Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze has taken aim at the NBL with a pointed apology after an inappropriate comment last night.
Gaze is coach of the Sydney Kings, who defeated the Cairns Taipans 81-70 in Cairns for a fifth straight win.
It was nearing the end of the third quarter when the cameras pushed in on the Kings huddle.
In an impassioned tactical speech to his charges, Gaze fired up and said on of the Taipans players had “a finger up his a***”.
He was quick to both apologise to fans but took aim at the NBL for its broadcasting standards, blowing up about the lack of a signal that coaches are on-air.
“I said something that was private, that was in the context of our huddle and that was inappropriate for the public to hear,” Gaze said following the match.
“Unfortunately this league has a policy of going in there without telling us. I don’t know when. In the emotion of things, you might say things. But I would like to apologise for what was said.
“I think its grossly unfair what they do to the coaches in those circumstances. If they’ve got to do it, put a sign up, put a red light up and say ‘you’re on’ and then it’s on us.
“But if I don’t know when it’s on or off that’s when I’m embarrassed for myself and it shouldn’t happen, so it’s really, really disappointing.”
The comments have deflected from an impressive Kings winning streak which has pushed Sydney into second behind the Perth Wildcats ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster against reigning champions Melbourne United.
Gaze said things like this hurt the game.
“We do our best to sell this game. People don’t want to see that, they don’t want to hear that, they shouldn’t have to hear that,” Gaze said.
“It’s upsetting for me that people hear that and it’s a real shame that that’s the way (the NBL) treats us.
“But if that’s the world we live in then at the very least put a sign up and say ‘you’re on’ so it gives us a small chance of controlling ourselves and not having to go through a situation where I deeply apologise for what was said.”
The Kings are 10-4 on the season, led by import Jerome Randle and Aussie superstar Andrew Bogut.
Bogut, who shrugged off MVP talk in an interview with NBL.com, said the Kings are still building.
“I’m excited for what we are trying to build here,” Bogut said.
“We are still a long way from where we think we can get to and that’s the most exciting thing because our ceiling isn’t even close to being reached yet.”
Every game of the NBL is live and on demand on Kayo Sports, just one of 50 sports on the platform. Kayo Sports is available from $ 25 per month for two devices at once and is available on Apple, Android and Google devices.