OGLE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) Chris Daleo's best memories are at the Metro Center winning games for the Lightning, but with those days more than a decade in the past, he's now focused on building a new legacy in Thailand.
"If I won the gold medal, if my team won the gold medal, I'd probably be named king," said Daleo.
There is a lot riding on Daleo's first gig as the Thailand men's national team head coach. The former Rockford Lightning leader is heading into the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with one goal on his mind and that's to win.
"I just want to win every single game and if this is the region, if this is where I'm planted, I want to bloom where I'm planted," Daleo said. "I just want to be as strong as I can, as recognizable as I can in that region to move onto other things or to cement my legacy there."
During his two years overseas, Daleo has won four Thailand Basketball League championships with High-Tech Bangkok City.
In that same time, the 52-year-old says he has not learned a lick of the language because he needs to stay 100 percent focused on winning.
"I pretty much stick to myself and focus on a lot of game film because I understand that I can't lose games," said Daleo. "Because I just know that there's other people nipping at your heels to take that job."
Over the years, Daleo's dream has never changed and that's get to the NBA. But he says getting those jobs are reliant on the people you know and adds that if you want to be the best, you might be lacking in the friends department.
"If you want to be an ice cream salesman, you'll be everybody's friend," Daleo said. "If you want to be a leader, that's just not going to happen. I like the fact that people say Chris Daleo wins basketball games, is a good coach and wins championships. That's really what I like. That's just me."