Former Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Mark Price has resigned from his duties as head coach of new Australian National Basketball League franchise, the South Dragons. After a lacklustre start to the 2006-07 NBL season, where the Dragons are yet to win a game, the pressure on Price in Melbourne appeared to be too much and he has decided to move his family back to the States. A move which the club appears to agree with wholeheartedly -- in other words, he was more pushed than anything.
Team Captain Shane Heal, a former San Antonio Spur and Minnesota Timberwolf, will become Head Coach/Captain for the remainder of the season. There is speculation that Heal had become tired with Price's coaching style early on in the partnership and potentially that disapproval of one of Australia's most successful ever players helped push Price on his way.
Former NBA journeyman Todd Fuller, who started the season as one of the team's two imports, was also released on the same day. Fuller had been solid, yet unspectacular. His production was likely slightly below what had been expected of him, yet the main reason for his departure was more likely his ties to Price -- after being recruited downunder by the former Cav. Fuller averaged 16.8 ppg and 8.2 rpg in the 5 Dragons losses to date.
It will be interesting to see if Price can revive his coaching career elsewhere. To date he is yet to prove himself with any meaningful coaching experience and this was one of the key questions asked about him when he was signed as the innaugural coach of the South Dragons.