Greg Hire: Illawarra Hawks game before New Year was Perth Wildcats turning point

Tempers flare during the Wildcats finals win against the Cairns Taipans at Perth Arena on February 20.
Tempers flare during the Wildcats finals win against the Cairns Taipans at Perth Arena on February 20.

TO have the opportunity to play in another grand final with a shot at being part of a third championship is truly special.

I’ve been asked countless times which of the two championships in my career means the most. I can undoubtedly say it’s the first one in 2014 by far.

After losing two grand finals in a row, it was nice to get over that hump and finally get one.

This season has been incredibly challenging.

From injuries to roster changes, it is not only the team that has faced challenges, but our whole organisation.

We have faced plenty of adversity this season, unlike any other year, and as a senior player, I couldn’t have been prouder of the way we’ve responded.

I look at the game before New Year as a turning point.

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We were down an import, missing key players and we were facing a talented Illawarra Hawks outfit in a hostile environment.

We hadn’t been playing our best basketball and with a loss we would be looking at a 7-10 record and a big hole.

We came away with a win and more so, a lot of belief.

Those moments define a team and are what builds a title-winning outfit.

For us, we need to keep on believing and trusting in our systems.

We are playing unselfish basketball and sticking to our strengths.

Whoever we face, it will be another huge challenge.

For the moment, we will relish the chance to play off in another decider.