James Duncan played a major role in helping former All-NBL Team forward Jae’Sean Tate go from the Sydney Kings to the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
Now Duncan, a proven talent developer, has been unveiled as the Brisbane Bullets’ new head coach for the next two years.
The Canadian-born mentor has spent the past two seasons as lead assistant coach at the Kings, where he worked closely with players like Tate.
Prior to his Sydney stint, he had a decorated coaching career, spending time in different parts of the world across three continents.
Duncan came to Australia ahead of NBL20 after being appointed by now Houston Rockets assistant Will Weaver.
The 43-year-old has been a coach in professional programs since 2007, coaching in Belgium, Germany, Taiwan, Japan and now Australia.
Duncan has a coaching philosophy that focuses on player engagement and development, something he is looking forward to putting his stamp on when starting at the Bullets.
“I would like to thank Kevin (Martin), the rest of the ownership group, Peter (McLennan) and Sam (Mackinnon) for giving me the opportunity to become the next head coach of the Brisbane Bullets,” Duncan said.
New Brisbane Bullets coach James Duncan (far left) during his days as an assistant at the Sydney Kings. Picture: NBL Media.Source:Supplied
“It’s a great honour and I’m excited for this new challenge.
“Through the interview process we connected by envisioning the Bullets being a destination club.
“Trust and building strong interpersonal relationships throughout the organisation are fundamental in the direction we’re taking.
“Us being a team takes precedence. Players are the key, and their development is a priority for our success.
“The game is played on both ends of the floor, but we’ll demand a consistent effort and focus on defence. We will be purposeful and disciplined, which I feel is needed to beat the top teams.
“I also look forward to getting out into the community. Our behaviour defines us – our culture is the sum of our daily interactions as an organisation.
“Building up our membership support and fanbase is crucial, showing we’re all in this together. Our fans need to see and feel it every time we step on to the floor and to know we’re going to give it a crack at the highest level.”
Bullets majority owner Martin is looking forward to working together with Duncan to build the Bullets into a powerhouse in the NBL.
“From our first conversation with James, it was clear that he was extremely knowledgeable and is someone that is thorough in his approach and processes towards coaching. He is definitely a student of the game,” Martin said.
New Brisbane Bullets head coach James Duncan is a student of the game. Picture: NBL Media.Source:Supplied
“He has benefited from working in the NBL for the past two years, so he is aware of the style in which the game is played in Australia.
“James has a clear direction on where he wants the Bullets to be, and it aligns closely with the ownership group. I can speak on behalf of the entire organisation when I say we are all looking forward to working with him and achieving great things as a club.”
McLennan was impressed with Duncan through the interview process and can see plenty of upside to his philosophy and approach.
“James’s immediate focus will be the basketball program, but he understands and wants to be involved in the operation of the whole organisation,” McLennan said.
“We need and want to continue to grow the Bullets brand, and James knows he, and the playing group, will play a key role in that. Whether it be through community programs or building commercial relationships, he is keen to be part of it from top to bottom.
“We’re excited about his appointment, and we’re keen for him to get in and get going. There is a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be, and he is going to play a key role in that.”
Duncan will officially begin his role with the Brisbane Bullets on July 1.
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