Meet Ben Hill. Actually the big rig should require no introductions to the PG Arena faithful because, in many respects, the former basketball international never really left the Hawks' house even though he had retired in 2013.
On the basketball court in his playing days, Hill was seen not heard. That's because his physical presence was often enough, even in the twilight of his career, when coaches such as Shawn Dennis and Paul Henare simply rolled him off the bench to ruffle the feathers of opposition bigs.
In a game where the rules never change - just the subtlety with which they are executed - Hill brought a sense of reliability that was as potent as his ability to drop clutch shots in the fourth quarter while retreating backwards with defence on his mind.
Quite often, after a Taylor Hawks game in Napier in the past four years, a retired Hill was the first to engage in a jargonistic but stimulating discussion with any player who wanted a court-savvy feedback.
But the magnitude of those chats will have changed now and they aren't optional. On Wednesday Hill was officially appointed caretaker coach of the hapless Hawks after Kirstin Daly-Taylor abruptly resigned that morning following a "panic attack" on the foundation of one win in 26 matches.
Now the Hawks players have no choice but to man up to the 38-year-old from Napier who is adamant about turning the Hawks' misfortunes around halfway through the National Basketball League (NBL) season as they languish at the bottom of the ladder, on the heels of a win-less winter last year.
"I'm a pretty straight up guy so I'll say it how it is," says Hill before he joined the players for the trip to Te Awamutu for the match against James Blond Supercity Rangers last night. "I'm not going to have any favourites. If you screw up you're going to be on the bench so that was pretty much the first thing I told them [on Wednesday] night."
A member on the board of the Hawke's Bay franchise, he wants the Hawks to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror and bring everything they have.
Hill doesn't have any dramatic plots - no Princeton offence strategies or a northern hemisphere full-court press, as Tab Baldwin had employed with the Hawks in 2012.
But, in his opinion, if it's broken then it urgently needs mending.
"The starting five isn't cutting the mustard so I'll have to change it up a little bit."
His one-on-one appraisals have left no doubts on what his expectations are of each of them.
So some egos to stroke in the team?
"Oh there always is. I was one of the biggest ones when I was playing so you've got to use a bit of psychology, you know," he says.
"Most Americans who come out here come from Hollywood so it's a case of how you deal with them but it shouldn't be an issue."
Hill doesn't think the Hawks are that far off the pace.
"If they do a few little things here and there we can be a little more competitive."
It boils down to reading the game and adjusting smartly.
"Obviously the defence is absolutely terrible so it's, hopefully, something I can help fix."
That is not to say Hill is cock a hoop about the offence, either.
"If the defence is crap the offence is terrible so if we get a good start on defence then the continuous play on the offensive end will dictate how they play."
So is leaking more than 100 points in a game a sin in the hoopla kingdom?
"Oh, it's up there. It's 25 [points] a quarter, if you think about it," Hill says, harking back to his heyday when teams were averaging 120-130 points a game.
In those days scoring around the 80 vicinity wasn't considered great either although such games came down to scoring a point more than the opposition for victory.
Hill, who had plied his trade with the Manawatu Jets one season when Baldwin didn't see him as part of the equation, had started a "Big Man" camp in Palmerston North with former Hawks forward and Jets assistant coach Miles Pearce but that has remained dormant for four years because of his commitment to family and employers.
He feels the lethargy that people may associate with some of the Hawks is more a result of their mental fortitude rather than a lackadaisical attitude towards a regimented physical requirement.
When the Hawks coaching position was advertised two years ago Hill wasn't tempted.
"I didn't want a bar of it as I had a young family."
Wife Toni and their two sons, Cooper, who turns 6 next week, and 20-month-old Parker fit into the scheme of things a little better now.
With just a few weeks of the NBL season to go, Hill feels it'll be a good "test run" for him and Toni where "if I can do this and still not be a part of it at the same time".
However, he always intended to throw his hat into the ring towards the end of the year if the opportunity had come knocking.
Hill had slept on it when asked before Daly-Taylor formally submitted her resignation on Wednesday morning although she had told the players in the locker room of her intention following the 106-98 loss to the Canterbury Rams on Anzac Day.
Franchise board chairman Keith Price has described it as "probably one of the worst for a long time even when compared to last year when we really struggled".
Hill, a help-desk team leader, is indebted to his employers, Panpac, for giving him leeway to mentor.
"I'm working on getting them to sponsor the Hawks," he reveals with a laugh. "It's a stage process but there's interest."
Had the franchise tried to bring coaches from Australia, he suspects it would have taken them at least a fortnight to bring here so the assistant coaches would have had to carry the load.
Former Hawks teammate Clifton Bush II is his first assistant and ex-Otago Nugget and ex-Jets player Kaine Hokianga is next in line.
"He's been in the national league for about 15 years as well so he's come up good," he says of Havelock North High School teacher Hokianga who has been here for the past two years.
For Hill it was simply a case of surrounding himself with people who shared a mutual trust.
It helped that the pair had played alongside the retired New Zealand international forward who is the son of Tall Blacks legend Stan Hill.
"I obviously don't want to just pick anyone off the streets."
He sees Bush as the specialist to deal with the No3 systems (small forward) because Hill has the power forward and centre roles covered while Hokianga helps bring the No1s and No 2s (point guards/guards) in order.
"He [Clifton] has played overseas so he has that pedigree and a winning mentality," he says of the American-born who discovered he had a motormouth on the court and tended to empty his emotional tank at the final buzzer.
With Hill and Bush involved in the livestreaming of matches at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, it doesn't come as a surprise that when Hill accepted the caretaker role, Bush's name was the first to pop up in his head. The Arkansas-born coach has been involved in the development of young players.
"He's at the World Masters [over-40s] now so he called me and I told him how it was so he was up close, as he normally is," he says of Bush who drove down from Auckland to join Hill last night for the match against James Blond Supercity Rangers at Te Awamutu.
Hill says he had left a message on Daly-Taylor's phone, leaving "a bit of a spiel".
"She hasn't returned my call but that's understandable. She needs time, which is fair enough."
In fact, Hill had been helping the Hawks out at training every so often when he wasn't livestreaming.
Some protagonists in the code believe retired professional player Daly-Taylor, who was an Olympian and former Tall Fern, is allegedly a victim of disrespect from players who couldn't see past her as a female.
Price struggles to put a finger on why players deviate from the gameplan while co-skipper Jarrod Kenny, playing the anthem of whatever is said in the locker room stays there, denies any such insurgency.
However, it is understood pre-season a few marquee players were keen to roost with the Hawks but had shied from a contract because of her gender because it didn't allow blokes the latitude to be themselves in the locker room when it came to expressing views.
Former coaches Dennis and Henare, who had no qualms about inviting trusted media to be a fly on the locker room walls at halftime and after matches, often gave a glimpse of the sort of dialogue blokes engaged in especially under duress.
American swingman Lamar Roberson broached the subject of a female coach when he arrived here in February but his departure early this month, as part of a failed experiment, was more dramatic then any results despite his partner giving birth.
The 31-year-old from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pledged allegiance to his first career female coach but revealed they had differences in the way they saw the game and he tended to perform best when given the licence.
The arrival of US import centre Amir Williams coincided with the 81-63 victory over a then winless Nelson Giants on April 9 but then the losses return.
The Giants have since racked up to wins to lift themselves from the bottom of the table to show incremental gains but the Hawks, even with the late arrival of Kenny, are still trying to build on that first punctuated win amid heightened expectations.