The KL Dragons yesterday announced the appointment of Australian, Adam James (Jamie) Pearlman as it’s new Head Coach for the upcoming ninth ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season. Pearlman replaces American, Christopher Thomas who left the team at the conclusion of the 2017/2018 season.

One of only two teams to have played every season of the ABL, the Dragons will look to Pearlman to turn their fortunes round after two consecutive seasons missing out on the playoffs following their 2015/2016 championship winning season.

The 46 year old Pearlman had an extensive playing career in NBL Australia, playing 233 games as a point guard in eight years , six with the Canberra Cannons and two with Cairns Taipans. His best season would be the 1998/1999 season where he would average 11.0 PPG, 4.5 APG and 1.6 SPG.

Pearlman in action for Cairns Taipans in 2000

Pearlman would later spend four years coaching Queensland Basketball League team, Cairns Marlins, where he would win a championship in 2016. During his stint with the Marlins, he was also awarded Coach Of The Year in 2014.

Pearlman celebrating the 2016 QBL Championship with the Cairns Marlins

While he was leading the Cairns Marlins, Pearlman was concurrently an Assistant Coach with Cairns Taipans for five years, where he would assist the team in reaching the finals of the NBL Australia playoffs in 2015.

Pearlman as an Assistant Coach with Cairns Taipans

In 2017, Pearlman would be appointed the Head Coach of the Nelson Giants in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL). He would go on to win the Coach Of The Year award in his debut season from turning the 4-14 Nelson Giants into a semi finalists team in 2018. 

Pearlman receiving his NZNBL Coach Of The Year Award

In a quick quote to Asean Sports, Coach Pearlman mentioned that he was excited to embark on this journey to the ABL and he looks to build a tough defensive unit with a strong team culture with the KL Dragons.

The General Manager of the KL Dragons, Andri Reza said ”We selected Coach Pearlman because we believe he is a great fit for the Dragons. He’s a defensive minded coach and that’s definitely something we’re looking to have a greater focus on this season. It might not be the sexy thing in a landscape where 30 feet three point bombs are commonplace, but it’s something that is imperative to the growth and success of the Dragon’s program.”‘

Pearlman will arrive in Malaysia  in September 2018 for pre season preparation for the upcoming ABL season. Pearlman will be the second Australian coach in the history of the ABL, the first being Frank Arsego with the Singapore Slingers in 2009.