Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson says his players are getting “grumpy” waiting for the NBL to get underway, with the club still unsure who they’ll open the season against.
The Wildcats were originally scheduled to start their campaign with a blockbuster grand final rematch against the Sydney Kings at Perth Arena on January 15.
That fixture has been scrapped following the COVID-19 outbreak in NSW.
Complicating the NBL’s fixture task is the fact that Victoria is also experiencing an outbreak.
South East Melbourne Phoenix and the New Zealand Breakers were moved to Hobart last week, while the NBL is looking to move the Sydney Kings and The Hawks from Albury to Queensland or possibly Tasmania.
The Wildcats have been told that they will still open their campaign at home on January 15 – but their opponent remains up in the air.
The NBL is set to unveil a revised schedule as early as Wednesday morning.
“We just want to play. We normally start (the season) three months earlier,” Gleeson said.
“Guys have been training. They’re competing on a daily basis, but they want to compete for the real thing.
“To get professional athletes not competing, you get grumpy guys. They’re a little bit grumpy, and they want to get out and play.
“I think that 15th of January is locked in to be a home game. We want to unfurl the banner from last year.
“Hopefully we can get a big crowd, however many we’re allowed to, and unfurl the banner in front of them and start our season off.”
The Wildcats flew to Brisbane on Tuesday ahead of two pre-season matches against the Bullets behind closed doors.
During the time away, Wildcats players will vote on their next captain to replace the retired Damian Martin.
Superstar import Bryce Cotton has already indicated he is unlikely to put his hand up for the role.
It leaves veteran Jesse Wagstaff, guard Mitch Norton, former Adelaide captain Kevin White and Todd Blanchfield among the leading options.
“Part of getting away is building the chemistry within the group,” Gleeson said.
“We’ll sit down as a group and the players will vote on that (captain).
“Typically we’ve done it early because we’ve travelled earlier. This is our first road trip this season. We’ll go through our team values and culture and behaviours. They’ll vote on the captain then.”
The Wildcats have the chance to snare a three-peat of titles for the first time.