28 Aug 2017

Steven Adams opens up on Tall Blacks future

6:49 pm on 28 August 2017

There's still no definite timeline on when Steven Adams will play for New Zealand but the 24-year-old admits the moment is getting closer.

Steven Adams

Steven Adams Photo: NBA.com

The Oklahoma City Thunder centre is in New Zealand for his annual visit home, running a series of coaching clinics with children around the country.

At today's clinic in Auckland, Adams hinted for the first time that playing for the Tall Blacks could happen in the future.

Adams has never played for New Zealand, blaming the NBA's conflicting schedule with the international basketball window.

He revealed there was more to it, however.

Adams said he wants to play for the Tall Blacks but believes there needs to be better player development from Basketball New Zealand.

"It can't be soley relied on just one player, our system has got to be good.

"Say if I didn't exist - there's still a problem, we still need to produce these players so that's what we [Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare and Adams] talked about and that's what we're working on," Adams said.

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare Photo: Photosport

Adams said he and Henare have a great relationship and has nothing but respect for the direction Henare's taking the young Tall Blacks team in.

"He's an amazing coach and just a good fella. We're really lucky to have him as a coach for the national team."

New Zealand recently finished fourth at the Asia Cup and Adams admitted he was impressed with what he saw.

Despite his admiration, Adams remained non-committal on when he would join Henare's team.

"When the time's right I'll throw [the singlet] on but there's obviously a lot of spring cleaning that needs to be done and [Henare]'s doing an amazing job at it.

"Henare has a vision of how he sees the Tall Blacks and how they want to play, he wants them to play and he's fighting for that and you can only follow dudes who are that passionate."

Adams is in the country for another week, headlining his own charity golf tournament in Auckland, after that he'll head back to America for the new NBA season.

Meanwhile New Zealand will have to wait a little longer before we see Steven Adams in black.