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NBL coach Wright safe but 36ers advertise

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017 Steve Larkin

Joey Wright. © Mark Nolan/Getty Images Joey Wright. The Adelaide 36ers have advertised for a new coach in a bizarre move to keep incumbent Joey Wright in the job at the NBL club.

American-born Wright, after winning the most recent of his three NBL coach of the year awards this season, is seeking a visa for permanent residency in Australia.

As part of the process, the immigration department required the 36ers to advertise for a head coach to test the market.

Adelaide placed an advertisement on Tuesday on a job-seeking website, sparking widespread confusion about Wright's future.

Adelaide's chief executive Guy Hedderwick says the "speculation has been remarkable".

"The Adelaide 36ers are assisting Joey Wright with a visa application to allow him to continue living and working in South Australia as head coach of the team," Hedderwick said in a statement.

"It is part of the immigration department's requirements that the coaching position be advertised to test the labour market."

Wright has just ended his fourth season as Adelaide's coach and, last year, signed a three-year extension to remain at the club.

"We believe Joey is the best coach in the country and he proved that this season by what he achieved with the youngest team in our history," Hedderwick said.

"The speculation today has been remarkable and it says a great deal about our brand, considering the reaction through the wider public."

Wright's 36ers were beaten last week in their semi-final series by the Illawarra Hawks.

The 48-year-old Wright coached the Brisbane Bullets to the 2007 NBL title and also was at the helm of the now-defunct Gold Coast Blaze before joining Adelaide.

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