Sydney Kings guard Jason Cadee believes Andrew Gaze's emotional antics in the media are designed to protect his players and he wants to repay the coach when he takes the court in the purple and gold for the 100th time on Sunday.
The Harbour City outfit has struggled amid injury troubles this year, including the loss of three-time NBL all-star Kevin Lisch for most of the season.
With Lisch expected to return next week and a host of other key recruits becoming a more regular appearance at training, Cadee is hopeful of a turnaround in the second half of the NBL season.
"All these guys have been brought in for a reason: because we think when they are all brought together it will click," he said.
"Kevin Lisch is one of the best two-way players in the league and he's been out for the whole season, basically. We've missed Perry [Ellis] one week, Blanch [Todd Blanchfield] has been out,
"Now that we've got a few of those guys coming back, Drewy's [Gaze] passion will infect the group and make life a bit easier on us and him."
Gaze is something of a lighting rod for the Kings and Cadee expressed his sympathy for the man copping the wrath of the media.
Key character: Andrew Gaze wears his heart on his sleeve.
"None of us like to see anyone in our group cop criticism, but I think Drewy, as part of who he is, has partly done it to protect us," Cadee said. "That's his way of doing it, he's trying to protect us most of all in speaking up.
"Seeing Drewy - he wears his heart on his sleeve - so seeing him devastated after games is one of the worst things, for me.
"I hate seeing it - you don't like seeing a man like that, especially someone who cares so much. I'd like to hope there is some good around the corner where we can turn that into a positive."
Cadee wasn't aware of his upcoming milestone until prompted, but says a win would do more for the team as a whole than just mark a milestone, as the side looks to turn their fortunes around.
"This league's tough and to not have your main guys there is tough," he said. "Seeing those guys day in, day out ... although the results haven't shown up just yet, seeing the improvement week in, week out at training has been a positive for sure."