NBA: Future Tall Black Steven Adams dreams of beating Australia

Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams.
Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams. Photo credit: Photosport

While Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams has yet to commit to playing for the Tall Blacks, he still dreams of beating Australia in a trans-Tasman series.

The Tall Blacks haven't had their way over the Australian Boomers of late, with their last win coming back in 2009 - which happened to be a record 22-point winning margin.

Adams has always been hesitant to discuss the prospect of representing his country, as playing in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder has been his main priority.

But with a basketball World Cup fast approaching, the call will again go out for Adams to don the black singlet.

Speaking to ESPN, Adams repeated his desire to represent New Zealand one day, with matches against the old rival a motivating factor.

"Yeah, absolutely yeah, absolutely I would [love to play for New Zealand]," explained Adams.

"Obviously, I want the country to succeed. It's a great country.

"One of the biggest goals is to beat Australia, to be honest with you, mate, because we always lose!"

"I am talking to them, not often, but you know, we talk or text. I talk to the head coach [Paul Henare] all the time, so we are in touch, if that makes sense."

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare.
Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare. Photo credit: Photosport

Adams said there was often banter between him and the other Australian players, when they meet on the court.

"Oh yeah, they chime in, bro. They chime in, because we'll check out the [Australian] NBL, because we have the New Zealand Breakers, so Joe Ingles will chirp up and say, 'hey you see the score, mate?' and it's like, 'yeah, carry on with the game'.

"Just a little banter. Obviously, when you are home, it's like this brotherly hate, but over here, I'm cool with all the Aussies.

"It's a weird thing, it's like you go overseas to another country and you're like, 'oh yeah, you are one of the boys', but then you go back home and you're like, 'oh, w***ers, get out of here'."

Understandably, Adams' only focus right now is on the NBA playoffs and not on playing for New Zealand.

The Thunder finished sixth in the Western Conference and will face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, the first match scheduled for Monday (NZ time).

"Honestly, mate, it's just one of those things that's a maybe - every time I'm asked. It's like, I couldn't care less right now, all my mind, all my energy is here and rightfully so.

"It's about that we made it to the playoffs and now we just have to lock in, and try and make it to the end."

Adams feels optimistic about the Thunder's chances, as they look to avoid a first-round exit for the second straight year.

"I feel like we made some good leaps in the right areas, all the boys are confident," he said. "We are just eager to get to the playoffs, we're looking pretty good."


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