ADELAIDE 36ers coach Joey Wright isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – in fact quite the opposite with the American-born mentor currently seeking permanent residency in Australia.
But the process has meant a requirement by Adelaide’s NBL club to advertise the coaching position, leading to a social media meltdown of wild speculation as to Wright’s future.
The 36ers were even forced to issue a statement late today to clarify their position, Wright, who has just completed his fourth year at the helm, last year signing a three-year contract extension.
“The Adelaide 36ers are assisting Joey Wright with a visa application to allow him to continue living and working in South Australia as head coach of the team,” Adelaide’s chief executive officer Guy Hedderwick said in the statement.
It is part of the Immigration Department’s requirements that the coaching position be advertised to test the labour market.
“We believe Joey is the best coach in the country and he proved that this season by what he achieved with the youngest team in our history,” Hedderwick said.
“The speculation today has been remarkable and it says a great deal about our brand, considering the reaction through the wider public.
“Everyone seems to be talking about it.”
Wright, 48, originally came to the NBL as an import for Geelong Supercats in the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
A three-time NBL Coach of the Year in 2004-07 and again this season, he steered Brisbane Bullets to the 2007 championship and also has held the reins at Gold Coast Blaze.
In his debut with the Sixers, he inherited a last-placed team and took it into the grand final, and since has taken Adelaide into three post-season campaigns out of his four.