WHEN Sydney import Perry Ellis signed in Australia, he wanted to of course play basketball but was also intent on meeting some native Australian wildlife.
The impressive power forward spent some time with kangaroos and koalas on Thursday afternoon but the Kings’ leading man this season is wary of a wounded Taipan come tomorrow afternoon after a heartbreaking loss to Brisbane.
Despite the Kings’ dismal season so far, the athletic American has been Sydney’s shining light, averaging a touch over 17 points and five rebounds a game, and showed his softer side on Thursday.
“I wanted to check out all the koala bears, the kangaroos and all the Australian stuff,” Ellis said.
“This is the first time I have seen all of them and it is pretty cool. I liked how I was allowed to get close to the koala and the kangaroos also. This is something I had to do in Australia and I am glad I got to.”
Ellis admits he is much more comfortable playing the power forward position since the Kings signed centre Jeremy Tyler, as he was forced to defend centres for the early part of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Kings were set to be at full-strength for the first time this season tomorrow against the 7-8 Snakes but suffered a blow with skipper Kevin Lisch re-injuring his calf at training and is now in doubt for the must-win clash.
Lisch returned to full contract on Wednesday after two months on the sideline, but he failed to finish the session after pulling up sore.
Kings officials remain hopeful Lisch will recover to return and form a potent back-court combination with Jerome Randle.
“This will be the first game that we are all together as a team all season this Sunday,” Ellis said. “I like the pieces we have.
“We will see about Kevin, hopefully he is comfortable and can go.
“Against Cairns, we need to defend and get stops and go from there.”
The Taipans have never won at Qudos Bank Arena in seven visits, while the Kings have won just one of their past nine games — that was against the Taipans in Round 8.
Cairns claimed the last meeting between the two clubs, only days ago in the Far North.