Breakers set plan to find Maor replacement

Publish Date
Friday, 24 May 2024, 10:45AM

By Christopher Reive

The New Zealand Breakers say they will not put a firm timeline on recruiting a new head coach to ensure Mody Maor’s successor is the right fit.

The Breakers agreed to release Maor from the final year of his contract to allow him to take an opportunity to coach in Asia - reportedly in the top division of the Japanese B. League. It was a parting of the ways that happened very quickly, with Maor revealling on Thursday that the opportunity came about only a matter of days ago.

Since joining the Breakers and catching the eye of fans in his role as an enthusiastic assistant coach in 2019, and ultimately taking over as head coach ahead of the 2022-23 season, Maor endeared himself to the club, players and fans, embracing life in New Zealand and trying to build a club that reflected that.

It’s that pride in the organisation that shone through when Maor spoke about the club in his farewell press conference on Thursday, and that the Breakers will look for in the right candidate to fill his shoes.

“We’re very fortunate that this is a much-coveted job,” Breakers chief executive Lisa Edser said.

“There are people already reaching out. I’m pretty confident that it won’t be hard to find people, [but] we need to be sure we find the right people and that’s going to be the focus.

“I don’t want to put a timeframe on it because it has to be the right person. The fit has to be right, and that’s what the focus is.”

The move comes with the Breakers’ roster for the 2024-25 NBL season still a work in progress. Maor has put together the bones of a truly competitive team, with returning star Parker Jackson-Cartwright the only import among the six players currently signed to the 11-man roster.

Edser said the recruitment drive wouldn’t slow down despite the team now needing to find a head coach as well, but admitted the latter would take priority.

The players already signed have all been informed that Maor will move into a new phase of his career.

“Like us, they’re excited for Mody and what this opportunity presents for him,” Edser said.

“However, they are committed to the Breakers organisation. Not a single person has indicated anything different. When you sign here you come for the whole package.”

Maor said it was the hardest decision of his professional career to take up the offer in Asia, but he departs the Breakers having left his mark on the club - leading them to back-to-back post-season appearances in the last two seasons after the team went four campaigns without playoff basketball.

Reflecting on his time at Atlas Place, Maor said when he arrived the only thing he wanted to do was to have a good first practice; to set the tone for a tenure that when the day came for him to move on, it would be in a better place than that from which he inherited it.

“I feel that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do. The past two days have been filled with reflection, and I think the club is in a good place - where it is on the court, where it is behind the scenes and where it is in the community - and I’m proud of the things that we’ve done here over these past five years,” Maor said.

“The moments that we’ve shared together at Spark, I’ll cherish forever and I thank you so much for your love and support over the last few hours and over the past few years, I’m joining you now and being the Breakers’ biggest fan and waiting for the championship next year.”

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

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