Not a Hawks fans ... Jerome Randle for the Adelaide 36s
Not a Hawks fans ... Jerome Randle for the Adelaide 36s TONY MCDONOUGH

MVP brands NBL semi-final opponents 'dirty'

BASKETBALL: The NBL's Most Valuable Player, Jerome Randle, has ensured there will be added spice in the first semi-final clash between his Adelaide 36ers and the Illawarra Hawks.

Ahead of the best-of-three series starting tomorrow night in Adelaide, Randle branded the Hawks a dirty team and said he dislikes all their players.

"I just don't like them. I don't like the way they play basketball,” Randle said. "I don't like anything about none of the guys on the team. I'm just being honest.

"There's a lot of dirty players on the team, that is how they play - fight first, play basketball second.

"They want to make it to the grand final and we want to make it to the grand final so however they throw blows, then we're going to do the same thing.”

Randle said he was prepared for any physicality directed at him from the Hawks, and wasn't feeling any pressure to perform.

"I'm from the south side of Chicago ... that is pressure being from the south side of Chicago,” he said.

"Basketball is not pressure. I don't know what pressure is when it comes to basketball because it's a game. You have just got to come out and here and play.”

The 29-year-old said winning the league's MVP award was a "great accomplishment” but wanted team success now.

"I'm not thinking about the MVP right now. Top four, in the playoffs, is all that is on my mind right now ... I'm anxious to play,” he said.

36ers v Hawks, tomorrow night 6.30pm (AEST)



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