Smith believes Kings will use FIBA break to their advantage
Written by Will Sumner
Paul Smith, co-owner and chairman of the Sydney Kings, featured as a guest on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sport Breakfast, where he reflected on Sunday’s loss to Melbourne, the FIBA break and how coach Mahmoud Abdelfattah has settled in the harbour city.
The Kings’ game against Melbourne was a thrilling contest, but one Sydney fans will be quick to forget about.
After leading by as much as 19, the Kings would go on to lose 105-93 following a 40-point fourth quarter by United and a 35-point scoring explosion by Chris Goulding, who made eight triples on his way to passing 6000 career points in the NBL.
“Physicality was a determining factor [in Sunday’s game]," said Smith.
Melbourne outrebounded Sydney (47-43) throughout the game, as well as outscoring them in both the paint (44-42) and in transition (17-6).
Smith stressed that it was 'not in our DNA to do that'.
After completing an epic comeback themselves the prior week against Brisbane, it was certainly uncharacteristic of Sydney to suffer a loss after being up for most of the game.
When asked if the Kings players and staff would quickly move on from Sunday night’s game, Smith said “normally, you would forget about it, but the [FIBA] break gives us time to reflect on it.
“We plan on using the FIBA break as a time to reassess and get ready for Perth”.
The Kings look to be prepared for next week’s contest against rivals Bryce Cotton and the Wildcats, but also acknowledge the importance of the break for their players to spend time with their families.
“[It's an] amportant time for the American imports to connect with their families over the Thanksgiving period," he said.
The Kings’ current roster features three US talents in Jaylen Adams, DJ Hogg and Denzel Valentine.
The Kings’ co-owner also emphasised the impact new head coach Abdelfattah has had on the players, coaching staff and fanbase in Sydney.
“[Mahmoud is] unbelievably disciplined and hard-working - he’s brought a whole new level of enthusiasm and insight [to the organisation]," Smith said.
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Also discussed was the Christmas night game against NSW rivals Illawarra, which is set to be played at Qudos Bank Arena.
"[There has been] lots of ticket sales and a strong interest surrounding the Christmas night game against Illawarra," he said.
“[Illawarra] is doing their best to move forward, doing what they need to do to be competitive again [moving forward]."
Tickets to the December 25 fixture are available here.