Lisch dumps MVP tag at Kings in NBL
Photo Source: AAP
There is one person at the Sydney Kings who wouldn't mind revelling on the glories of 2015-16.
But reigning MVP Kevin Lisch insists he won't allow himself to bathe in the success of his stellar season for Illawarra, nor be defined by the Kings' woeful effort last campaign.
"That was last year, the MVP. No one really cares about that anyway. We didn't win it," he said.
However, that doesn't mean he isn't ready to lead the Kings back to NBL royalty.
Determined to start after last season's last-place finish, the Kings pulled off the coup of the pre-season after yanking Lisch and his 19.4 points per game from Wollongong to the harbour city.
Together with former Australian Boomer Brad Newley, Lisch will be heavily relied upon to lift the Kings back to finals contention when they start their season against Brisbane on Saturday.
"I feel a responsibility from the fact that I'm a part of this team," he said.
"It's an organisation that, in the past, has struggled. I love playing in the playoffs as does every player. You feel a responsibility to your teammates and to the people who put trust in you, and ultimately to yourself, to put the most pressure on."
The Kings have yet to return to post-season basketball since returning from their two-year exile from the game six seasons ago.
But on the back of a new ownership group, coach and home, Lisch said there was plenty of reason for optimism in 2016-17.
"You're pretty much starting from scratch," he said.
"The more we can just bring in a good attitude, put in a good culture right from the beginning, I think that really helps a lot of things because a lot of teams are talented.
"It sounds simple, but it's the teams that can get along with each other, play, and ultimately enjoy the game, that are successful."
Lisch will lead an intriguing starting five that is likely to include Newley, guard Jason Cadee, import Greg Whittington, Tom Garlepp and Aleks Maric.
Second import Michael Bryson will also be relied upon to provide some scoring punch for a team Lisch said is keen to get out and run in offence, and be versatile in defence.
"We have some athletes, and some guys like me," he said.
"We'll play up-tempo but once we get into half-court, we'll be structured in our sets to some extent. And then defensively we have the ability to switch things up a little bit."