NBL champs Sydney Kings and coach Chase Buford split

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The Sydney Kings have confirmed they have split with two-time NBL championship-winning coach Chase Buford.

American firebrand Buford took over in 2021, breaking a 17-year title drought in a dominant first season before backing it up with a championship defence in March.

The 34-year-old is pursuing coaching opportunities in the NBA and the Kings did not take up the third-year option with Buford unable to commit to the role.

"The timing is challenging but we are at a point where we must make a call to ensure we have certainty about key roles," Kings chairman and owner Paul Smith said.

Talks began last October for Buford to continue as Kings coach but also allowed the coach to explore his options in the United States.

"We wish nothing but the best for Chase, this is a difficult decision but one that is made from respect to Chase and his ambitions, but also the best interests of the Sydney Kings," Smith said.

"Chase has played a monumental role in the success of the club over the past two seasons."

Buford's father R.C Buford was an assistant coach at the University of Kansas and for San Antonio in the NBA, and is currently the CEO of the Spurs.

The Kings say they will conduct a "global search" for the club's next head coach.