Randle braced for heated Hawks
BASKETBALL: Jerome Randle lit a fuse under last season’s finals with an outburst aimed at the Illawarra Hawks so perhaps it was inevitable that his Sydney Kings debut would be in Wollongong.
“There’s a lot of dirty players on the team,” the then Adelaide 36er said on the eve of the semi-finals series against the Hawks.
Illawarra used the criticism as inspiration to end the 36ers’ season.
The point guard (pictured) makes his NBL return tonight in Sydney’s purple and gold and he expects the Hawks’ faithful to unleash a barrage of boos.
“I know it is not going to be a good welcome for me, but it is what it is,” Randle said. “It happens ... it’s a part of the game.”
Last year’s league MVP appears to have mellowed in his feelings towards Illawarra, especially after working under Hawks coach Rob Beveridge during the NBL’s All-Australian tour of China in July.
“Rob is a great coach,” Randle said. “I think they are a tremendous team and they just come out and play hard. They take my game to another level, not only physically but mentally as well.” Hawks v Kings, tonight 6.30pm (AEST)