Boomers assistant Matt Nielsen a candidate to coach the Sydney Kings

Two-time NBL champion and Boomers assistant coach Matt Nielsen has emerged as a candidate to return to his beloved Sydney Kings as coach.

The Kings are on the lookout for a new head coach for next season and beyond after parting ways with Adam Forde.

It’s understood Nielsen, who won two championships with the Kings in 2003 and 2004 as captain, is in the mix to coach the NBL’s superpower.

Sydney officials recently revealed the club had received overseas interest for the franchise’s coaching position.

Matt Nielsen is in the mix to return to the Kings as head coach. Picture: Gregg Porteous Basketball A/CTSource:News Corp Australia

Nielsen’s links to the Kings, and his rise as a head coach, would make him the perfect choice for Sydney.

He is currently based in the United States after taking up a head coach job with the Austin Spurs – the G League affiliate of five-time NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs.

The former Boomers power forward guided Austin to the first week of the playoffs in a revised G League season inside an Orlando bubble.

Nielsen described his maiden foray into the head coaching caper as a steep learning curve.

Thankfully, he was in one of world basketball’s best systems at the Spurs, headed by five-time championship winning coach and current Team USA mentor Gregg Popovich.

In a recent interview with the NCA NewsWire, Nielsen said he hung on every word from Popovich, but the master mentor has also let him be his own man.

“The Spurs (and Popovich) provide me with all the resources, but they also allow me to be me,” said Nielsen, who first linked with San Antonio in 2014 in a player development role.

“I feel very fortunate that the Spurs organisation is set up for this situation.

“I’m lucky to be exposed to the coaching staff in San Antonio, who are fantastically helpful and very important for my development.”

Nielsen also conceded he’d be telling a porky if becoming Australia’s first NBA coach wasn’t a goal.

No Aussie has taken on a top coaching role in the world’s best league spanning its more than seven decades of existence.

Boomers assistant Matt Nielsen is a candidate to coach the Sydney Kings. Picture: Daniel Wilkins.Source:News Corp Australia

Admittedly, the 43-year-old has only just completed his first season with Austin, but the prospect of one day carrying the clipboard in the NBA burns bright.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that (being an NBA coach) wasn’t something that maybe I’d chase down over time,” Nielsen said.

“I hadn’t been a head coach since about four weeks ago. I knew I wanted to give it a go.”

It remains to be seen whether Nielsen will be prepared to leave his G League role to return to the NBL to coach the Sydney Kings.

Although, he could use the Kings as a platform to return to America, much like Will Weaver, who went from the Kings to an NBA assistant role with the Houston Rockets.

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