Adelaide release star NBL import amid rumoured rift with the team

Randall might be a star on the Australian scene, but Adelaide is giving him up.

Randall might be a star on the Australian scene, but Adelaide is giving him up. Photo: AP

The Adelaide 36ers have released Craig Randall II, after rumours emerged of tension between the star American import and the club.

The most recent recipient of the NBA G League’s most improved player award, Randall joined the 36ers this season as one of three international imports.

The former Long Island Net played a significant role in the 36ers’ headline-grabbing pre-season defeat of the Phoenix Suns – the first time an NBL side had defeated one from the NBA – and became a fast-favourite with Adelaide fans for his shooting accuracy from the three-point line.

But only a month into the regular season, questions began to arise over Randall’s relationship with the playing group and coach CJ Bruton.

Prior to the loss against South East Melbourne late last month, the 193cm-tall guard was pictured standing separately from his teammates during the national anthem.

Randall denied suggestions of a rift when the photo was posted to social media and has since turned his Twitter account to private.

Bruton admitted Randall had raised objections to starting last Saturday’s loss to the Perth Wildcats from the bench, saying the player “didn’t like it or agree with” his decision.

On Tuesday morning, the 36ers confirmed Randall would not return when the NBL returns from this week’s FIBA break – a short hiatus that allows players to participate in the next round of World Cup qualifiers.

“The decision has been made in the best interests of Craig and the club moving forward for Craig to pursue other opportunities at the highest level,” a club statement read.

“The 36ers organisation would like to thank Craig for his time at the club and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Bruton will hold a press conference on Tuesday morning, with the club already confirming development player Nick Marshall would be elevated to the 11-man roster as they ponder whether to go to market for a new import.

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