All hail King Henry and the fresh prince of Lazare
The Sydney Kings have appointed a new heir to their throne – Corin Henry.
The livewire point guard has made a scintillating start to the 2012-13 National Basketball League season, averaging over five assists (second overall in the league) and 19 points (fourth overall) in the opening two games for ‘The Royals’.
Last weekend he proved vital in handing former Kings playmaker Shane Heal only his fourth win as head coach since taking over the reins in February this year.
It is already clear that Henry is a leader by example, and is on a mission to deliver Sydney their fourth NBL championship which, if it eventuates, would be the franchise’s first title since it re-entered the league after a two year absence between 2008 and 2010.
Power forward and fellow US import Darnell Lazare is no slouch either, currently leading the league in points (22 per game) and rebounds (10 per game), and filling the rather large void left by recently departed big man and former Kings captain Julian Khazzouh.
While the remainder of the season looks promising for the Kings, injuries to either of their star imports could make this season a whole different ball game for a team that was missing its ‘guns and ammo’ before the arrival of Henry and Lazare.
Sydney boast some nifty guards with the likes of Ben Madgen, Luke Martin and Aaron Bruce, but all lack the sort of leadership and confidence possessed by Henry.
And as for the tall timber, Ian Crosswhite, Tom Garlepp and Graeme Dann will have to improve their numbers considerably if they want to keep up the pace set by Lazare.
The Kings aren’t favoured to win the title this season, with the bookies predicting them to miss the finals. They will face some stiff competition also, with the Perth Wildcats and New Zealand Breakers again tipped to face off in the championship finals for the main prize.
Pundits aside, it seems that if the Kings maintain their new lineup they have a chance to take the NBL crown this season.