Head Coach – Andrew Gaze
Andrew Gaze had a very promising first year as coach of the Sydney Kings. Under his leadership the culture of the team vastly improved and the win total more than doubled from the previous season, from 6 to 13. The team narrowly missed the playoffs but Gaze expects the side to go one, two or perhaps three steps better in 2017-18.
Two NBL Championships
All Time NBL Scoring Leader
All Time NBL Assists Leader
NBL Most Valuable Player 7 times (1991, 1992, 1994- 1998)
Voted NBL’s Greatest Player, 25th Anniversary Team
Udine, Italy (1991)
Washington Bullets, NBA (1994)
Apollan Patron, Greece (1995)
San Antonio Spurs, NBA (1999-2000)
NBA Champion (1999-2000)
Seton Hall University (1988-1989)
NCAA Runner-up (1989)
NCAA West Regional Tournament MVP (1989)
Basketball Australia Hall of Famer (2004)
Sport Australia Hall of Famer (2005)
FIBA Hall of Famer (2013)
Five Time Olympian (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)
All Time Olympic Games Scoring Leader
Melbourne Tigers, SEABL (2016)
Sydney Kings 2016-
Order of Australia (2002)
It’s quite the resume, isn’t it, for the twelfth head coach in the history of the Sydney Kings.
It all really got going for Gaze in 1984. That year he gained his first Olympic team selection as an 18 year old. He also took the NBL by storm, averaging a staggering 29.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest in his rookie season for his beloved Melbourne Tigers.
In the next 15 NBL seasons, Gaze never averaged below 30 points per game, and was incredibly efficient, shooting the ball at better than 50% from the floor every season from 1984 to 2000, a remarkable stat in itself.
In 1987, Andrew averaged an almost incomprehensible 44.1 points per game – setting the all-time NBL single season scoring record – and he broke the 50-point barrier on six occasions.
After a successful 1988 Olympics, where Australia achieved their best result to date, fourth place, Andrew was courted by family friend and Seton Hall University coach PJ Carlesimo to play a season for the Pirates in 1988-1989, given he had some college eligibility remaining.
He accepted, and led the small college in New Jersey all the way to the final game of the NCAA tournament, where they lost by a single point in overtime to Michigan.
Back home, Andrew would lead the Tigers to their first Grand Final in 1992, then the very next season captained Melbourne to their historic first championship win over the Perth Wildcats.
Another championship in 1997 followed, and it seemed the Andrew Gaze legacy was complete.
But still there was more.
After a brief stint with the NBA’s Washington Bullets in 1994, he was signed by the San Antonio Spurs for the 1999-2000 season, and although he saw little game time still earned himself an NBA Championship ring, becoming at the time only the second Australian to do so after Luc Longley’s three titles with the Chicago Bulls.
And then the event that capped off his phenomenal career – his selection, as a five-time Olympian, to captain the Australian Olympic Team and carry the flag at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Games.
When he finally retired in 2005, he had set NBL records that will likely never be approached, particularly his phenomenal scoring record of 18,098 points – over 5,000 points more than the legendary Leroy Loggins.
Since retiring, he has had an outstanding career in the media with Network Ten, Fox Sports and SEN Radio, has coached at a number of levels – including with the Melbourne Tigers in the SEABL competition – and led several NBL tours to China over the past few years.
Assistant Coach – Lanard Copeland
After an impressive contribution in year one, Lanard Copeland is all set for his second year as an assistant coach with the Sydney Kings. His ability to develop players, his basketball knowledge and his upbeat, positive attitude have all contributed to the strong Sydney Kings culture.
As a player Copeland is one of the greatest American players ever to come to the National Basketball League.
The graduate of Georgia State University arrived in Australia in 1992 and immediately took the league by storm, forging the greatest backcourt partnership in NBL history with the one and only Andrew Gaze and helping the Tigers to their first Grand Final appearance when they fell to the Brian Goorjian-led South East Melbourne Magic in a classic battle.
‘Copes’ would go one better the next season when he and Andrew overcame the Perth Wildcats to win the first NBL championship in Tigers’ history.
He would go on to win another title in 1997, also for the Tigers, and played a total of 449 games for Melbourne before closing his remarkable NBL career with brief stops in Brisbane and Adelaide.
He also has an NBA pedigree, playing for both the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers prior to his arrival on these shores, but it is with the NBL that he gained the most fame with his Grand Final Series Most Valuable Player award in 1997 and his two All-NBL First-Team nods in 1999 and 2002.
Since his retirement, he has emerged as a quality coach, having served as the assistant to Phil ‘The General’ Smyth at the ACB Academy before being named head coach of the Hume City Broncos in the Big V competition. In addition, he was the head coach of the Victorian State High School champions, Haileybury College, leading his charges to the 2014 title.
Assistant Coach – Luke Kendall
As a player Luke Kendall was part of the fabric of the Sydney Kings during its most successful era, winning a championship with the team in 2004. He proved to be one of the most proud and loyal players to pull on the purple and gold and is fondly remembered as such by the fans.
Kendall was a key figure in the Australian national team set up from 2004-2008, competing in the World Championships in 2006 and winning a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
In college, he won a national Division II NCAA title with Metro State College of Denver in 2002.
His main coaching influences are 6-time NBL championship winning coach Brian Goorjian and NBA & US college coach Mike Dunlap.
After retiring as a player Luke worked tirelessly to hone his coaching skills, and has mentored at a variety of skill and age levels. He won a championship as coach of the Sydney Comets in the Waratah League in 2015.
Luke personified what it meant to be a Sydney Kings player and, after excelling as development coach in 2016-17, the organisation is excited to see what he brings to the team as a full time assistant coach.