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Maor departs Breakers for Japan gig

Mody Maor NZ Breakers basketball
Head coach Mody Maor has been released from the final year of his contract with the NZ Breakers. PHOTO: NZ BREAKERS

The coach who has led the on-court rebuild of the NZ Breakers post-Covid-19 is leaving Auckland for Japan.

In two seasons as head coach in the Australian National Basketball League (ANBL), Mody Maor guided the Breakers to the playoffs twice, with an overall 29-27 record in the regular season.

Under Maor, the Breakers came within seven minutes of a championship last year before falling 77-69 to the Sydney Kings in a deciding Game 5 of the ANBL Finals.

Previously, he arrived at the Breakers in 2019 and was assistant to Dan Shamir for three years, including the two seasons when the New Zealand borders were closed and the team relocated to Australia. 

Breakers chief executive Lisa Edser said Maor left for Japan - released from the final year of his contract - with the club's blessing and would forever be part of the Breakers’ family because of his enormous contribution.

“Mody’s international reputation is at an all-time high after what he has done at the Breakers, and he is now one of the most highly sought coaches in the world,” said Edser.

“We have always been a family first club, and Mody is forever part of the Breakers family, but we understand the reality of his putting his wife and two little children first with this opportunity.”

Mody Maor NZ Breakers basketball
Head coach Mody Maor is saying sayonara to the NZ Breakers. PHOTO: NZ BREAKERS

Edser said the players, including star import Parker Jackson-Cartwright, have been told and supported Maor’s rationale for moving on.

She said the club had plenty of time to find the best replacement.

“Our season has only just ended, and the first practice for the next season is still three months away,” she said.

“The Breakers is one of the most coveted coaching jobs outside the NBA.

“There are many great candidates, and we will take the time we have in spades to identify the right person to lead the team forward to give us the best opportunity to win the championship next season.”

Maor, 38, said it would be an adjustment moving to Asia because his Breakers’ experience had left an indelible place in his heart because both his infant girls were born in Auckland.

He was confident the players signed for the new season would rally around the new coach and continue the proud legacy of the club.

“I have spoken to all the players, and they are confident, as I am, that management will put an incredible coach in place,” said Maor.

“When a player decides to play for the Breakers, he takes many different parameters under consideration, and it’s not just to play under the coach.

“All the players I’ve signed have signed to play for the Breakers, not me, and I will be cheering them on from the couch next season.

“To the fans, you’ve been amazing, and I appreciate all your support. There’s no greater experience than a game day at Spark Arena. I’m really going to miss it and miss you all.”


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