If Sydney Kings coach Will Weaver asked Jae'Sean Tate to run through a brick wall, the former Ohio State star wouldn't think twice.
In a sense, that's all you need to know about the camaraderie Weaver has built at the Kings, who begin their push for the Harbour City's first NBL title since 2008 against Melbourne United at Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday night.
Jae’Sean Tate is a big fan of Will Weaver.Credit:Getty
Tate, who was crowned the team’s MVP at the Kings’ awards night last Wednesday, arrived in Sydney fresh off winning a championship in Belgium.
His reasoning for joining the Kings over other Australian suitors?
"I think it’s all good to win individual awards but I joined this team because of the star power it has and the ability to win a championship," Tate told the Herald after an intense training session at the team's Lidcombe base.
"Coming in and winning it in my first year with a first year coach, that’s an opportunity to be in the history books. That was my mindset at the beginning of the year and it still is.
"When you play well and you win, the individual awards come later. I’ve just piggybacked off Will putting me in great spots and my teammates."
Tate may have joined to play alongside Andrew Bogut, Casper Ware and NBA-bound Didi Louzada but he now wants to win a championship for Weaver.
Since arriving in Sydney, Tate feels like the Boomers assistant has moulded the team around his style of play.
"When you play for a coach that you know will run through a wall for you and just wants the best for you – yeah it’s about winning games – but he just wants to see your development. That’s Will Weaver, man," Tate said.
"That dude is always working. The time he puts into his job – you don’t see that a lot.
"This is only my second year pro but I’ve been blessed every year with a coach that I feel like fits me perfectly. It’s the same for this year.
"Hopefully we do get the championship because I know how much work he has put in and I know how much focus this team has.
"I want it for me and I want it for the team but I really want it for him, man. It’s his first year – getting him a championship – that’s big. I would run through a wall for that guy and we’re gonna do this together."
Weaver doesn't agree he has moulded the team around Tate.
He points to his success in Belgium and before that at Ohio State as proof he is the difference maker.
"History points to the fact that he has fit everywhere he’s gone," Weaver said.
"That has more to do with him than the places he has ended up. He’s just built so right.
"He’s a competitor, he has a sense of humour, his family deserves a lot of credit for who he is as a person."
Source: Read Full Article
Sports peers help Izzo, Michigan State navigate campus tragedy
‘It was the Bible and then my Eastbay catalog’: The magazine that impacted a generation
Boris Becker claims he’s in talks over bbc tennis comeback despite stint in jail
Ronnie O’Sullivan scare with injury before World Championship
Gonzaga relishes rare under-the-radar role in this tournament