Reigning MVP Travis Trice has opened up about his, at times, rocky relationship with Taipans coach Aaron Fearne as his former club walks into Brisbane for the first time since his defection tonight.
The Trice-Taipans dynamic has seen its ups and downs in the past 18 months with the point guard admitting he and Fearne butted heads in his early days in the Far North while his family traded barbs with the club on social media recently.
There were rumours swirling around early last season that Trice was booted out of a Taipans practice by Fearne, which he flatly denied, but the 24-year-old says his relationship improved with his coach as the 2016-17 season went on.
The Bullets import believes the pair grew closer as they both followed a similar path to the NBL - underrated by many and aiming to prove the doubters wrong.
"I think you need to chalk it up to my frustrations learning the offence and not knowing what was going on or what he expected," Trice said of his relationship with Fearne.
"One thing about Fearney, he is a straight shooter and he is going to tell you if he is not happy with every little thing.
"At the same time, towards the end of the year and things were going better for us that had a lot to do with our relationship.
"We are both really competitive people and both have been doubted our whole careers and I think that was a point we bonded on.
"Even though we fell short at the end, we came together as we hated losing and we got closer after that."
Trice, in his first season of playing outside of the USA, averaged a touch under 15points a game for the Far North club as well as three assists and a steal.
He is following that up with better numbers again for the Snakes' Queensland rivals this campaign.
Fearne was asked about his relationship with Trice yesterday morning but he would not answer questions.
Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis' system is what sold Trice on a move south.
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