'Unfinished business' drives Adams going into NBL24
He was the league’s MVP and a huge part of the Sydney Kings’ success in NBL22, but according to CEO Chris Pongrass, one thing still weighs on Jaylen Adams’ mind – not getting to play on the final night of the season.
A hamstring injury kept Adams out for games two and three of the Championship Series, and while it certainly didn’t undermine his incredible season, it left the now 27-year-old with “unfinished business”.
Now back for his second stint at the club, the star guard is key to the Kings’ chances of claiming a rare three-peat.
“He [Adams] won it, but he wants to be the one to win it himself,” Pongrass said on the ‘Road Back to the NBL Summit’.
“I think he has some unfinished business not being able to play in that [NBL22] grand final series.”
Kings CEO @chrispongrass discusses the signings of @10jadams, @denzelvalentine and @Dj_hogg1, during part four of the club's #NBL24 off-season docu-series 'The road back to the @NBL summit'.— Sydney Kings (@SydneyKings) September 6, 2023
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Adams averaged an impressive 20.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and six assists in his one season in the NBL, before stints in the ABA League and in China.
Now he’s back for another shot at the title.
“We wanted JA back from the second he landed two seasons ago,” Pongrass said.
“When the opportunity presented himself we jumped straight in. We wanted to make sure this was the only destination ... if he was ever coming back to the league, this is where he was going to play.
“He is a proven commodity and fan-favourite in this league. We built a level of trust with him that he can come in and be a leader on this team, command the game.
“What he can bring on the court is he impacts winning at the highest level.”
Adams joins 256-game NBA veteran Denzel Valentine and former Cairns Taipans star and All-NBL Second Team member DJ Hogg as the Kings’ imports for NBL24.
Xavier Cooks, DJ Vasiljevic, Justin Simon, Tim Soares and Derrick Walton Jr. are among the key names to have departed from last year’s roster, but Sydney has also been able to bring in valuable NBA experience with the addition of Jonah Bolden, as well as exciting prospect Alex Toohey, who is part of the NBL’s Next Stars Program.
The Kings' season tips off against Illawarra on September 30, with the game live on ESPN.