Kyle Julius’ penchant for coaching has always been there since his playing days back in North America but his jump to becoming a head coach in the league brought about questions centered around his ability to be a coach in the Asian region and how he’ll be able to utilize the locals. He isn’t as recognized locally but he has worked with all of the Canadian players in the NBA and also won championships in the Canadian domestic league. Julius’ coaching credentials brought him halfway across the world. He finally announced his arrival in the region via a gold medal finish in the 2017 William Jones Cup as the coach of the 3D Canada Global Sports.
All doubts would look to be unfounded as he was able to lead the Heat to its best record in the ABL last season which includes the franchise’s first playoff win and also its winningest season. He was expected to stay with the team and build upon their success but many were surprised when the Formosa Dreamers announced that they were able to acquire his services after 2018-2019’s Coach of the Year Dean Murray left the squad.
Shooting down any rumors between him and the ownership of the Saigon Heat that led to his departure, Julius was nothing short of praises for the organization and stated that it was simply a matter of “healthy differences of opinions when it came to player development,” and that parting ways would be best for both parties. The Heat will be hard-pressed to find a coach that can replicate, and even outdo, his success in the past two seasons.
The Chinese-Taipei-based squad finished the regular season as the number one seed but was unceremoniously swept from the postseason party by Mono Vampire which called into question how much of the Dreamers’ regular-season success can be attributed to the team’s ability and how much of it was due to sheer luck. Julius was brought in to make the most out of the Dreamers’ roster. “My goal is to build on the great job coach Murray did last year. I have nothing but respect (for) the way he had them playing and I will do my very best to build on the winning culture he and the ownership built,” said the new coach of the Dreamers.
Imports William Artino, Malcolm Miller, and Tevin Glass were the stars of the Dreamers last season. Miller led the team in points and assists, Artino topped the rebounding category, while Glass supplemented the two imports with more scoring and rebounds. With Julius at the helm, he plans to utilize the locals’ speed and aggression as the focal point of the Formosa offense. The Canadian coach mentioned that the decision to focus on the development of local players was more of the organization’s preference and that he is more than up to the task of doing so. “We want to make sure they get more in-game playing time and experience. We will start the season this way and evaluate the progression,” Julius said.
It would seem to be for the best as landing the Dreamers job allows him more freedom when it comes to the personnel he wants to bring in and develop. He plans to focus on the development of the local players, further pushing their skill level to its best. The jump was a no-brainer for him as the organization was a perfect fit for his philosophies, citing how coachable the locals were, particularly the veterans. “They work with the young players and the young players are receptive,” he said. This is in line with an interview back in 2014, in which he was quoted to have said that pro players are easier to work with because “their weaknesses and issues are easier to pinpoint.”
At the risk of sounding cliché, the Canadian national is also looking to foster a culture of brotherhood and accountability within the team, most especially among the players. In today’s basketball, star power and talent usually take precedence over the development of team chemistry, still an underrated aspect of the sport. Julius highlights the importance of winning but his coaching philosophy puts a premium on team chemistry first. “I want these guys to love each other and buy into our process together. If we can get that done, winning will take care of itself,” said Julius.
The Dreamers will look to run it back this season and with Kyle Julius leading the way, a deep run into the postseason is not far-fetched. “We want our fans to be proud of (us) and the way we play,” he said. This looks to be the precedence with Julius-led teams, as they are generally fundamentally strong in all aspects of the game while having an emphasis on a grit-and-grind defense and a much more modern pace-and-space offense.
“There will be no easy games against us. We are ready to battle and fight for every inch this season,” Julius concludes.