As South East Melbourne works to re-sign Mitch Creek and coach Simon Mitchell, the membership’s MVP has backed his coach in with a powerful message of assist.
Newly-crowned South East Melbourne MVP Mitch Creek has added a caveat to his dedication to the Phoenix — ‘keep my coach’.
In an enormous vote of confidence in out-of-contract coach Simon Mitchell, Creek hasn’t fairly issued an ultimatum, however he has instructed the Phoenix he desires to play below the 49-year-old.
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“I’ve expressed to the club that I’ll be staying if Simon stays,” Creek mentioned.
“I’ve said if you move him on, basically I have the ability to move on as well, from re-signing.
“We communicate openly, we discuss ourselves, our families, teammates, staff, we’re very honest with each other.
“I like what he’s doing. He’s not perfect, but no coach is.
“I have full belief that he can do what’s necessary for us to be successful.”
Mitchell has acknowledged the game is a “performance-based industry” and, after the Phoenix have been on prime of the NBL at 11-5, a disastrous end to the season price them a spot within the prime 4. It was a step again after they have been one win away from a grand-final berth in 2020-21 and opened Mitchell as much as questions on his future. But Creek mentioned the facet was hampered by Covid, sickness and an harm to star Ryan Broekhoff. He believed the gamers needed to take accountability for a failure to “do the little things” on the again finish of the season.
Phoenix chief government Tommy Greer mentioned the membership was eager to re-sign each males.
“Negotiations are ongoing with both Mitch and Simon and the club hopes to bring them both back next season,” Greer mentioned.
The Phoenix tumble opened the door for fellow enlargement membership Tasmania to tug off its NBL grand ultimate miracle, which Creek mentioned was “pretty special” to observe.
The Phoenix had a giant say within the fairytale, knocking off the Wildcats in Perth within the final recreation of the season to make sure the JackJumpers snuck in to the final finals spot.
“It’s good for the league, it’s good for basketball,” he mentioned.
“As much as people didn’t think they were going to be great, they had themselves together in a huddle down in Tassie and separated themselves a little bit and said it’s us v the rest and stuff them all.
“I think they’re going to have a hell of a task ahead of them against Sydney but I reckon they’ve got some dogs over there who can really go out and shake it up.”
Creek mentioned he was in talks with “a few” abroad groups however expects to get a deal carried out with the Phoenix.
“We’ve kept it pretty quiet, who we’re talking to, but there’s some good momentum there,” he mentioned.
“At the same time, I’ve got a really good thing here in Melbourne, I’m more than happy to dig my feet in a bit longer and see what happens.”
He says there may be nonetheless a will to play within the NBA once more — Creek made 5 appearances with Brooklyn and Minnesota in 2018-19 — however he’s comfy with the truth of his state of affairs.
“We’ve spoken to some NBA GMs,” he mentioned.
“I’d love it to happen but, if it doesn’t, I’ve worked my butt off. I’ve played a few games over there, been able to live a great life and I’ve had some success in my basketball
“I gave it a red-hot crack. My game hasn’t changed a whole lot over the past couple of years. Some things have improved, yes, but, at the same time, I haven’t turned into Kevin Durant.
“I’m Mitch Creek.”
Creek, on receiving the membership’s MVP award for the second time, mentioned he doesn’t play for particular person accolades, however he respects their significance.
“To have received a few of these now is really humbling,” he mentioned.
“It’s about the friendships, the bonds, the fans, the trials and tribulations — the memories that come with them you can look back at and appreciate.
“Dad’s got all my awards and every jersey I’ve ever played in signed and framed and hung up in his home in Horsham. I’m sure he’ll be asking when that one’s going to be delivered.”