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As a young player, I never thought about the NBA.


Back then, no one except Andrew was really doing it. Only a handful of Aussies had walked that road before him and it wasn’t really on the radar. Honestly, I grew up mostly wanting to play for Australia. I dreamed of being a Boomer.


After a good stint in Townsville, the Houston Rockets took me in the 2007 draft with pick No.54, but they still had Tracy McGrady at that time, plus a couple of other good players including Shane Battier. It was a playoff-calibre roster and they didn’t have a spot for me, so they told me to go over and play in Greece.


I joined Panionios and then, before the Beijing 2008 Olympics, I signed a contract with another Greek team 10 minutes up the road, Panellinios. I wanted to play. I also wanted the security of an early deal, rather than waiting it out for an NBA contract. If it didn’t happen, I was at risk of getting stuck signing somewhere for a quarter of the money Panellinios had tabled.


So, that’s how my NBA experience worked out. You have your regrets, but it is what it is. I’ll live with it.


As a young player, I never thought about the NBA. Back then, no one except Andrew was really doing it. Honestly, I grew up mostly wanting to play for Australia.


One thing I’m proud of is that by getting drafted out of the NBL, I played a part in putting Aussie boys on the radar again in the States. Andrew, obviously, made a massive impact in that regard when he earned the 2005 No.1 draft pick and went on to become an NBA champion.


Who knows – maybe I was before my time, as far as the style of play in the NBA went. If I’d come up in the draft amid the current trends – a big emphasis on shooting and defending multiple positions – maybe things would have played out differently.


Then again, perhaps not. When you get over there and play against the US guys, they’re just that little bit longer, that little bit more athletic. I was a great athlete at that age, but those American NBA-calibre guys are off the charts.


And honestly, I’ve got no real regrets. I’ve been to two Olympics, three World Cups and two Commonwealth Games. My kids, Beth (five) and Charles (eight months) got to watch me win a gold medal at Gold Coast 2018 and my wife, Brigid, was also there to see the 2006 Comm Games win in Melbourne. I’ve been lucky enough to win plenty of gold with Boomers teams.


I’m not hanging my head about what I’ve done in my career, by any means.


Now, it’s all about winning a championship with the Sydney Kings. And I had some great times playing club basketball in Europe.





The head coach of Panionios was Minas Gekos – a really nice guy. When I arrived in 2007, he explained that Greek basketball was a tough place, telling me, ‘If you can make it in Greece, you can make it anywhere.’ He also told me, ‘This ball can take you so many places.’


Poor old Minas – we lost our first game and he got the flick!


They brought in a Bosnian head coach, Nenad Markovic, and in his first game, I shot eight of eight from three. That was my introduction to Greek basketball. I loved my time there.


I was fortunate enough to play in a number of strong European leagues: Greece, Turkey and Lithuania. But Gran Canaria in the Spanish league truly became my home.


Honestly, I’ve got no real regrets. I’ve been to two Olympics, three World Cups and two Commonwealth Games.


I moved to Spain at the end of 2011, after getting an offer to play for Valencia. I stayed there for six months in a back-up role on a very established team; scrapping it up on D, having a crack on offence.


Leading into the London 2012 Olympics, once again I didn’t have a contract. I’d even spoken to Adelaide about coming back to the NBL. I was waiting, waiting to lock something in … then Granca came to me and said, ‘We’re interested in signing you, we like the way you’re going.’


I thought about it. Granca weren’t in the EuroLeague, so I was settling for playing only in the Spanish League. I said yes and before you know it, we’re playing in the final of the Euro Cup two years later.


I’m really proud of my time with Granca; the club has come so far. The boys just kicked off their EuroLeague campaign, having qualified for the 2018-19 competition. Granca gave me some of the favourite moments of my career, on and off the court.



I rocked up there with one bag, one backpack. I left with seven bags, a wife and a daughter. Having supported me throughout my career in Europe, Brigid and I got married back in Australia while I was with Granca and we had our little girl, Beth – on a game day.


Beth was born during the first half of a home game against UCAM Murcia in 2013. I was at the hospital with Brigid as we welcomed her into the world, but Granca’s GM sent me a message at halftime, asking me it I could come and play because they were trailing.


Brigid gave the all clear, so I rocked up midway through the third-quarter, when we were down by six. The crowd loved it – and we went on a 24-2 run to win 86-69.


It was the most amazing day of my life.


This year, we had Charles. Brigid has done a fantastic job looking after us all as I’ve focused on my job as a basketball player. We love her for that. She’s been such a key part of my life.





Coming back home was interesting, having played as an import for so long.


After signing with Sydney, I asked, ‘Do you guys have my apartment and car?’


‘Nah – you’re not an import anymore, mate! You’ve got to get it yourself.’


‘What are you talking about?!’


After a little more explanation, I went, ‘OK, I suppose – you’re paying me that money, I should probably use it.’


Brigid and I felt like we were 20 years old. We didn’t know where to start, but we set up our house in Sydney and it’s been a lot of fun. Beth will start school here next year, Charles was born here, so he could be a NSW Blues front-rower! Though I’d prefer him to play for the Swannies or Giants, to be honest – or even better, my Carlton boys.


If everyone brings their best for the Sydney Kings this season, we’ve got a great chance to win the team’s first NBL championship since 2005.


On the court, there have been great moments but also plenty of downs. Sydney can be a tough place to play, with so many professional sporting teams competing for interest, and we haven’t yet had the results that we want.


I think Kings fans have embraced me because I have a crack. It’s the universal way to earn respect. I’ve embraced them back.


We’re only now starting to see what we could become at the Sydney Kings. This is a good roster on paper, there’s no hiding from that. It’s just a matter of putting it out on the floor.


Our Round 1 opponents, the Adelaide 36ers, are a team I really respect – their roster may not look the greatest, but they play a great brand of basketball. They really have a go.


Daniel Kickert is a great signing for us – you know exactly what you’re going to get out of Kicks. He plays hard, he opens the game up for others, he’s a brilliant shooter. He brings character and quality.



For the first time in my career, I didn’t play through the off-season. I stayed home and worked on strengthening my body, while also enjoying some time as a regular bloke who doesn’t play basketball every day.


With a loaded roster – Bogut, Kicks, Jerome Randle, Kevin Lisch, David Wear, plus some very good guys off the bench – I’m certainly not taking the mindset that the pressure is off me to be a big contributor. I’ll be going harder, if anything. But there will be beneficial changes, with so many weapons at our disposal.


I’ll have slightly fewer minutes, and that’s a big thing for me at 33 years old. Less minutes early in the game mean I can play harder later in the game.


That’s an exciting thing. It’s been great doing it in pre-season and now it’s time to carry it into the real stuff.


If everyone brings their best for the Sydney Kings this season, we’ve got a great chance to win the team’s first NBL championship since 2005.


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