Basketball: Rumoured Breakers coach Dan Shamir arrives in Auckland

NZ Breakers-targeted coach Dan Shamir has arrived in New Zealand.

Newshub understands the Israeli and his family were greeted at Auckland International Airport on Monday, by Breakers general manager Dillon Boucher and members of the executive staff.

Former Breakers guard Kirk Penney was also there to welcome Shamir to New Zealand, after playing at Maccabi Tel Aviv when Shamir served as assistant. 

Newshub understands Shamir will replace incumbent coach Kevin Braswell, who led the four-time NBL champions to a 12-16 record last season, after the Breakers missed playoff basketball for just the second time in five seasons.

Braswell and the club are believed to be involved in legal proceedings resulting from the termination of his contract.

The Baitimore, Maryland native had signed a three-year deal, after the departure of Paul Henare a year ago. 

The Breakers told Newshub they didn't anticipate making any sort of coaching announcement in the next week.

Speculation around Shamir to the Breakers has been bubbling for some time, but his arrival in Auckland with his family - and his welcome by Breakers staff - seemingly confirms that speculation.

Shamir, 44 has had a successful spell at Hapoel Holon in the Israeli Basketball Premier League since 2015, guiding his side to three playoff appearances and a final in 2018. 

Shamir served an apprenticeship as a coach under Rick Pitino at the highly successful University of Kentucky, while he also spent a year as assistant to former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt at Dynamo Moscow.

Breakers star Corey Webster had a short stint with Israeli side Ironi Nahariya and would have played against Shamir's side Hapoel Holon.

Last month, Webster admitted he didn't know too much about him, but reached out to some friends he played with over there to see what they had to say about him.

"They said he's a great basketball mind, he's got a high IQ, he's a player's coach," Webster told Newshub.

"He pushes his players and gets the best out of his players, so that'll be awesome, but other than that, I can't really speak too much. 

"He's coached for some big teams, coached some great players, so I'm sure he's going to bring all that to our club, so it's just another thing to look forward to."


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