<
>

Creek to fire for Phoenix despite NBA unknown

play
LaMelo's early impression of the NBL experience (1:17)

LaMelo Ball sits down with ESPN for a chat about his experience in Australia's NBL so far. (1:17)

While his NBA future is still unknown, Mitch Creek is determined to make the most of his time with NBL newcomers South East Melbourne Phoenix for however long that lasts.

Signed as their marquee player, Creek will lead the the expansion club in their first official NBL match, taking on cross-town rivals Melbourne United at Melbourne Arena on Thursday night.

As part of the Boomers' impressive World Cup campaign, Creek is hoping he caught the eye of NBA scouts after he made his debut there - during January, with two short-term contracts at Brooklyn Nets and then Minnesota Timberwolves.

His Phoenix contract has an out should such a deal arise.

The 27-year-old swingman said he had an agreement with his agent that he would only be told about genuine offers.

"If anything is to happen and it's on paper then he will tell me - until then I don't hear anything and I don't want to know about teams being interested," Creek told AAP.

"The Phoenix are supportive of me making the NBA so if something was to come up, it has to be a full-time contract, otherwise I'm going to be calling South East Melbourne home. And so far I'm loving it so I'm excited to stay for now."

Creek only joined full-time training two weeks ago and missed the NBL pre-season tournament but felt he'd have no trouble fitting in.

"Before I went away (to China) I had all the plays, I had all the defensive schemes and I knew everything that I was doing," he said.

"It's been really easy for me to transition into it - it's my 11th year, not my second or third year so I've figured out what I need to do on and off the court to help these guys feel comfortable."

The Boomers finished fourth in the World Cup to again miss a medal but Creek felt it was still a result they could be proud of - and didn't feel the shortfall took a large mental toll.

"We came fourth in the world and we played a brand of basketball that everyone as Australians can be proud of," he said.

"We didn't win all the marbles in the end but that's the way it goes sometimes."

Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell, who was an assistant coach at heavyweights United for the past four years, felt his team were well-prepared for the season-opener after making an early start.

"We've had a longer pre-season than most teams and a lot of teams have been missing players and we've obviously been missing Creeky and had to bring him in quickly," Mitchell said.

"It's unfortunate we didn't get a game with him but we did have a intra-squad game with him on Friday and he performed pretty well, so I think we will be as ready as we can be."