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King Andrew calls on Prince Phillip


THE struggling Sydney Kings have reached out to Adelaide's three-time NBL championship-winning coach Phil Smyth to assist second-year coach Andrew Gaze in a consulting capacity.

Smyth, who held the 36ers' reins from 1998-2008, compiled a 205-160 win-loss record as the Sixers' mentor, winning championships in his rookie 1998 season, 1999 and 2002.

As a player, Smyth, 59, collated 356 games, winning NBL championships with Canberra Cannons in 1983-84-88 to rank as one of the league's most successful identities.

A four-time Defensive Player of the Year (1982, 1983, 1988, 1989), a six-time All NBL First Team selection (1982–1985, 1988, 1989), the Grand Final MVP in 1988, Smyth was selected in both the NBL's 20th Anniversary and 25th Anniversary teams.

He played NBL for St Kilda Saints, Canberra Cannons, Adelaide 36ers and concluded his career with the Sydney Kings.

He also holds the record for games played for Australia with 345 outings in the green 'n' gold, many of them as Boomers captain and encompassing five FIBA World Championships (1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994) and four Olympic Games (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992).

In 1988, Smyth was the inaugural winner of the Gaze Medal as Australia's International Player of the Year.

A Basketball Australia Hall of Famer, Smyth was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1997.

The Kings remained quiet about the consultancy arrangement today but Smyth, a teammate of Gaze's at Olympics in 1984-88-92 and Worlds in 1986-90-94, and a long-time friend of Sydney assistant-coach Lanard Copeland, currently is in the NSW capital.

RIGHT: Smyth and Gaze celebrate beating Spain at the Seoul Olympics.

He was anxious to keep his role as low profile as possible, to avoid inevitable speculation.

"I'm trying to get as much help as I can and I love Phil," Gaze said today.

"He's been an inspiration to me as a youngster.

"I spoke to Phil and asked him to come in with some fresh eyes."

Smyth today watched practice with a view to offering feedback and to look at the Kings' systems.

His involvement is not about "panic stations" or any need for radical change. More a view of whether some tinkering is warranted.

"I feel good the guys are buying in and believing," Gaze said of his team, which has battled injuries and an import change.

Sydney has a 3-12 win-loss record and is coming off a 69-95 road loss to Melbourne on Monday.

It expects to have dual-league MVP Kevin Lisch (calf) back soon while Todd Blanchfield has been training strongly ahead of Sunday's home game against Cairns Taipans.

Smyth will provide a fresh voice at training later this week. most likely with the same message but conveyed in his own different way.

He will return to Adelaide after Sunday's match at the Kingdome, Qudos Bank Arena.

Dec 13

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