The Sydney Kings have confirmed star centre Andrew Bogut will return to the NBA to play for the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.
Andrew Gaze will depart as Sydney Kings coach after the NBL finals, to be closer to his family in Melbourne.
Coach Andrew Gaze is to part ways with the Sydney Kings after their long-awaited NBL playoffs campaign.
Gaze and the club insisted it was a mutual decision when making the news of the split public on Tuesday after speculation of it had emerged.
However, Gaze said the club had wanted to conduct an evaluation after his three-year contract expired following the season and he did not want to go through that process.
The 54-year-old former playing great said he loved coaching and wanted to continue doing so in future but more immediately he just wanted to spend more time with his family.
Gaze has overseen a 42-42 record through his three regular seasons in charge after coming in as a rookie NBL coach and enduring some tough times during the first two seasons.
However, he will hope to go out on a high, with his Andrew Bogut-inspired team having qualified for the playoffs for the first time in six years, setting up a semi-final series against Melbourne United.
Gaze said it was now “business as usual” and was adamant the decision would not impact on the star-studded team’s quest for their first title since 2008.
He said his focus to succeed won’t waver and he appreciated the full support of Kings management.
Chief executive Paul Kind described Gaze as an “icon” of Australian basketball and thanked him for his intense commitment.
“He has invested passionately in his role as our head coach and we respect his desire to return to Melbourne at the end of our season,” Kind said.
“We know that Andrew and our team are now focused on our upcoming finals campaign.”