Friday, May 29, 2009

John Rillie ... free agent

I was SHOCKED to see the news that John Rillie had been released by the Townsville Crocodiles. I first noticed something on FaceBook from JR last night and then had it confirmed on his blog.

Its sad that John won't finish his career in Townsville where his young family have seemed well suited to over the last few years. JR mentions on his site that he only wanted to play one more season and it would have been good to have him do this is as a Croc.

That said, I don't think JR will have too much trouble picking up with a new team, after all he played for Brisbane, Adelaide, West Sydney before heading up north to The 'Ville. Of the 8 teams named to the new league, I think you can really only rule out the Breakers as they have more than enough shooters. But the rest of the teams would no doubt love a veteran shooter to play 25 mins off the bench as well as bring experience to the locker room. With the Tigers back in the league, I'm sure Anstey would love a real shooter to kick out to from the double team (no offence Ebi).

We wish Rillie the best of luck in his next/final chapter and you can of course follow along as it all happens at JR, On Fire.

Townsville Crocodiles > News

Rillie & Egan released

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Townsville McDonald’s Crocodiles today announced that they would not be looking at this stage to re-sign Daniel Egan and John Rillie for the 2009/2010 NBL season. Both players met with club officials today and were advised of the decision.

“Given the announcement today that Melbourne would be fielding a team and that there is now 8 teams ready to play next season, we believed it was important that we gave both John and Daniel the best opportunity to talk with the other clubs about contracts for the coming season,” Chief Executive Officer Ian Smythe said.

“Clubs will be able to register player contracts commencing next week and it would be unfair of us not to advise the players at the first opportunity of our intentions.” Smythe added. “Up until today there were some uncertainties that prevented me from advising the players of our intentions,” Smythe said. “I am sorry that I was unable to do so beforehand but the circumstances were unavoidable, given the long and protracted process involved with the new league.

Ian Smythe acknowledged that the decision to go down this path was not taken lightly and was one of the most difficult decisions the club had had to make. “Both Daniel and John have been an integral part of our program over the past seasons” Smythe stated, “but with the changes in the NBL, we have made the decision to take the club in a different direction for the future.”

“John has been one of the games greatest players and showed last year that he still has a lot to offer the game and the league” Smythe said “but looking to the future we need to give some of our younger players the opportunity to develop.”

“Daniel has also been a great contributor to the game and the league over all of his years in the NBL “Smythe added. “ When Daniel arrived here from Brisbane he had a lot to prove and he has not let the fans down,” Smythe said.

“I would likely to publicly acknowledge the great work that both these players have done for the Crocs and as ambassadors for the game and wish them all the success in the future,” Smythe said.

“It is never easy to let players go that have contributed to the club in so many ways,” Smythe went onto say “but we have to look to the future and making the hard decisions is part of that process.” “We have said from the beginning that we expected to be a part of the National League for many years to come and building a competitive side is a key component for this to occur.”

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Melbourne tigers back in the NBL

Finally some good news for the NBL and Australian basketball with the Melbourne Tigers changing their mind about the upcoming season. Here's the announcement that has just come through:


28 May 2009


Basketball Australia (BA) has announced that eight-teams will participate in its upcoming season of elite men’s basketball in 2009/10, with powerhouse club the Melbourne Tigers agreeing to join the competition.

BA recently announced its intention to move ahead with a season of elite men’s basketball in 2009/10, before launching a new national basketball competition in 2010.

Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, New Zealand, Perth, Townsville and Wollongong all made submissions indicating they wished to participate in the league. On Thursday the Melbourne Tigers also formally agreed to join the other seven clubs for an eight-team competition.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock welcomed the inclusion of the Tigers and said an eight-team competition was consistent with the recommendations of the sport’s extensive independent review process.

“We are delighted that the Melbourne Tigers have agreed to join the other seven teams and their addition ensures that there will be a strong and vibrant elite men’s basketball competition in Australia in 2009/10,” said Sengstock. “This competition will ensure fans can continue to enjoy world class basketball in Australia, and that players, coaches and referees can pursue their chosen field of professional excellence here at home.

“The 2009/10 season will also be a springboard to a brand new national league in 2010, which will include teams in Sydney and Brisbane to complete our geographic footprint,” added Sengstock. “BA is committed to moving forward with the reform of basketball and will continue to focus on setting up financially viable teams with strong connections to the basketball community in-line with the core recommendations of our independent review process.”

Melbourne Tigers CEO Seamus McPeake said the decision to participate in the NBL this season was in the best interests of the club and the sport.

“The Melbourne Tigers have committed to the 2009/10 season and support Basketball Australia’s united front as we move to achieve a sustainable national competition,” said McPeake. “After receiving a progress report from BA on Wednesday which addressed a number of our initial concerns, including the sport’s governance, the Tigers Board of Directors finalised our decision this morning.”

"The Tigers have a rich tradition and as one of the most iconic sporting brands in the country we are happy that we are able to continue at the highest level in Australia. Having an NBL team in Melbourne is paramount for the sport if it is to continue to move forward, and whilst we are in for some tough times ahead, we believe that the result in the long term will be positive.”

“The Melbourne Tigers Board were buoyed by the support and efforts of the Victorian Government and Sports Minister, Mr. James Merlino, with their assistance in helping achieve this result which allows the club to continue our commitment to the community and development of basketball.”

"The Tigers look forward to developing a strong partnership with Basketball Victoria and State associations to help bridge the gap between all levels of the sport. We are now calling on the Victorian community, fans, sponsors and supporters to get behind the club and help us continue to build our sport. We hope to see basketball and sport lovers alike in Melbourne cheering us on at The Cage,” McPeake added.

Sengstock also unveiled the finals format for 2009/10, which was determined by the newly formed League Commission. The top four teams will advance to the post-season, with the number one ranked team playing the fourth seed and number three playing number two in the best-of-three Semi-Finals. The winner of each series will then face off in the best-of-three Grand Final series.

The Commission also has determined that a $1million salary cap will be in place for 2009/10, as well as a points cap which will be announced shortly. The season schedule will feature 28 games (14-home and 14-away with each team playing each other four times) and will be released in June.

For more information:

Marc Howard
National Basketball League
Manager – Media, Communications & Internet
Mobile: 0419 512 139

More Kobe & LeBron

Yes, I'm loving these Nike ads. And they keep coming ...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Basketball Jones

A few months back John Rillie was talking up coming after The Basketball Jones in the world of podcasting. Today I stumbled across some funny stuff from the guys at TBJ with a "behind the scenes" video of how they prepare for their show.

DJ Rod, JR ... time to step up to the plate and give us a behind the scenes look at The OT. Show us the "card table", show us the "dodgy american accent chick" (no offence Heidi) and whatever else goes on up there in far north Queensland.

I think the challenge has been laid down ... and I'm hoping its better than the rubbish Aaron Bruce HORSE challenge. Aaron, where you at? One shot and you're done? Kids not in the same league anyway, who is he to challenge JR?? Rookie.

Click on the title below to check out the video clip from the guys at The Basketball Jones.

Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports

Video: Behind-the-scenes of 'The Basketball Jones'

By J.E. Skeets

We get a lot of email at The Basketball Jones asking how Tas and I prepare for the show. (That's a complete lie.) Do we watch the games together? (Rarely.) Do we take notes? (Um, have you actually seen the podcast?) Are our heads buried in laptops, tweeting and live blogging? (Yes ... and yes.)

So, to ignore the parentheses and really answer your questions, we produced a short behind-the-scenes video, inviting you in to watch a game with us. Please, keep your shoes on.

Dont click on the pic, click on the title above to see the video

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kobe vs LeBron, Dream Season: 23 & 24 the documentary

As the NBA season heads towards its conclusion, it seems that it's not just the NBA head office that is hoping for a Kobe vs LeBron championship series. Nike would of course LOVE the match-up of their two superstars on the biggest possible stage.

Thanks to the crew at Dime for bringing this documentary to the attention of anyone not living in the US. Its a great recap of both players, their beginnings and the season up to this point. Click on the title to see all the episodes.

Dream Season: 23 & 24 | Dime Magazine ( : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

What started in Beijing is culminating before our eyes as one of the most exciting NBA Playoffs to date. Everyone is anxious to see if at long last the league’s greatest players will be able to bring out the best of each other on basketball’s greatest stage: the NBA Finals. It’s obviously too soon to tell, but many are already dubbing it the dream season. As a result, NIKE has presented Dream Season: 23 & 24.

The one-hour special that was on ESPN the other night focuses on Kobe and LeBron’s pursuit of an NBA championship while forging a friendship reminiscent of past basketball greats. Through exclusive access to the Lakers and Cavs, Dream Season: 23 & 24 provides viewers with never-before-seen footage of Bryant’s and James’ remarkable season, narrated by Justin Timberlake.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Orlando Magic shock the Cavs ... and the world!

Yesterday the Orlando Magic pulled off a come from behind win on the road in Cleveland to win the first game of their NBA Eastern Conference Finals match-up with LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

I followed the yahoo scoreboard at work yesterday and when I got home I was pumped to find the replay of the game on One HD (I love you).

While John Rillie chose to focus on Dwight Howard's dunk that stopped the game, for me it was all about basketball shooting.

The knock on LeBron James has been his poor jump shooting (and free-throw shooting) but that was evidenced last night. I got home in time for the second quarter and LBJ was on a role sticking jumper after jumper. When his shot is on he is virtually impossible to guard. Despite missing his first four field goal attempts, LeBron finished an impressive 20 of 30 from the field including 3 triples.

The real hero of the night tho was Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic. Shard also started the game slowly but after half-time could not miss. It took a while for the Cavs to adjust and by the time they did, it was too late, he was on fire. He scored 17 points in the second half, 11 in the final quarter and was 7 of 7 from the field after the main break.

The final quarter was great to watch with the lead going back and forth between the two times. In the final minutes it was big shot after big shot being hit which is great to see from a shooting perspective. Unfortunately for Delonte West, it was his shot from the corner in the final few seconds that proved the difference and the Magic hung on for the win.

The crew at Dime have a good breakdown of the game itself and Rashard's shooting performance.

Here are the highlights from the game if you didn't catch it:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spartans SEABL game

I sent ex-Brisbane Bullet Mick Hill a message on FaceBook to congratulate him on getting married the other week in Fiji. He hit me back and mentioned that he was in town on the weekend to play against the Spartans in the SEABL and I should come along.

I planned to get an interview with Mick prior to the game but unfortunately Carina only lights up centre court and is rather noisy so it wouldn't have worked. I did have a chat to Mick about a number of things ... the new NBL, the demise of the Bullets, his playing future, life in Melbourne, etc. Its unlikely Mick will make a return to the NBL, basically he's settled in Melbourne and enjoying life there and the uncertainty of the new league isn't worth the risk (financially, physically, emotionally, etc) at his age.

Mick was screwed over by the failed takeover bid for the Bullets and I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for him as a professional basketballer not to leave the game on his own terms.

It was the first time in ages I've been to Carina to see a game. I spent much of my early 20's playing at practicing out there, so it feels very much like home to me. Big Joe was in the house looking after the music and he was on point as usual. I got to check out the new look pink Spartans uniforms which sound strange but look great and are of course for a good cause.

The game itself was entertaining. A fairly even opening quarter before the Spartans dominated in the second. Knox fought back in the 3rd and it was a close final term before the Spartans pulled away at the end to get the win.

For the Spartans, Greg Vanderjagt (27 points, 11 boards) and Chris Goulding (27 points, 5 assists) were the standouts. They got good support from Ash Cannon (20 points, 15 boards) and Ben Arndt look-alike Thalo Green (17 points, 7 boards 6 offensive).

For the Raiders, Nick Payne was red-hot (36 points, 11 of 14 from the field and 10 of 11 from the line) and CJ Massingale impressive (28 points, 21 in the first half, 7 boards). Mick was not surprisingly a little rusty after 2 weeks in Fiji but finished with 13 points, 5 boards.

Here is the boxscore from the game:


Field Goals 3-Pointers Free Throws
Tyson Demos 33:10 3-10 30.0 1-5 20.0 6-7 85.7 1 0 7 1 5 4 0 4 13
Todd Meyerding 2:24 0-0 0.0 0-0 0.0 0-0 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Drew Williamson 30:26 5-8 62.5 2-4 50.0 3-4 75.0 2 0 2 2 3 0 3 3 15
Chris Goulding 42:05 11-20 55.0 2-7 28.6 3-4 75.0 4 1 5 0 1 1 2 3 27
Ash Cannan 38:27 7-11 63.6 0-0 0.0 6-9 66.7 2 2 1 1 6 3 12 15 20
Peni Nasalo 10:05 1-2 50.0 0-0 0.0 0-0 0.0 3 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 2
Greg Vanderjagt 40:01 10-18 55.6 0-1 0.0 7-12 58.3 3 2 3 0 1 4 7 11 27
Simon Taylor 12:29 0-4 0.0 0-1 0.0 0-0 0.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0
Thalo Green 31:03 5-13 38.5 1-5 20.0 6-6 100.0 2 0 0 0 1 6 1 7 17
42-86 48.8 6-23 26.1 31-42 73.8 20 5 20 5 18 18 27 45 121
Points in the paint:56 Points off Turnovers:6 Second chance points:22

Field Goals 3-Pointers Free Throws
Sean Carroll 28:22 4-8 50.0 0-0 0.0 0-0 0.0 2 0 7 1 1 0 1 1 8
Nick Payne 39:08 11-14 78.6 4-7 57.1 10-11 90.9 3 0 3 0 6 1 0 1 36
Alex Vanrenen 5:27 1-2 50.0 0-0 0.0 0-0 0.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 2
Michael Hill 30:21 5-13 38.5 0-4 0.0 3-4 75.0 4 0 2 0 1 2 3 5 13
Adam Kopttke 14:02 0-1 0.0 0-0 0.0 0-0 0.0 3 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
John Philip 17:19 5-8 62.5 0-1 0.0 1-2 50.0 4 0 0 1 2 2 3 5 11
Cameron Rigby 39:03 1-8 12.5 0-2 0.0 0-0 0.0 4 0 4 1 0 1 7 8 2
Cj Massingale 43:26 10-20 50.0 3-8 37.5 5-5 100.0 4 0 2 0 5 3 4 7 28
Lester Strong 26:18 6-11 54.5 0-0 0.0 0-0 0.0 5 0 1 1 4 2 5 7 12
43-85 50.6 7-22 31.8 19-22 86.4 31 0 20 4 21 11 25 36 112

Ron Artest & Corey Williams

Having seen a bit of NBA coverage lately on One HD (I love you!), I noticed something interesting when seeing highlights of the Houston Rockets. Is it just me or is Ron Artest looking more and more like Corey "Homicide" Williams every day??

The two have had their battles on the NY playgrounds in the summer so I'm guessing they're not best of friends ... but watching footage of Crazy Ron lately, on-court he reminds me of Homicide. Whether its Artest and his new haircuts, they've both spent many hours in the weights room so their builds are fairly similar, the way they move and handle the ball on court or just their general swagger, I think there are definite similarities.

Often people who are so similar tend to clash ... could I be on to something? I think JR or DJ Rod would be the best people to ask. Well guys, leave me a comment and let me know what you think?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NBA news

It may be getting to crunch time in the NBA as we head in to the conference finals but its seemingly been a very quiet couple of days. With a couple of the series finishing early we had 2 days off and then 2 games yesterday and today was another day with no games scheduled.

Yesterday was game 7 for the Lakers vs Rockets and also for Celtics vs Magic.

The Lakers took care of business behind a massive night from Pau Gasol (21 points, 18 boards). The Rockets on the other hand couldn't buy a bucket, shooting just 37% from the field and 64% from the line. The game was essentially over by half time with the Lakers up 51 - 32 and they cruised home from there.

It was the series in the East that had my attention tho. I really wanted to see the Celtics get up but unfortunately it was not to be. Orlando was on song jumping out to an early lead, the Celtics came back in the 3rd, but Orlando went on a run at the start of the 4th and it was too much for Boston to cut back.

Hedo Turkoglu was the killer shooting 9 of 12 from the field including 4 of 5 from downtown for a game high 25 points. I watched the last few minutes online and it was Hedo who hit the daggers down the stretch (10 of his 25 points came in the final term). Other than Dwight Howard (12 points, 16 boards, 5 blocks) who is always rock solid, the other player who stepped up for the Magic was Mickael Pietrus who provided 17 points off the bench (6 of 7 from the field including 3 of 3 from deep).

Despite a solid night from Ray Allen (23 points on 9 of 18 shooting), Boston struggled from the field shooting just 39% ... which is never going to get it done. Full credit to the Celtics for making it this far without superstar Kevin Garnett.

Next up is the conference finals. Denver vs Lakers and Orlando vs Cleveland. Its looking very much like a Kobe vs LeBron championship series but I'll be cheering for the underdogs in both of the games.

Here are the highlights from the Celtics game:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Joe Ingles getting NBA love

Although I don't think he's ready and I'm not a big fan, its nice to see Joe Ingles getting some love from the crew at Dime and getting a mention in the lead up to the NBA pre-draft camp. I'll keep you updated as I hear more about how he gets on. For his sakes, let's hope he does well, because its not like he has the Dragons to come back to ... groan ...

Sunday Best: Game 7’s galore | Dime Magazine ( : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

… The roster is set for the next NBA pre-draft camp, which is back in its traditional home in Chicago after a few years in Orlando. Scheduled for May 27-29 at the A.T.T.A.C.K. Athletics complex (the gym run by Jordan and D-Wade trainer Tim Grover), the roster includes all the big names you’d expect — Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, Stephen Curry, etc. — along with some dudes have a lot to gain or lose, like Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), B.J. Mullens (Ohio State), Joe Ingles (Australia) and our NBA Draft diarist, Jermaine Taylor out of Central Florida …

Maybe its that shooting form of his why I'm not a big Joe Ingles fan

Kobe vs LeBron ... Nike commercials

We're down to 4 teams left in the NBA and its looking more and more like a Cleveland vs Lakers Championship Series. This has to be the match-up David Stern would and the powers that be in the NBA was hoping for. Last season it was the battle of two rival teams, Lakers and the Celtics, this year it could well be the match-up of two of the current superstars, Kobe and LeBron. In the lead up to, Nike has a very funny series of commercials airing at the moment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Free-throw shooting ... Boston Celtics style

Thanks to I watched the final minutes of the Celtics - Magic game today. I followed the game for the first few quarters via the Yahoo boxscore and despite the Celtics having home-court advantage, they were down most of the way.

This was an important game in the series with it being tied at 2 games each. The next game is in Orlando so if Boston had lost they would have to win game 6 on the road which is no easy feat.

Despite struggling from the field for much of the game, it was a clutch triple from our boy Ray Allen that gave Boston the lead for the first time at 86 - 85 (I think?). From there, they had a few big offensive boards and took care of business at the free-throw line.

With the game and series on the line, firstly it was Eddie House knocking down two, then Ray showed his prowess and finally even Glen Davis made his two when it counted.For the record, the Celtics were a perfect 21 of 21 from the free-throw line. With the game being so close, any miss could've cost them dearly.

So next time your coach is on your back about making your free-throws, remember how important they were for Boston today. You know Ray Allen and Eddie House (and probably Glen Davis too) have certainly spent plenty of time practicing their free-throws for occasions just like this.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Basketball Workshop update

Its been a few weeks since I've mentioned our Basketball Workshop so here's an update and a brief intro to what its all about.

At the end of last year I went up to Townsville and spent some time with my favourite NBL player John Rillie. John and I spent a few hours putting together some videos that take you step-by-step through everything you need to know to improve your shooting. JR is one of the best shooters the NBL has ever seen, especially from the free-throw line and behind the three-point arc, so naturally these are the main areas we focussed on. We also covered basic shooting technique and form, warming up, bank shots, catching and shooting and much more.

Here's one of the videos from JR:

It took me a while to organise the second player to add to the site, but last month I caught up with ex-Bullet (ex-Razorback and ex-Breakers) Adam Darragh. Adam is now running a basketball excellence program at Varsity College on the Gold Coast and rehabbing from a knee reconstruction. I spent a couple of sessions with Adam and we covered everything a point guard needs to know about shooting a basketball. Like JR, he's also very proficient from the line so we spent some time there as well as working on training drills, shooting off the dribble, creating space to get your shot off, three-point shooting and plenty more. To see part of the interview I did with Adam after our shooting sessions, click here.

For the past few months I've had an opening special for the Workshop of just US$9.95 for an annual membership. Now that I've added all of Adam's videos to the site as well as some basketball shooting articles and a "Best of YouTube" section, the price is going up. If you want to take your game to the next level and dramatically improve your shooting sign up before May 14.

In the Workshop you'll find everything you need to know about how to shoot a basketball properly and exactly what you need to do to become a better player.

You'll gain access to basketball shooting tips, drills and training techniques directly from professional players (such as John and Adam). You'll see them in action talking and walking you through drills that have been proven over and over to be some of the very best ways to improve your basketball shot.

To find out more and sign-up, click here.

NBL update

It has not been a good weekend for professional basketball in Australia. With the fans, players, owners, etc waiting for news to come from Basketball Australia about the new NBL, it all started to fall apart.

First there was this (click on the title below for the full story):

South Dragons > News

An Open letter from Raphael Geminder, Co-Owner of the South Dragons To our sponsors, players, staff, members and supporters, The 2009 championship team, the Crazy Johns South Dragons have always been about aspiration. Our vision is about an exciting professional league, connecting with a thriving grass roots basketball community and in turn delivering a new level of excitement, to a sport that has lost its way. We have achieved great things in a short period of time, the highlight being an opportunity to reform our league. The Dragons have remained committed and at the forefront of that process, in an attempt to achieving a meaningful reform. Reform is never an easy process, its charter was to deliver financial stability, broadcasting of all games, government funding, a new governance and leadership group, a viable budget to connect with community and market the game, adequate player salaries to attract the best talent and finally playing a different period in the year. Sadly this basketball reform has run out of time and failed to deliver on any of its promises.

Followed shortly after by this (click on the title for the full story):

Tigers 'next' NBL casualty - Basketball - Fox Sports

By Scott Walsh and James Dampney May 10, 2009 Basketball's national revamp is in danger of unravelling amid claims Melbourne Tigers had pulled out of the 'new' National Basketball League. Tigers owner Seamus McPeake told Channel 9 News the club would sit out the 2009-2010 season, which is scheduled to begin in October, because of fears about the way the league was being run. The claims were immediately rejected by the NBL, which said McPeake could not speak on behalf of the Tigers.

And so now we find ourselves here:

AdelaideNow... D-Day today for basketball future

May 11, 2009 12:30am

ELITE level basketball in Australia is not dead yet but today is most definitely D-Day for the future with three clubs determining their commitment this morning.
Rarely if ever has Basketball Australia's stance in adopting reforms which divest private ownership of the major decision-making been more clearly vindicated than the events of the past three days. Friday's stunning decision by management of reigning NBL champion South Dragons to go against the strong public stand of club chairman Mark Cowan and instead withdraw from a planned new league sent shockwaves across the sport. Then on Saturday, former Melbourne Tigers director and minority shareholder Seamus McPeake announced his club also would withdraw leaving existing clubs and potential investors reconsidering their positions. But McPeake, who quit a BA Board position and last week also quit the Tigers after teaming with Cowan to represent the owners to BA, is not empowered to speak on Melbourne's behalf.

The club's shareholders and board is holding a meeting today to determine whether they do, in fact, continue as they previously had indicated before McPeake's very public outburst.

In Townsville, the Crocodiles' board has scheduled a meeting after the Tigers' to consider its position, contingent on what comes out of Melbourne's meeting.

In Adelaide, a consortium hoping to take over the 36ers from owner-in-absentia Mal Hemmerling - currently on holidays - also will meet this morning to consider its position.

So basically there are a lot of meetings going on around the country this morning to discuss where team's stand regarding the new league and the upcoming season.

To see what the die-hard basketball fans are saying about what's going on, click here.

Will we have a new league? Will there be a new season this year? We will have to wait and see, I'll keep you updated ...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Eddie House, doing what he does best

And what he does best is shoot ...

With Paul Pierce playing limited minutes due to foul trouble, Eddie House stepped up off the bench and delivered some much needed offensive help to Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics.

I've mentioned him a couple of times before on this blog, Eddie House lives and dies on his shooting. When he's on ... look out! Last night was definitely one of those nights.

The only surprise to me from his stat line is that he didn't take more from downtown. Only 4 attempts from deep, I didn't know he ever stepped inside the arc!

Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts

E. House
27:35 11-14 4-4 5-6 +9 0 4 2 2 1 0 1 4 31

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Joey Wright back in the NBL

I've been waiting all day for the NBL to update their website with the announcement of the new Gold Coast Blaze head coaching position taking place at 11am this morning. It will come as no surprise to most that the new coach is ex-Brisbane Bullets head coach, Joey Wright (pictured below).

His assistant will be Ron Radliff who worked with Joey in Brisbane and also played for the Gold Coast back when they were the Rollers. I know team manager Big Joe is also back onboard, now we have to wait and see if Dale Ryan joins the team and which ex-Bullets players Joey can lure to the coast. The rumour mill has names such as Adam Gibson and Ebi Ere in the mix.

I'm excited at the news ... let's just hope the season actually goes ahead!

NBL > News

The Gold Coast Blaze have confirmed that former Brisbane Bullets coach Joey Wright has joined their organisation.

Blaze CEO Dave Claxton said a conditional agreement has been entered into that will see Wright take on the head coaching duties for the next three seasons.

“Joey’s appointment is entirely conditional on a new NBL competition being formed and, of course, the Blaze being a part of that competition,” Mr Claxton said.

“He joins our club in the expectation of the launch of a new national competition for the 2009/10 season.”

“His coaching contract with us will begin at the start of the new league.”

“In the meantime, we’d expect Joey to begin the process of assembling a competitive team that with his coaching guidance can compete for a championship,” he said.

Wright will be assisted in his coaching duties by former Brisbane Bullets and Gold Coast Rollers favourite, Ron ‘the Rat’ Radliff.

NBL ... the wait continues

NBL fans will have to wait another week before hearing anything about the new league and the upcoming season. Here is an announcement from the league, click on the title below to read the full story.

NBL > News

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock has revealed he is confident that the outcome of the Expression of Interest process for the new National Basketball League will be finalised by next week, following two days of productive talks with the NBL owners.

Representatives of the BA Board met with the NBL owners group in Melbourne on Monday and Tuesday this week to address the few outstanding issues flagged during the EOI process by the respondents.

Sengstock said however that there had been some significant progress made during the discussions and that an announcement on the outcome of the NBL EOI would be made next week.

“The EOI process has been a very complex and sensitive one and has required full consultation with the NBL owners,” said Sengstock. “It has required some lengthy and detailed discussions to reach accord with all of the EOI respondents, and we have been very pleased with the progress made this week towards an ultimate outcome.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ray Allen, Ray Allen, Ray Allen

Yes, I'm a little late in posting this, but you knew it was coming eventually. In game 6 of their series against the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtic's shooting guard Ray Allen exploded for a career playoff high 51 points. Here's his stat line from the night:

Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
R. Allen G 58:44 18-32 9-18 6-7 +1 2 5 3 3 3 0 0 1 51

I mentioned when we gave him the Shooter of the Month award that Ray is a perfectionist and this was clearly evident in the post-game press conference. I was in the gym that afternoon so caught it on SportsCenter. Despite his fantastic performance, after his team lost, Ray was only thinking about the shots that he missed and the ones that got away.

Ray Allen brilliant in defeat -
But laments points lost in razor-thin showdown

By Steve Bulpett / Celtics Beat
Friday, May 1, 2009

CHICAGO - Ray Allen scored 51 points in 59 minutes of a 68-minute game. There are few words that can adequately describe how brilliant his performance was, how he found ways at the most critical times to beat a defense bent on stopping him.

Were basketball an individual game, he would have been smiling as he walked down the United Center hallway in his fine suit. But the numbers that truly matter - 128 for the Bulls, 127 for the Celtics - eclipsed Ray’s ray of sunshine.

After scoring his career playoff high, Allen was left to think about the ones that got away.

“After the game, I was thinking about the plays I missed,” he said. “When you are on the losing end, that’s what you remember.”

Allen came out firing, with nine points in the first quarter and 20 in the second. The strategy looked more than sound. If Ben Gordon was going to be suffering through a hamstring problem, then make him really suffer by going right at him.

Free-to-air TV on cards

Thanks to JR for pointing out the following potentially exciting news for the NBL, coverage of the league on the new One HD sports channel.

Basketball fans around the country have been loving the NBA coverage they've been getting for the last month or so on this channel and everyone has been wondering why the NBL also couldn't jump onboard. Well ... the good news is they can! Click on the title below to read the full story.

Free-to-air TV on cards if new NBL takes off :

4th May 2009, 13:30 WST

The National Basketball League could return to free-to-air television next season — if there is an elite men’s competition at all in 2009-10.

Key players in Basketball Australia’s reform process are understood to have held discussions with the Ten network about having NBL games shown on the broadcaster’s dedicated sports channel, One HD.

The concept is viewed as a major boost for the league, which suffered a drop in popularity around the country once Channel 10 stopped showing matches almost a decade ago.

Although pay-TV provider Fox Sports has held the NBL rights in recent seasons, some of the competition’s more powerful clubs believe their product isn’t beamed into enough homes.

However, a new deal with Fox Sports, which included broadcasting every match live as part of a five-year, $30 million arrangement, was a sweetener from BA to convince NBL clubs to give away their control of the league to a new independent body last November.

Friday, May 1, 2009

NBL update ... or lack there of

I was reading the OzHoops boards earlier in the week to see what was going on this off-season and not surprisingly the talk was regarding the new NBL and upcoming announcements from Basketball Australia. Talk had that announcements would come yesterday and to a degree they did.

Unfortunately the announcement is that they have nothing really to announce as yet. Since JR's lips are sealed, click here to read what's being said on the NBL boards.

Basketball players and fans have to continue to wait and hope ...

NBL > News

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock released the following statement with regard to the on-going Expression of Interest process for the new men’s elite national competition to replace the National Basketball League.

“The Board of Basketball Australia held a meeting last night during which the status of the Expression of Interest process was discussed in detail,” said Sengstock.

“Until the Board is able to clarify a number of outstanding issues they are simply not yet in a position to announce details of the outcome of the EOI process. The complexity of this process makes it necessary to take this additional time, as it is vital that we get it right.

“We do however hope to be in a position to make a full statement with regard to the new national men’s competition shortly. Until we are in a position to announce the ultimate outcome of the EOI, we cannot comment on the specifics of the applications of each of the individual respondents for commercial confidentiality reasons.”

Most popular NBA jerseys

Thanks to the crew at Dime for this story. It seems that Kobe Bryant has reclaimed his # 1 spot at the top of the most popular NBA jerseys.

I haven't bought an NBA jersey in many years, in fact the most recent addition was a Steve Nash Maverick's Jersey, but I still have a few that I regularly wear.

Here's my NBA wardrobe:

1. Mahmoud Abdul Rauf - Nuggets
2. Tim Hardaway - Warriors (personally autographed)
3. Steve Nash - Mavericks
4. Reggie Miller - Pacers
5. Stephon Marbury - Timberwolves
6. Dominique Wilkins - Hawks
7. Allen Iverson - Georgetown (college singlet)

I also had a Kevin Garnett Timberwolves singlet but a friend lost it ... groan

Kobe Reclaims His Title as No. 1 | Dime Magazine ( : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

This morning the NBA released the results for the most popular NBA jersey - Kobe Bryant is back at No. 1 after being overtaken by Kevin Garnett last year.

The rankings for the Top 15 most popular NBA jerseys and the 10 most popular teams, based on sales at the NBA Store on 5th Avenue and on look like this:

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:

1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
4. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
5. Allen Iverson, Detroit Pistons
6. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
7. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
8. Nate Robinson, New York Knicks
9. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
10. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
11. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
12. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
13. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
14. Shaquille O’Neal, Phoenix Suns
15. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets