Mat Campbell has never been in the business of buying championships.
Nor will the Illawarra Hawks general manager ever be - perhaps that ethos is why they are the last foundation club standing in the NBL.
The Hawks are the small market battlers, the little guys, the ones punching above their weight on the national stage.
So it is fitting they return to Canberra looking to fight their way out of a corner against the Brisbane Bullets at the AIS Arena on Sunday.
Campbell has been in this situation before. He and Glen Saville joined the Hawks as fresh-faced kids before their jerseys were retired the best part of two decades later.
They won one title and fell at the final hurdle twice. Now Campbell hopes today's crop can start to piece together their own history.
"The big thing that's important in today's game is not to go out and buy championships," Campbell said.
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"That's the way they treat their players. They see an opportunity to win straight away and that's their sole focus. That's when the turnover will be high.
"For us, it's about trying to establish a long-term commitment to the playing group. We've put a lot of effort into making sure our roster is the youngest and has the most potential.
"We've taken a bit of criticism for focusing on that area but we've got an ability with 12 players on our roster in a 40-minute game to take a punt on some of the young guys.
"For us it's about trying to get a good core group of guys and keep them together for a long time.
"With our club being the only club being in the league since the inception of the NBL in 1979, we've traditionally been able to do that. We've had success off the back of that."
Today the ultimate success seems a world away. The Hawks have slipped to 1-6 amid a torturous schedule with a ruptured Achilles bringing Aaron Brooks' campaign to an end.
Emmett Naar will be Illawarra's most experienced player in the back-court when they meet the Bullets with a healthy 35 games to his name.
LaMelo Ball will be given the keys to the team - no mean feat regardless of how special the 18-year-old NBA draft prospect may be.
But Hawks coach Matt Flinn took the reins this season aware of the treacherous road ahead. He knows it will take time, but this arduous period may just be the making of Illawarra's next generation.
"To be honest, that's been the charter from the start," Flinn said.
"This year was always going to be with its challenges, simply because of the youth and the inexperience of the back-court.
"We had a horrible performance in New Zealand which we were all disappointed with, but we were able to bounce back against Perth. We had a lot of self-reflection, a lot of critiquing.
"We've set the bar, that's where we want it to be. That's something we're going to strive for for the rest of the season, to be that dogged defensive team and to hold teams to less points so we can give ourselves a chance to win games.
"[Brooks is] going to be a void we're going to have to fill through system and chemistry. That won't be without its challenges because we are so young."
NBL ROUND FIVE
Sunday: Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets at AIS Arena, 5pm. Tickets from Ticketek.
WNBL ROUND FOUR
Saturday: Canberra Capitals v Sydney Flames at AIS Arena, 5pm. Tickets from Ticketek.