Xavier Cooks on why another crown would mean so much to the Sydney Kings
Cooks said the Kings are preparing for a similar physical schedule to the Breakers in game five.
“It worked, they won the game and that’s what they want to achieve, win,” Cooks said.
“We just have to control the pace. We expect exactly the same. They’ve been doing it all season. They have been very physical and they are a very talented team. So it’s nothing extraordinary. We’re ready for it.
“Everyone is feeling good and there was a focus in today’s practice that I really love. I think game four we were a bit embarrassed and having seen the film we know what we did wrong. We’re pretty focused.”
Cooks is set to leave for the United States next week and while moving to the NBA was a lifelong dream, the 27-year-old has been doing everything he can to prevent it since the deal was announced two weeks ago.
“I try not to even talk about it or focus on those things, just focus on the here and now. It’s such a crucial point in my career. You never want to lose and that would be a great way to back my time in the NBL,” Cooks said.
“The hardest part was the outside noise. I’m okay with myself, but I’m just keeping the people around me focused [is tough]. I tell my loved ones, ‘I don’t want to hear about it, I don’t want to talk about it,’ and they get excited and want to pump me up a bit, but I’m not trying to hear it. That was the tricky part, but I did a good job.”
Cooks said the Kings were determined to prove that the 2021-22 championship win was not an isolated case, despite having to rebuild after the departures of stars Jaylen Adams, Ian Clark and Jarell Martin.
You’ll have another huge home crowd behind you in a hugely popular NBL Finals series. Both Sydney and New Zealand registered record attendances in their last two games.
“It’s extremely difficult to ride back-to-back, it’s not easy – we’ve had a goal on our backs all year,” Cooks said.
“Chase did a great job of just keeping us focused. Last year we had a couple of games where we lost focus and slipped a bit and that was fine.
“This year we had to stay focused because we wanted to be the top dogs all year round.
“Two wins in a row only separates the one-shot ponies from the guys who do it consistently. The club have done really well to be in this position, now we just have to do it.
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https://www.smh.com.au/sport/basketball/target-on-our-back-why-kings-bid-for-consecutive-crowns-is-set-for-fiery-finish-20230314-p5crvp.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Xavier Cooks on why another crown would mean so much to the Sydney Kings