A massive piece of positive news for the Sydney Kings has arrived today in the 209cm form of Julian Khazzouh‘s return to the team. In a press release, the Kings have revealled that the NBL MVP contender was released from NBA try-outs with the Golden State Warriors, which should allow him to return to Sydney on Wednesday in time for their Friday home game against the Townsville Crocodiles.
Whilst Khazzouh had the support of many in his NBA quest, there will conversely be plenty breathing a sigh of relief in his NBL return, which comes on the back of some very solid local form of late. He has always contended that this trip was merely a stepping stone in his career and that he will have another shot at the NBA down the track — potentially next off-season.
From the press release:
Head Coach Ian Robilliard is confident that his time in the Bay Area will help both Khazzouh and the Kings.
“Julian’s achievements should not be understated, it’s nothing short of sensational and I believe this is the next step towards achieving his NBA dream. He has now seen first-hand what it takes to make it in the NBA and I have no doubt he will now take his game to yet another level,” Coach Robilliard said.
“Julian’s arrival back in Sydney will give us a real shot in the arm as we head into Friday night’s game, and we also look forward to hearing about his experiences to see what we can incorporate into our own systems. In the spirit of cooperation we expect that the NBA will clear Julian immediately so there are no issues with him suiting up on Friday.” he added.
During his time with the Warriors, Khazzouh played in one pre-season game against the Sacramento Kings where he scored two points in limited minutes. In NBL games so far this season Khazzouh is a clear MVP favourite, leading the league in both rebounds (11 per game) and blocks (2.1 per game) and second in scoring (18.6 points per game) over the first 13 games of the season.
Boxscore from Khazzouh’s exhibition match trial.
Last week at NBL.com.au, I dedicated my weekly column to the path of other great Aussie bigs Khazzouh was following in flirting with the NBA.