Boomers star Mitch Creek says he will return to Adelaide with a chip on his shoulder and is determined to raise hell next season against former NBL team the 36ers.
Australian forward Creek was ecstatic to be unveiled as the first marquee signing by new NBL franchise South East Melbourne Phoenix but was clearly not thrilled with the way he left the 36ers.
Creek, 26, played 197 games for Adelaide from 2010-18 and captained the 36ers for the past two seasons, leading them in the 2017-18 grand-final series against Melbourne United.
However, Creek fell out with the 36ers after his departure to pursue a NBA contract with the Brooklyn Nets during the off season. Creek was livid after the 36ers filed an injunction to stop Basketball Australia approving any deal between the forward and the Nets unless they received compensation.
He was cut by the Nets before the regular season began, eventually linking this year with Brooklyn's second-tier G League team the Long Island Nets. Creek is looking forward to his two-season deal with Phoenix from 2019-20 - and, it seems, lining up against former club Adelaide.
"I will walk into that (Adelaide) stadium and I will thank the crowd, I'll thank my teammates that I played with from there, I'll thank the coaches, but there's certain people at that club that I will never thank, and I'll never have any time for again," Creek told NBL.com.au.
"Things happen, and that's how it is. "But I'll go back there with a real chip on my shoulder and they're going to understand they shouldn't have done what they done and I'm going to play every single second of that 40-minute game.
"We're going to try and raise some hell." A member of the Boomers' 2017 Asian Cup-winning side, Creek's NBL contract reportedly has a NBA 'out clause'.
"It's great to be back in the NBL, which I think is in the top three leagues in the world," Creek said. "We're going to have our backs against the wall, we're the new team and I can't wait to get started and build a huge rivalry with Melbourne United in the heartland of basketball."