopeful the Rotorua native would be available for New Zealand at next month’s Asia Cup in Lebanon where the Tall Blacks will make their debut in the new look FIBA Asia zone. However, Henare opted to go with youth for the tournament, deciding not to select any American based player for the tournament and go with young talent playing in New Zealand. As Adams was not selected, the seven-footer’s next chance to don the black singlet for the first time will have to wait until next year’s June-July international window. “I sat down with him (Steven) a few weeks back and he had a look at the program over the next few years,” Henare told Newshub.
Meanwhile, Adams is currently in the Philippines to help promote the NBA 3v3 tournament this weekend and told Philippines website the Rappler that the time has to be right to represent his country. “Yeah, definitely. When the time is right, I may be suiting up,” he told reporters in Manila on Tuesday “We’re just talking about when’s a good time because they understand my commitments with the NBA. Obviously, that comes first.”
On the most recent episode of “The Sidelines Podcast,” FS1 college hoops insider Evan Daniels welcomed Jamie Dixon, Adams’ former coach at Pitt, to the show, and one of the main talking points was Adams. Born in New Zealand and the youngest of 18 siblings, Adams definitely has an interesting background. And it was thanks to Dixon’s connections to Adams’ family that he was first discovered (the full audio is above): “I knew his brothers, played against his brothers, played with his brothers, down there believe it or not. He had some brothers who were substantially older than him, and that’s how I knew about him. And his coach was also a guy I played with, so yeah, it was all about the relationship, knowing him and knowing his brothers.