The Wolves may have lost out in a Championship race which they led for so long, but having never reached a final in their first seven seasons, the Wolves reached two in three months — and won them both.
“The fact we’ve been there or thereabouts all season long has been tremendous for us,” said a delighted James after his side’s 90-78 win. “To come away with two trophies is just unbelievable.”
Prior to this season the Wolves had never progressed past the semi-final of a knockout competition, let alone get out of the first round of the Playoffs, but it was a year where club records kept falling.
Even though they missed on the Championship title, the Wolves still managed more wins in the league than ever before.
After an amazing and dramatic campaign for the Wolves, an exhausted James is looking forward to a well-earned break.
“I’m thinking at least three weeks, that’s for sure, before I look to do too much!” he said.
“The next couple of days, I’ll be winding down the players and talk to them before they go home, and then I’ll have a break.”
He added, “Then I’ll come back and hopefully we’ll be bigger and better next season.”
The transformation of the Wolves over the last five years has been slow, but steady improvements every year.
James always dismissed the notion of the Wolves being one of the league’s ‘big boys’ in the past because they had no silverware to show for it.
“I didn’t come to Worcester to make up the numbers or just make the playoffs,” he explained.
“The first thing I needed to do was make the playoffs every single year and I think every year we’ve improved and got better.
“Then the progress from there was to get to semi-finals and get to finals, but to do it how we’ve done this year has been very, very special.”
He added, “I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to achieve with this bunch. The organisation is going from strength to strength and I think we can become one of the top four teams for many years to come.”
Success is a double-edged sword. Not only can it make it easier to recruit new players, it can make it more difficult to hold onto players as well.
“It can make it very hard to keep players,” agreed the Wolves’ play-caller.
“We’ve got to try and keep five, six or seven of them together and add to that.
“We’ve got a fantastic facility now and sometimes it’s hard because people see that facility and think you’ve got lots of money.”
James added, “Hopefully the success will make recruitment easier and hopefully I only have to look for one or two players next season.
“If not, I’m sure there will not be a shortage of players who will want to come and play for us.”
Story – BBL
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