Sydney Kings forward Josh Childress says he’ll keep his cool amid trash talk

admin | 杭州桑拿
7 Apr 2019

Marquee man: Josh Childress. Photo: Nic Walker

Marquee man: Josh Childress. Photo: Nic Walker

Marquee man: Josh Childress. Photo: Nic Walker

Josh Childress expects insults when he steps out beneath the lights at Wollongong this Friday to take on the Hawks.

Some spectators will not let the Sydney Kings’ marquee player forget his brutal elbow strike on a Perth Wildcats opponent two games before. “I’m going to hear more trash talk from fans than maybe before,” Childress said. “I’ve just got to keep my cool.”

But keeping calm is only the start, according to the disappointed import. Asked if he was happy with his performance this season, Childress replied firmly: “No.”

“I have to be better for my team from an all-round perspective,” he said. “Leadership, rebounding, defending, scoring, creating – I just have to be better.”

Two weeks ago, Childress – perhaps the NBL’s biggest ever signing – landed what former Boomers captain Andrew Gaze called “one of the biggest hits ever seen in the NBL”.

Gaze and another former Boomers captain Shane Heal described the one-match ban and $7500 fine as light punishment. “A very dangerous precedent was set tonight…inconsistency from the NBL yet again. Compare that 1 game to past 1 game suspensions,” Heal tweeted.

Childress, a former NBA player with Atlanta, Brooklyn, Phoenix and New Orleans, denied receiving special treatment as a crowd-drawing import. “I would say, look at past suspensions,” he said. “I’ve heard that there have been full on fights and nobody has got suspended.”

He said neither the NBL nor the NBA was rougher than the other: “guys play hard everywhere, it’s just a matter of how you react”.

“I have a track record that shows I’m not a violent player,” he said. “It was a lapse of judgment.”

Childress would not be drawn on previous claims he had been provoked by his victim Jesse Wagstaff during the Perth game. “I’ve had that conversation 5000 times,” he said. Nor did he blame the referees for missing the alleged provocations. “They’ve got a job to do,” he said, acknowledging the umpires were only part-time employees. Every player in the league can say they don’t get enough calls. It’s the nature of being an athlete. You feel like you got fouled on every possession.”

Childress is ranked eighth in the league for average points per game, fourth for average rebounds and second for his two point percentage. But the Kings are yet to find their stride in the first four rounds.

After beating the Hawks at home in round one, the purple and gold went down to the Townsville Crocodiles, the Wildcats and the Cairns Taipans. Childress said this weekend’s double-header against Wollongong and then the Adelaide 36ers in Sydney on Sunday was a chance to regain momentum.

“I think we put a lot of energy and effort into worrying about what other teams are doing,” he said. “We just need to focus on us.”

The 2.03 metre tall forward remained optimistic the Kings could start winning again if they concentrated on “the little small chunks of the game that make a large difference.” But he took little satisfaction from the knowledge the Kings had come from behind to win against the Hawks in the first round.

“We would much rather have been ahead and stayed ahead,” he said. “We know they are a good team and they fight the entire game.”

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