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Opals need our own 'LaBron'


THE Opals need a new coach and direction and at the helm should be our own Australian "LaBron", Sandy Brondello.

Basketball Australia is advertising for a new coach to succeed Brendan Joyce and Brondello for some time has been its "priority pick". 

But as BA chief executive Anthony Moore explained today: "We want to see who is out there."

Dual-WNBL championship-winning head coach Chris Lucas and former Opals boss Tom Maher will likely be among the candidates, along with most of the female coaches in our league, such as Cheryl Chambers, Larissa Anderson and rookie Claudia Brassard.

Frankly, a male presence on the staff and possibly an immediate past-player such as Penny Taylor - think Luc Longley in the Boomers' program - would make a great deal of sense. Michele Timms' presence also would be a positive.

But Brondello (pictured), already a WNBA championship-winning coach with Phoenix Mercury and a league Coach of the Year, has to remain BA's target.

On the Boomers' front, Moore said BA planned to have its coach in place by May 1.

That said, reliable sources maintain Andrej Lemanis is all-but-officially-confirmed to continue in the head coach role.

Lemanis' Rio Olympic team fell a field goal short of beating Spain for the Bronze Medal, losing by one point in a highly controversial and deflating finish.

Andrew Bogut, injured in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Championship Series when his Golden State Warriors led 3-1 - they blew it to Matthew Dellavedova's Cleveland Cavaliers from there - did an extraordinary job of rehab to not only make it to Rio but to be a major contributor.

Australia's NBA contingent of Delly, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes, Dante Exum, Thon Maker and Ben Simmons - and possibly Bogey if he can make it back from this week's tragic leg break - likely will form the basis of the Boomers' 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympic campaigns.

It may be time to consider Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright in an assistant capacity, given his ability to work with young players of diverse backgrounds as his 2016-17 NBL season reiterated.

Mar 10

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.