Mitch Creek's 2017-18 highlights
Adelaide 36ers star Mitch Creek has established himself as one of the premier players in the NBL after a dominant year which saw his side finish the regular season second on the table (video courtesy NBL).
The Cairns Taipans have signalled the beginning of a new era, cutting ties with long-time coach Aaron Fearne to end the inaugural player's 19-season association with the NBL club.
Fearne has been at the helm since 2010 and on the playing and coaching roster since the club entered the league.
He helped steer the club from within a whisker of extinction to the 2011 grand final series and won NBL coach of the year in 2015 as the side made another grand final series and won the minor premiership.
But they finished a distant sixth this year and are yet to win a title, with Saturday's announcement a significant one for the community-owned club.
"The NBL is evolving, the competition is getting stronger ... the Taipans brand continues to grow and we need to remain dynamic and give ourselves the best competitive edge," Taipans chief executive Mark Beecroft said.
"We need to move fast and forward into the future and this is the first step."
Taipans president Troy Stone said the club had delayed talks with potential replacements until now and Fearne would look within the NBL and overseas for his next opportunity.
Fearne's shared offence system has proved divisive in NBL circles but his consistency, recruitment record and tactical nous are held in high regard at home and abroad.
"It would give the Taipans nothing but pride to see Aaron go on to the biggest stages in the world of basketball as he continues to advance his career, while the club also moves on," Stone said.
His departure will be felt by the Cairns basketball community, given he also worked heavily with junior players and coaches.
"I have spent the past two decades heavily invested in every level of the game here in Cairns," he said.
"It has been more than just a job for me here. It has been my life and my family's life."