Thursday, October 26, 2006

Where are they now - Mark Price

More on the soap opera of the Aussies canning our beloved Mark Price.................... First, Mark is clearly lashing back, blaming the new head coach Shane Heal......

Price said he was devastated by his axing, especially for his wife and four children who relocated to Melbourne from the United States with him two months ago.

Price says he was given no warning about the club wanting to get rid of him and was even more stunned to find on Monday that plans to replace him with Heal had been going on for nearly a week.

"It's most disturbing to know while I was trying to get our guys to come together as a team, there was another agenda going on behind the scenes," Price said.

"I've been in professional basketball a long time and I've never seen undermining of a coach quite like this before."

Price said he believed the Dragons had used him because of

Meanwhile, Heal says he never "openly" sought the job. Well, that can mean one thing - he must have sought it privately.

Heal hit back saying: "To tell you the truth I'm a little bit embarrassed that Mark Price thinks I played any role in his sacking.

"I didn't go looking for it, but now that I've got the job I wish had six weeks to prepare the side for my first game and not 24 hours," he said.

"I thought the guys had their best training today in weeks."

Well, Price is not giving an inch:

Price said: "It doesn't take rocket science to figure out something's been going on behind the scenes. He can deny it all he wants."

Management, coaches and players are looking ahead. Price said he read a quote by Heal that he needed the full support of his players to be successful. "I thought that a bit ironic, since I never got that from Shane."

On the impact to his family:

"My eldest has been working a few months trying to get her studies done from the US, so she could start school over here," he said. "It was the first day at school that she'd been looking forward to for two months … I had to call her up at school and bring her home and tell her she couldn't go."

Meanwhile, Heal's first act was to can his only big man - Todd Fuller - who Price had brought in. Mark was sticking up for Fuller as well:

Todd was my most consistent basketball player," Price said.

"I think anybody with half a brain watching the games would understand the load he had to carry being the only big guy on the floor night in and night out.

"He did a great job ... he'll be missed by this organisation."

"Shane didn't want Todd from the get-go. He told me that. We disagreed. I wasn't going to get rid of Todd," Price said.

"We played the best team in the league the other night - Todd comes away with 22 points, 12 rebounds.

"Good luck going and getting somebody else who can do that night in, night out. Shane had a personal thing with Todd.

"He busted his tail every day and to be treated the way he was treated by Shane over the course of the season, the respect he wasn't shown, it's just uncalled for and very unprofessional."