Hungry Jack's NBL
Buford Lauds “Special” Clark
Sydney coach Chase Buford has praised the impact made by Ian Clark in the Kings’ championship run.
Clark joined Sydney midway through the campaign, after import R.J. Hunter went down with a season ending injury.
The 2017 NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors helped take the Kings to the next level, with his on-court performance and off-court influence key factors in Sydney’s title winning season.
With the match in the balance during game three of the Grand Final, Clark stepped up with 11 final quarter points to lead the Kings home over Tasmania, 97-88. He scored 22 points total and helped fill the void left by injured MVP Jaylen Adams.
“Obviously, to have a guy like that when the MVP goes down and say, ‘hey, here are the keys to the car, drive us home,’ he did that in spades,” Buford said.
Buford noticed how special Clark was as soon as he landed in Sydney, as he immediately bought into the club’s system and culture.
“He gets off a plane, I pick him up at the airport early on a Saturday morning and we go right to practice and try to induct him in everything,” Buford said.
“He comes out, watches the Brisbane game and even in that game I just remember him in huddles talking to people, coaching guys, being involved.
“It was like, ‘damn, if we've got a guy that's invested with one practice, wow, that could be something special.’
“Throughout the end of the season, you saw he's just a special dude, a hell of a player, but he's just a better person and we're really lucky that he chose to come and play with us.”