Sydney Kings star Casper Ware won’t be thinking about getting one over his former side Melbourne United when the NBL finals tip off this weekend, with the point guard revealing his primary concern is bringing the championship back to the harbour city.
By
Nick Houghton

28 Feb 2020 - 2:24 PM  UPDATED 28 Feb 2020 - 2:25 PM

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Ware made headlines ahead of this NBL season when he made the move north to the Kings, after three seasons at rivals United.

The 30-year-old California native was the centre point of Melbourne’s 2017-18 NBL title triumph and played a big part in eliminating Sydney in a 2-0 series win during last year's semi-finals.

While the free-scoring guard admitted returning to Melbourne Arena was on his mind at the start of the season, Ware said he's since moved on and is more worried about getting the job done for the Kings.

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“I don’t even think about it anymore,” Ware said.

“I have played back in Melbourne twice now, so for me that whole thing is over now.

“The first time back against them was a bit weird being in a different locker room and all that, but now it’s nothing.

“I’m with my boys now. Sydney is my home now. My time with Melbourne is over and they're just another road team.”

Sydney has enjoyed the upper hand over Melbourne this season - winning three of their four matches, including comprehensive 23 and 19 point wins in their past two clashes, on their way to finishing the season in top spot.

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But all that goes out the window now according to Ware, who is well aware of how tough it is to get the job done come finals time.

“That season is over. It is a different season for us now going into the finals,” he said.

“We have home court advantage so we need to do everything to protect that and get the win in the first game.

“Everyone is ready to play. We’ve been beating on each other in training for the past two weeks so we just want to get on the court and play against somebody else.”

Ware has taken a bit of a different role at the Kings and has not been required to be the primary point scorer, with his teammates able to help carry the load.

He said this has been a big part of their success this season and is not likely to change in the play-offs.

“I don't need to go score 20 every night or take over games. We have got five or six players who can go get 20 points, so my job is to do what we need that night as a point guard," Ware said.

“I’m happy to do whatever the team needs to win. If that means sitting back and playing a more traditional point guard role then I’ll do that, but if they need me to take over the game with my scoring then I can do that too."

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Ware revealed the memory of winning the title in 2017-18 is driving him to do it again this season with the Kings.

“Winning the NBL title is an experience I can’t really talk about, because it’s something you just feel in the moment,” he said.

“You can try to replicate the feeling but you just can’t unless you win it again, so that’s what I’m determined to do.

“This team is a group of winners and a group of guys who are going to fight to achieve their goals. The title is what we have been working towards and we are going to continue to work until we get the job done. “