HE IS greyer and a little craggy-faced like Clint Eastwood, but one thing which hasn't changed about former basketball guru Brian Kerle is his unbridled passion for basketball and his love of Brisbane.
Happily married and living an idyllic lifestyle in the Thai city of Ubon Ratchathani, Kerle has been waiting patiently for the day the National Basketball League reinstates a Brisbane team to the NBL.
Thirty years ago, with the help of a handful of basketball lovers, Kerle used all his entrepreneurial skills and marketing talent to transform the Brisbane Bullets into the city's number one sporting ticket.
Now, as the game's officials continue to procrastinate about bringing back Brisbane, the man widely known as "Mr Basketball" has told APN he is ready to do it all again with the same passion and drive.
"It would be different, the landscape has changed, the sponsors have changed, the economy of the world and the country has changed," he said as he spoke openly about his desire to help Brisbane rise again.
"But you have to work to that. You can't just say 'hey the Bullets won't be successful because of those excuses' .
"Losers find excuses, winners find a way."
Under Kerle, the Bullets won two championships and played in front of packed stadiums well before the Brisbane Broncos galloped into town or the Brisbane Bears, now Lions, roared to AFL glory 20 years later.
Along with powerhouses Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide, they were the heart and soul of the NBL.
As the League has discovered since their demise in 2008 - the competition is poorer without them.
Would you support the return of the Brisbane Bullets?
This poll ended on 28 February 2015.
Absolutely, the Bullets were my team!
No thanks, Brisbane needs a new team if it comes back to the NBL
I don't think Brisbane ought to be involved in the NBL
I'm not interested in basketball
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Last September, NBL chief executive Fraser Neill stood in the middle of Auchenflower Stadium, where the Bullets were born, and declared to everyone Brisbane would be back in action in 2015-16.
"There'll be a team in Brisbane, whether it be through one of the consortia putting together a bid or whether it's us running the team, similar to the (Western Sydney) Wanderers. It's happening," Neill said.
Kerle's son Simon, who played 381 NBL games for several clubs including the Bullets, has no doubt his famous father is the man to bring back Brisbane.
"He just didn't transform basketball, he made rugby league pick their game up, he made AFL pick their game up and they did, but on a better level and consistently whereas the NBL just dropped the ball," Simon said.
"I remember in 1984 we were playing at Auchenflower Stadium in front of 1400 people, they were cooking sausages on the court next door, it was just insane.
"The next year they were at Chandler and the next year they were at Boondall playing in front of 10,000 screaming fans."
Brian Kerle has an ally in Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett who he said had encouraged him to give basketball another shot.
"Wayne was the one who encouraged me to come back to coaching the last time, and I took his advice then," Kerle said.
"There's a bit of music still in me and I don't want it to die.
"I haven't achieved all I want to do in basketball just yet, honestly I haven't.
"Given the opportunity, I want to bring Brisbane alive again."
Do you want to see the triumphant return of the Brisbane Bullets? HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW
This piece is part of the series, From The Heart: Aussie Icons Speak Out from Australian Regional Media.
In this video series we have also spoken to great Australians including:
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