He feels uncomfortable in the role but Sydney Kings' co-captain and NBL grand final series MVP Xavier Cooks has been lauded for his leadership by coach Chase Buford.
Forward Cooks was a massive figure in Sydney's 97-88 win over Tasmania on Wednesday which earned them a 3-0 sweep and their first NBL title in 17 years.
He finished the season with nine consecutive double doubles, scoring 22 points on 80 per cent shooting from the field, and bagging 13 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks.
After an injury-plagued first two seasons with Sydney, 26-year-old Cooks has blossomed in his role as co-captain with veteran guard Shaun Bruce.
"I don't feel comfortable leading this team," Cooks said.
"I get nervous every game and I overthink everything at home but I guess it paid off."
Buford quickly dismissed the modesty of Cooks.
"He feels like he has an impostor syndrome as a leader, he's the frickin' leader of this team through and through," Buford said.
"From the get go, I felt like he's tried to shut that and we've rallied around him the whole season.
"He's been our leader on offence, he's been our leader in defence, he's been our leader in huddles.
"It's special to see as a coach when guys grow into themselves as a person as much as a player, and we saw that in spades from this dude this year.
"It was apparent very early to the coaching staff and I think to the rest of the team that this was our leader and we followed him every step of the way."
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.