Sydney star Jerome Randle has rallied behind coach Andrew Gaze and insists the players have to shoulder much of the blame for the Kings’ poor showing this season.
The Kings (3-11) remained at the bottom of the NBL ladder with Saturday night’s 85-77 home loss to Brisbane and almost certainly need to win 12 of their final 14 games to finish in the final four.
Sydney will get two-time NBL MVP Kevin Lisch (leg injury) back in the next fortnight and forward Todd Blanchfield (concussion) is due to return shortly.
But it may be too late.
Gaze has repeatedly said he accepts the blame and reiterated those sentiments after Saturday’s loss.
“We’ve got a lot of issues to deal with and the bulk of them fall on my shoulders, and I accept that,” Gaze said.
“I’m responsible for the development of the culture, for putting in place the disciplines, for that culture to hold up, and I’m not getting it done.
“I take responsibility, but as I said to the players, we all have to look in the mirror.”
Randle, last season’s NBL MVP when he starred with Adelaide, believes Gaze is too hard on himself.
“I’ve never seen a coach blame himself for everything,” Randle said.
“We’re well prepared for these games and he can’t take the blame for everything. The players have to go out and play.
“I think he’s doing a wonderful job and the players should take a lot of that blame.
“We’re going to continue to fight …. and I’m still pumped up to play basketball.”
Sydney led by a point at half-time against Brisbane before fading in the fourth quarter.
“We’re deteriorating down the stretch,” Gaze said.
“The simple observation is that we just got tired. Maybe some of that’s my fault for not providing greater rotations.
“I take a lot of responsibility for the way we’re finishing games.”
The Kings wrap up round nine with a Monday night road game against Melbourne United.