28 Oct 2013

Breakers sack Lazare, re-hire Wilkinson

2:05 pm on 28 October 2013

The New Zealand Breakers have sacked American import Darnelle Lazare, and re-signed former star Gary Wilkinson following their poor start to the Australian basketball season.

The change required Tall Black Jeremiah Trueman to be put on a waiver - he's off the playing roster, but is still under contract.

The waiver enables the club to stay under the required points cap with their 10 full-time rostered players.

Breakers general manager Richard Clarke says the club's off-season recruitment was based on how the game was played last season, but a new set of refereeing interpretations have been introduced.

Clarke says Breakers coaches felt they needed a different mix of skills in the group to compete under the new interpretations.

Head coach Dean Vickerman says Wilkinson, an American import and two-time champion with the club, is a vocal extrovert, something the team has been lacking this season.

Vickerman says Lazare's physical style has led to foul trouble.

"Darnell has been nothing but professional ... through the past few difficult days. He ... has reacted with great professionalism to this news.

"JT is extremely disappointed that he has been put on a waiver. He too has reacted like the class person he is. Jeremiah's ongoing role with the team is still being discussed but it is our hope that he stays a part of our group this season and is available should the need arise."

Wilkinson will arrive back in New Zealand on Tuesday and is contracted with the club for the remainder of the 2013/14 season.

With just one victory and three straight defeats this season the Breakers are on the bottom of the ladder with the lowest winning percentage in the league.