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Are Wolves paying the price for success?
ZAIRE Taylor’s decision to quit Worcester Wolves and join London Lions highlights the dilemma now facing the British Basketball League club.
Despite winning two of the four titles on offer last season, and going close to winning the league as well, Worcester’s star player has decided his future lies elsewhere.
Wolves aren’t rolling in money and don’t have the title sponsorship of the likes of Sheffield Sharks, Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders.
By being catapulted into the winners’ enclosure, having previously not won any major honour, they raised the bar significantly.
Players were always going to be in demand and keeping hold of them a tough challenge for Paul James.
In Taylor’s departure, that looks like being a bigger challenge than first thought.
In essence, the University Arena club have become victims of their own success.
They have risen to the upper echelons of British basketball and are now rightly considered one of the big hitters.
However, it appears that currently they don’t have the financial clout to sustain the levels they now aspire to.
Taylor’s switch probably proves that, even if his decision to publicly call Wolves’ offer “insulting” might not have been his best play.
Wolves may also feel slighted that Taylor chose to link up with the Lions, a side Worcester comfortably had the beating of last season, rather than Newcastle, Sheffield or his former club Leicester.
They will also be hoping his switch doesn’t trigger a swathe of other top names to re-consider their positions.
James has worked wonders in rebuilding teams from scratch in previous seasons but the class of 2014 were the best, and they proved it with silverware.
Having to go back to the drawing board rather than build on the club’s most successful season ever probably wasn’t part of the plan.
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