Sport rocked by nuclear WhatsApp claims
The NBL has been rocked by a staggering series of social media posts from Adelaide 36ers guard Kevin White, accusing former coach Joey Wright of abusing players and assaulting a teammate.
White made a series of serious accusations against the veteran NBL coach, coming just one day after the American mentor's split from the 36ers was confirmed.
The three-time NBL coach of the year departed after seven years in South Australia after a decision club officials claimed was "mutual".
One of the most celebrated and longest-serving mentors in NBL history, Wright leaves the Sixers after failing to make the playoffs for the second straight season.
White responded to Wright's decision to part ways by going nuclear with allegations of misconduct against his former mentor.
The 36ers have responded to White's claims by confirming the club will investigate the accusations against Wright and senior figures in the team.
The Adelaide co-captain posted a bitter tirade at his former coach on Twitter, suggesting the coach's attitude was responsible for the team's broken culture.
"I've been told to shut my mouth & it will be handled for weeks," White tweeted on Friday morning.
"Well it's now getting out of hand and I won't stand for my teammates getting belted in the media.
"You rise as a team and fall as a team!
"That's a winning cultures MOTO, every time it's been the players. Spare me!"
"8 weeks ago we sat in a team meeting...we were told "if we don't make playoffs, people won't think it's because I'm a s*** coach, they will just think i had a s*** team"...another video session another meeting.
"This time "we have too many empath's, too many guys soaking others emotions. Too many guys that care about their teammates situation and not worrying about themselves. I'm not built like that, I'm the opposite of an empath!"
"Google that and see what man is coaching this club.
"Still the guys shut their mouths and show up to train, play and do their jobs. All while copping this day in and day out....did any of the other coaching staff, 'High performance team' or office staff do anything. NO!!!! is the simple answer.
"Another game day another inspiring pre-game talk....this time 'a racial divide' has split the group and we don't function together. "if you don't want to do it for your teammates go get 30 for yourself and then maybe you will help us win a game" Gee way to inspire young men!
"If you think this is something that has taken place over night... you're dead wrong! The guy assaulted a player a year ago and the club and his agent sat on their hands. This isn't a boxing ring and it wouldn't be acceptable in any other work place. So why do people tolerate this?
"I'll leave you with a message to our coaches group. A message from our 'high performance manager' about guys 'Well-being scores' WELL-BEING let that sink in and then read it."
White also posted a screenshot that he claims shows Wright posting to a team group chat where he vents abut his players, saying: "F*** all of them. Hopefully it gets low enough for them to hang themselves. F***ing d***s".
White's claims have stunned the league and caught the 36ers on the back foot.
The team issued a statement on Friday morning to announce it is treating the accusations seriously.
"The Adelaide 36ers are investigating comments made in tweets from co-captain Kevin White," the team said.
"The club takes the allegations seriously and will investigate further as part on an ongoing review. No further comments will be made until the conclusion of the review."
The NBL also released a statement on Friday to confirm league officials are also treating the accusations seriously.
"The NBL is aware of comments made by Adelaide 36ers co-captain Kevin White on social media today," the league said in a statement.
"The league takes the matter very seriously and is working closely with the Adelaide 36ers and the Australian Basketball Players' Association to seek further information."
Wright on Thursday further hinted at the relationship breakdown with his players, admitting it was time for him to move on.
"To get away from that situation is for me, health-wise, the best thing to happen," he said, according to The Adelaide Advertiser.
"As far as mental health, dealing with the pressures and stresses of that situation.
"I'm just concerned our values were inconsistent with one another and not that mine were right and theirs were wrong, but they were inconsistent and we just weren't heading in the right direction.
"The ones who it wasn't good with, it wasn't good. I'm not a halfway person, I can't be lukewarm, you're either with me or against me and there were four who weren't really committed and by then the three imports and Harry didn't give us what we needed. That was the reality of it," Wright said.
"I would have loved for those guys to be a little bit more driven but we weren't on the same page, and that's not the club's fault, that's my fault and I tried everything I could to get them on the same page as everybody else."
But the 51-year-old believes the 36ers are in better shape than when he joined in 2013.
"I feel like I have left the club in a better position than when I first arrived and I look forward to my next coaching challenge," Wright said in a statement on Wednesday.
Wright coached Brisbane from 2002-08 and also was at the helm of Gold Coast Blaze from 2009-2012.
He was named the NBL's coach of the year in 2004, 2007 and 2017, when Adelaide were beaten in the championship series.