Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AI headed down under??

Could Allen Iverson be ending his career in Australia?? I came across this article this morning and by the sounds of it, there is a chance it could actually happen. I won't believe it until I see him in an NBL uniform, but it would be a fantastic coup for the league not to mention the team that signs him.

NBA legend Allen Iverson keen for Sydney Kings finale | The Daily Telegraph

ALLEN Iverson has announced to his fans he intends to finish his illustrious basketball career playing in Sydney, presumably for the Kings.

It's all news to the only Sydney franchise in the NBL, but 'AI' - also known as 'The Answer' - responded to rumours that he wants out from his contract playing in the Turkish league.

He wrote on Twitter: 'I am very happy here in Istanbul, but if I don't return to the NBA I am considering a move to Australia after my two-year contract is up.

'I hear Sydney is a real good city to live in. my boy Rodney O asked me to come over. I am comin!'

Iverson, 35, is an 11-time NBA All-Star who topped the season scoring in the NBA four times. His 26.7 points per game ranks sixth all-time, and his playoff career scoring average of 29.7 points, second only to Michael Jordan.

Its been a while since I've worn it, but it could be time to get my Allen Iverson Georgetown singlet out again!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ANZAC day in the NBA

In a landmark day for Australian and New Zealand basketball, today saw the first NBA game with THREE ANZAC's in it. With Milwaukee playing in Portland, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and (Kiwi) Sean Marks all played in the same game.

It wasn't a great night for Bogut who's team was on the wrong end of a beating (80 - 106). Without his starting point guard Brandon Jennings (fractured left foot), Andrew had just 5 points 5 boards. Sean Marks had 6 points, 5 boards, 2 blocks in 24 minutes of court-time which are all good numbers for him. Patty was also solid with 8 points, 3 assists, 2 boards and 2 triples in 18 minutes.

I watched a little bit of the game tonight and it was funny to see Patty actually look tall for the first time on an NBA court ... when he was matched-up on Earl Boykins (5 foot 5). I checked Mills stats on ESPN and he's officially listed as 6 foot ... hmm, I think that's an exaggeration.

If you look very closely in the photo below you can see all three on-court at the same time. Bogut attempting the block, Marks on the left and behind him on the left is Mills.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shawn Marion ... how not to shoot free-throws

I'm sitting here watching the replay of the Bucks vs Mavs game on OneHD ... I know the result because I was following the box-scores during the day. I've just text a friend of mine who's a Dallas fan, he's devastated that they lost this game at home (despite being up 42 - 22 in the middle of the 2nd quarter) ending their 12 game winning streak.

Anyway, I mentioned the other day about Andrew Bogut's free-throw shooting shame against the Orlando Magic and it was interesting to hear the commentators address that issue. Apparently due to the severe elbow injury that ended last season for him, he can't bend or raise his elbow to the right position to shoot free-throws properly. After seeing the fall he took, that certainly shines light on his struggles from the line this season ... apologies big fella.

But ... it wasn't long after that Shawn (the artist formerly known as The Matrix) Marion got fouled and went to the line. I know I haven't seen a lot of NBA games over the last few years pre-OneHD but I was shocked to say the least when I saw his free-throw shooting form ... or lack there of. Now, Marion has always been criticized for his general shooting technique, but I had never realised this continued at the line.

Exhibit A:



Exhibit B:



Now, I know these clips are both from a couple of years ago, but trust me ... it hasn't improved any. His "flicky" style is how I'd shoot a free-throw after not picking up a ball for over a year. Five minutes later tho, my form would be looking drastically better.

In Marion's defence, he's shooting an impressive 83% from the line this season and is 81% on his career. The average free-throw shooting percentage in the NBA is around 75% so Marion is definitely ahead of that. So I guess it really doesn't matter "how" you shoot free-throws ... as long as you make them.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Patty Mills sees serious court-time

There was talk leading in to the Portland vs Phoenix game today that Patrick Mills could be the starting point guard thanks to an injury to Andre Miller. While this didn't eventuate, Patty did see some serious court-time entering the game after just 4.5 minutes.

Here's his line from today:

BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Andre Miller, PGDid not play
Patrick Mills, PG274-90-41-12370024+39

For his first decent run, that's a good productive line from the young man.

He had 6 assists in the first half alone, but with the game on the line the ball would no doubt have been in Brandon Roy's hands. A 7 assist to 2 turnover ratio is pretty solid and if he could've knocked down a couple of those threes that he missed, it would have been a very impressive performance!

Yes, I couldn't find a decent NBA game shot of Patty yet!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Free-throw shame

The starting five for the Milwaukee Bucks should bow their heads in shame after today's performance. Sure, they got the win against Orlando ... but superstar Dwight Howard didn't play and the Bucks' starters shot a combined 14 of 34 from the free-throw line. I haven't picked up a basketball for about 2 years and I GUARANTEE you I would make at least 20!

Milwaukee Bucks
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF340-30-01-215611030+121
Larry Sanders, PF232-40-00-014500111+84
Andrew Bogut, C3913-200-05-168101812224+1531
John Salmons, SG367-150-12-604414114+2216
Brandon Jennings, PG4110-201-56-1007761020+1427

As you can see, the worst offender was our own Andrew Bogut who at one stage was just 3 of 14 from the line. (note: the rest of his line is outstanding ... but 5 of 16 from the free-throw line is just WOEFUL)

The only saving grace for the team was that their bench combined for a perfect 9 of 9 to bring a little respectability to their overall team performance from the line (23 of 43).

The Bucks hang on to win the game by 11 in the end, but I assure you that if Howard was playing for the Magic, this woeful performance at the free-throw line would've cost Milwaukee the win.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dennis Rodman back in the headlines

Last I saw Dennis he was drinking his way through Celebrity Apprentice. Here's his latest controversy ...

Rodman sorry for 'having sex' in interview

Bad-boy basketball star Dennis Rodman has apologised after giving a phone-in radio interview while having sex.

Rodman, a recovering alcoholic, admits he was 'intoxicated' when he called in to a Miami morning radio program on Tuesday morning to talk about that US city's NBA team, Miami Heat.

The interview was quickly derailed when a woman Rodman was apparently having sex with was heard moaning and giggling in the background.

"What's going on in that room you're in right now?" Jorge Sedano, host of 790 The Ticket, says. "Why don't you ask her, she's right here doing it," Rodman replies.

A woman who identifies herself as Theresa gets on the phone and says they're "Just having coffee".

A representative for Rodman told celebrity news website TMZ: "Dennis was clearly intoxicated and doesn't remember much".

"Dennis wants to apologize to his family, friends, and fans," the representative said.

This is how I like to remember Rodman

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Penney Happy to be Back Home

Here's the Kirk Penney update, unfortunately he was cut by the San Antonio Spurs and his dream of returning to the NBA looks to be over.

"Making it" in the NBA is often about being in the right place at the right time and like many of his NBL counterparts (Gaze, Heal, Anstey, etc), it seems that Kirk just couldn't find that place. The NBA's loss in the NBL's gain and it will be great to watch Kirk in action this season.

(Click on the title to read the full story)

National Basketball League: Penney Happy to be Back Home

Kirk Penney is back with the Burger King NZ Breakers after exhausting his options to play in the NBA and he doesn’t regret a moment of his time and effort.

Penney was given leave of absence by the Breakers to pursue his dream of returning to the NBA to add to his brief stints earlier in his career. An opportunity was extended to attend veterans camp with the San Antonio Spurs but when that was cut short and nothing else was forthcoming for the 30 year old shooting guard, he made the decision to return to the Breakers.

Clearly it has been an emotional time for the former ANBL MVP but he knows he has returned ‘home’ and is focused on doing well with the Breakers.

“Getting into the NBA was my dream, I had an awesome time with the Spurs and feel like I gave it my best shot, but it wasn’t to be. Staying on the extra week after being cut gave me the mental space to prepare to return to the Breakers and the ANBL. I’m excited to be back with the Breakers, home to the team and the club I love.”

NBA Opening Day

Its probably wise that the NBA chooses to open the season with just three games, otherwise fans may not be able to control the surge of ecstasy that the first day of the season brings.

I'm not sure I've mentioned this before ... but I love you OneHD, thank you for starting the season with a double-header.

The 2010/2011 NBA season tipped off with the much-talked about Miami Heat travelling to Boston to take on the Celtics. Due to work commitments and a personal training session, I missed most of the game but got back in time to see the final two minutes and Ray Allen knock down the game-winning triple from the corner. The Heat will certainly take time to gel so them losing was no surprise to me, especially on the road. It was funny to hear the Celtics fans chanting "over rated" to the Miami big 3.

Back to Ray Allen tho ... he finished the game with 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting including 5 triples. Rajon Rondo was the other stand-out with 17 assists. For Miami, LeBron did what he does with 31 points but a costly 8 turnovers. Wade and Bosh both struggled from the field, don't expect this to continue.

In the second game of the One double-header, the defending champion LA Lakers hosted the Houston Rockets. I got to watch most of the 1st quarter while I was on lunch and much of the 4th quarter because work was very quiet today (not that I'm complaining!).

Houston got off to a quick start with Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks hot early. I'm not sure if I've mentioned him before, but I'm a BIG fan of Brooks and love watching him play. With Brooks, Scola, Martin, Yao and Buddinger, Houston are a fun team to watch and you can't help but cheer for them. It would've been great to see them knock off the Lakers but it just wasn't to be. The Rockets had their chances and pushed the champs to the limit, but Gasol, Kobe and Odom were just too good in the end winning 112 - 110.

For the Rockets, Brooks finished with 26 points (including 4 triples), 9 assists, Martin led the way with 26 points and Scola had 18 points (which could've easily been more), 16 boards. For LA, Kobe had 27 points, 7 assists, 5 boards, Gasol had 29 points, 11 boards and Odom had 14 points, 10 boards.

Today was great, but I can't wait for tomorrow when there are 13 games on the card!! Welcome back NBA, I missed you.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blaze vs Crocs

I was lucky enough to have one of my friends (thanks Nick!) hook me up with a ticket to the Gold Coast Blaze's home-opener on Sunday. I've got a friend's 40th coming up at Hyatt Coolum so I planned a quiet one this weekend and the Blaze game was the highlight. The first live game of the NBL season is always a highlight and after some major changes to the lineup, it was going to be interesting to see how the team looked.

The "look" was answered pretty quickly when Gold Coast found themselves down double-digits early in the game. Another friend who was at the game text me saying, "Worst game ever" as the Blaze found themselves down by 22 points in the 3rd quarter.

Just before it seemed that the home crowd were about to give up, the Blaze finally started to make some shots and they started to show some life. Sparked by Chris Goulding off the bench and solid play from Anthony Petrie, the Blaze started to work their way back in to the game. Superstar Mark Worthington also found his range and there was still hope.

Each time Gold Coast looked like it would cut the margin back to single figures, Townsville would immediately answer to keep them at bay. With just over 2 minutes in the game, Townsville led by 12 and I figured there just wasn't enough time left for them to really have a chance. A couple of turnovers from the Crocs and a couple of triples from the Blaze and the game was well and truly on. Miraculously the Blaze hit tough shot after tough shot and tied the game with 18 seconds to go.

It was here where the game turned on its head. Crocs point guard, ex-Detroit Piston, Will Blalock wound down the clock at the top of the key before driving left and putting up a tough runner. It missed and the last few seconds players were scrapping for the ball without anyone gaining control. Just as time expired the baseline ref blew a foul in favour of the Crocs and it looked like Gabe Freeman would step to the line to win the game. The Crocs celebrated but the Blaze were saying that time had expired and the whistle was blown after the buzzer. Head referee Scott Butler conferred with the scorer's bench and after much discussion ruled that time had expired and we were going to overtime.

Not surprisingly, Trevor Gleeson (Crocs coach) and the Townsville bench exploded at the decision. I'm not impartial, but considering the way the game played out in the final quarter, it would have been a terrible injustice to have the game decided on a scrappy play in the final milliseconds.

History now shows that the Blaze continued the momentum in to extra-time and got the win 94-90.

For the Blaze:
Worthington had 26 points (on 8 of 12 from the field), 6 boards
Petrie had 17 points (on 7 of 9 from the field), 9 boards
Harvey had 13 points, 8 boards

For the Crocs:
Blalock had 18 points
Cedar had 17 points with 5 triples
Freeman had 14 points, 7 boards

My notes from the game:
* Disappointing crowd numbers but that can be put down to the V8's, first game of the season, Sunday afternoon time-slot, etc
* Blaze are yet to secure a naming rights sponsor (they didn't have one last season either)
* Blaze were awful from the free-throw line (21 of 35) and need to work on this
* Blaze playing with one import, James Maye, and he'll have to do a LOT of work to survive the next month
* Blaze will take time to gel but showed in the final quarter that they should be ok
* Crocs have a good, deep team and they just had a rough weekend on the road


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ONE HD ... I love you

I've mentioned it a couple of times before, but I want to make sure everyone knows and understands ... I love ONE HD.

Last season, it was "just" bringing the NBA back to free-to-air TV, this season they have added the NBL and in the last week they've also added NBA Classics.

The new season of the NBL kicked off on the weekend and its great to see from the story below that TV ratings for the games were strong. Hopefully it continues throughout the season and we see more and more games next season. Saying that tho, this week ONE are showing 3 live NBL games which is fantastic.

Now, as I mentioned above, I've also noticed ONE are showing NBA Classics. The first game was on the weekend and it was the Heat vs Mavericks in the 2006 Finals. Last night they went way back with a true classic, Nets vs Knicks featuring Bernard King in New York. Its great that these games are being shown so that the kids (and even Generation Y) can see that the NBA didn't start with Michael Jordan. Not surprisingly, King put on an offensive display and just couldn't be stopped.

National Basketball League: NBL viewership figures on ONE HD "outstanding"

ONE HD, the NBL's Australian Official Broadcast partner, issued the following media release this week:

Over the weekend, the NBL made an outstanding return to free-to-air television on
ONE, achieving a ten-fold increase for the season-opening Melbourne v Sydney
game on Friday night compared to the previous season opener.

The game saw the return of the Sydney Kings to the NBL after two years out of the competition and their win over the Tigers was watched by an average audience of 56,000 and a peak of 130,000.

Sunday saw the Adelaide 36ers host last season’s champions, the Perth Wildcats.
The 36ers win was watched by an average audience of 73,000 and a peak of 172,000.

Network Ten’s general manager sport, David White said: “This is an excellent result
for the first round and reflects the work that went into launching the season by all
involved. These early ratings are extremely encouraging and we look forward to
playing a part in the continued growth of this exciting sport.”

Round 2 broadcast details
Wednesday, October 20 @ 5.30pm: New Zealand v Perth
Friday, October 22 @ 8.00pm: Wollongong v Townsville
Sunday, October 24 @ 7.05pm: Melbourne v Perth


Thursday, October 14, 2010

NBA "Tour of a Lifetime"

One of the reasons I've been blogging less is because I've been working on a number of other things (plus its been the NBA & NBL off-season).

The basketball related one is that I've been putting together an NBA Tour with my friend Jeff, former GM of the Brisbane Bullets.

We have some great contacts in both the NBA and College basketball that will give you an "insiders" look at the sport that most people would never see.

Click on the the image below to see some of the highlights of the tour. For more details about the itinerary we have planned or for any questions you may have, simply e-mail me at: roger@capitalreservations.com.au


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two days to go ...

For a basketball fan like myself, its two days until (my) Christmas!!

Not only does the NBL season get underway on Friday night but our fantasy NBA league has its draft at 11pm on the same night. Basketball overload on the way!

Draft night has been one of the highlights of the calendar for the last couple of years for me. Half our league gets together for dinner and drinks first, a lot of crap is talked and then after a few too many beers, its time to select your team.

I did a mock draft or two last week in preparation, but tomorrow night I'll be doing some more serious research in to team depth charts and potential sleepers.

As for the NBL season, with still no Brisbane Bullets in the league, I'll be supporting the Gold Coast Blaze. Its been a rough pre-season for the Blaze so far with a couple of very sub-par performances, sending an import home already (Bennett Davison) and the season-ending injury to star-signing Mark Worthington.

It'll likely be a slow start to the season for the Blaze, but hopefully they come together and find some form like last year and can finish in the top 4.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kirk Penney one step closer to an NBA return

I got word a few days ago that Kirk Penney has been signed by the San Antonio Spurs. Going from the article below, he's actually been signed to the training camp roster, so he's still in with a shot of making the roster.

He's got a long way to go yet but if he can bring his World Championship form with him to camp, there's no reason he won't get picked up. As any Aussie who's been to the NBA will tell you, its about being in the right situation at the right time, hopefully this is it for Kirk.

Who Is Kirk Penney? | Air Alamo | A San Antonio Spurs Blog

Those of you may have known by now that Kirk Penney has made his way to the Spurs training camp roster. You maybe asking to yourself who is Kirk Penney?

Lucky for you we will be glad to share the information in which we have compiled.

Penney is a sharp shooter out of New Zealand and made an impression on the Spurs scouts as training camp is underway.

At the recent World Championship Penney averaged 24.7 points per game putting him second overall in the tournament in scoring and more per game than USA’s Kevin Durant.

Okay, okay so he is not Kevin Durant status but the kid can obviously shoot the rock and that is what we need on our roster.

Penney who has been signed to the training camp roster can now be offered a deal. It will though be a challenge for Penney as he is expected to go head-to-head with Gary Neal whom led the Spurs summer league team in scoring. Both are great shooters but many would give the upper hand to Penney given his international experience.

Before making his way to the states, Penney told media that he wanted to give this one last shot to see if he had what it takes to make it to the big time.

“I have to see if I have what it takes to make it in the toughest professional league in the world,” Penney said.

“There is no guarantee of an offer at the end of this process (but) it is up to me to impress the right people and show I can be of some value to the Spurs. I am going to give it my best shot and have no regrets.”


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wildcats still the team to beat

Going in to the NBL season, which is now only 12 days away from tip-off, the defending Perth Wildcats have shown they are still the team to beat by winning the pre-season Top End Challenge.

A comfortable 20 point win the final against a surprising Cairns Taipans gave them the pre-season title and this is reflected in the current betting odds for the NBL season:

Winner
Perth Wildcats 4.00
Gold Coast Blaze 4.50
New Zealand Breakers 6.50
Townsville Crocodiles 6.50
Melbourne Tigers 9.00
Sydney Kings 12.00
Adelaide 36ers 13.00
Cairns Taipans 15.00
Wollongong Hawks 15.00

I'm not quite sure why the Hawks are at the bottom of the table but what the prices show is that any team could win right now.


National Basketball League: Wildcats down Taipans, win Top End Challenge

October 02, 2010, 03:58 PM AEST
By: Matt McQuade

In front of a big crowd Saturday night at Marrara Indoor Stadium in Darwin, the Perth Wildcats won the 2010 Top End Challenge preseason championship with a dominant 72-52 win over the Cairns Taipans.

Cairns came into the game as decided underdogs after going 1-1 in the preliminary rounds, and weren’t able to put the lie to that status as they were overwhelmed by Perth in a first and third quarter blitzkrieg and never looked like upsetting the 2009/2010 NBL champions, who added the 2010/11 preseason crown to their bulging trophy cabinet.

The Wildcats finished the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record after wins over Adelaide, Melbourne and then Cairns in the final, and there’s little doubt are primed to go back to back and win an unprecedented sixth National Basketball League championship this season.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RIP johnrillie.com

Its a say day in the NBL blogging world ... I randomly checked John Rillie's website only to see the following:

Welcome to johnrillie.com






This domain may be for sale. Backorder this Domain


As anyone that follows the NBL would know, JR was by far the best blogger the NBL has seen and he will be sadly missed.

If you haven't heard what Rillie is up to lately, he packed up the family, leaving Townsville to take up a position as Director of Basketball Operations at Boise State in Idaho.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NBA 2K11 commercials

Thanks to the crew at Dime for pointing out the latest series of NBA 2K commercials. I didn't bother watching the first when it came out, but checked out the second one today and they're pretty funny.

Josh Smith: "Can't eat sushi in Utah brother ... land locked" ... funny stuff

(Edit: added another two vids today)







Friday, September 17, 2010

Gary Payton ... poker player?

I woke this morning to find a post on Facebook from PokerStars about former NBA All-Star Gary Payton playing on their Million Dollar Challenge.

GP's nickname was The Glove ... or lesser known as The Mouth, so Jason Mercier had very little chance of ever getting a word in against both Daniel Negreanu and Payton.

Check out the action below:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mark Cuban - Behind the Glory

Thanks to a tweet from Mark Cuban, I came across this great documentary series called Behind the Glory that did a feature on him.

If you don't know Mark Cuban, he's the owner of the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. More than that tho, he's a business idol of mine. To find out how he got to where he is and why he describes himself as the luckiest man in the world, watch the clips below.







Kirk Penney gaining international attention

Good to see one of our blog favourites getting some respect on the international stage. After an impressive performance in the World Champs, Kirk Penney has people thinking he can get back in the NBA.

I was pleased to see the following story on Dime this morning, unfortunately no mention of his feats in the NBL, but hey, can't have everything.

Kirk Penney Is Back Banging On The NBA’s Front Door | Dime Magazine (dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

By Aron Phillips

If you look at the Top 5 scorers from the World Championship this summer, it probably wouldn’t surprise you that all of them currently play in the NBA. That is, all of them except one. So while Luis Scola led the field with 27.1 points per game, it was New Zealand’s Kirk Penney (24.7 ppg) who scored more buckets than even Kevin Durant.

You may remember Penney from his All-American days at Wisconsin. But after brief stints with the Heat (2003) and the Clippers (2004), along with stops in Israel, Lithuania and Germany, he found his way back home.

This past season, Penney (6-5, 212 pounds) joined up with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the D-League right before the playoffs and rained murder on his opponents. For example, in only his third game back, Penney dropped 40 on 16-23 shooting (5-6 from three) to go along with eight rebounds and two assists. After his impressive outing in the Worlds, he definitely deserves another look from the NBA.


Monday, September 13, 2010

NBL Launch

Plenty of big news coming out of the NBL launch today in Sydney. Great to see the league securing some sponsors and hopefully its another step back in the right direction.


NBL rebounds with iiNet

The resurgence of the National Basketball League has continued to gather pace with Basketball Australia announcing today that iiNet, Australia’s fastest growing Internet Service Provider, has signed a three-year deal as the Naming Rights Partner for the NBL.

The agreement will run through the end of the 2012/13 season and will see the competition officially known as the iiNet NBL Championship.

BA’s Chief Executive Officer, Larry Sengstock, unveiled the partnership at today’s official launch of the 2010/11 NBL Season, which was held at the prestigious Quay Restaurant on Sydney’s harbour.

Sengstock said the new partnership with iiNet gives the NBL competition an incredibly strong platform for growth.

“We’ve made some major strides in moving the NBL forward in the past 12 months, and it’s vital as that process continues that we work with strong and supportive partners who share our vision,” said Sengstock.

“In iiNet we now have a naming rights partner who is clearly established as a forward-thinking and innovative leader in the business world. We believe we share a lot of brand synergies and they will complement us perfectly as we continue to reinvigorate the NBL brand.

“They are committed to assisting us leverage the partnership and provide us tangible momentum and real confidence to further invest in the NBL brand.”

Speaking at the launch, iiNet Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Sam McDonagh, agreed that the rapidly growing telecommunications company was a perfect fit for the competition.

“iiNet is thrilled to be partnering with Basketball Australia – it’s a massive sport at a grass roots level and now it’s making a comeback at the highest level of the game,” said McDonagh.

“We know what it’s like to have big ambitions, iiNet started in a garage to become the leading challenger for internet services in Australia, so we’re keen to take basketball in Australia to the next level.

“Australians love sport and together we have an opportunity to help bring basketball to households across the country. Trust us – it’s going to be big,” adds McDonagh.

In recent months, the NBL has made some significant announcements, including the return of the league to free-to-air television via a five-year deal with Network Ten and its digital sports channel ONE, as well as the resurrection of the Sydney Kings as the NBL’s ninth team.

The NBL has also recently signed AND1 as the league’s Official Apparel Supply Partner of the NBL and its teams; together with Spalding as the Official Ball of the NBL.

The iiNet NBL Championship Season tips-off on 15 October, and all nine teams will gather in the Northern Territory from 28 September to 2 October to participate in the official ‘Top End Challenge’ pre-season tournament.


NBL SPONSORSHIP SURGE CONTINUES WITH CENTREBET AGREEMENT

On the same day that Basketball Australia announced that it had secured iiNet as Naming Rights Partner for the National Basketball League for the next three years, BA also revealed that it had signed a major partnership for the NBL with Centrebet.

Under the terms of the deal, Centrebet will be the Official Sports Betting Partner of the NBL for the next two years.

Centrebet, who were first licensed as a sports bookmaker in 1992, already have in place partnerships with several major sporting codes including the AFL and NRL.

BA Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said the new partnership was further evidence that the NBL was continuing to enjoy a massive upswing in its commercial attractiveness.

“Centrebet are one of Australia’s leading sports betting providers and they have recognised that the NBL is making major strides commercially,” said Sengstock. “They have a history of being ahead of the curve and in 1996 were the first licensed bookmaker in the Southern Hemisphere to offer online sports betting. Clearly they see that the NBL is poised to move its business to a whole new level.”

“As a sport we’ve undergone a massive structural transformation in the past two years in order to put ourselves in a position to reap commercial rewards, and we are now starting to see the tangible benefits of that hard work,” added Sengstock.

“Sports betting in Australia is hugely popular and wagering on basketball is a large part of that industry that generates millions of dollars. Basketball has lagged behind other codes until now in terms of reaping the rewards of that public expenditure but this new partnership will see some of that money flow back into basketball and be reinvested in the sport.”

In the past few months the NBL has signed new long-term commercial partnerships with Network Ten and its digital sports channel One as broadcast partner, iiNet as Naming Rights Partner, AND1 as official Apparel Supply Partner and Spalding as Official Ball partner. The NBL has also signed an agreement with Sky Television as its broadcast partner in New Zealand.

Luke Brill, Head of Marketing and Gaming at centrebet.com, said Centrebet was excited about the new partnership.

“Centrebet are delighted to be the Official Sports Betting Partner of the NBL,” Brill said. “This partnership includes full integration with all the broadcast media and branding throughout the competition.The opportunity to be part of the future of the NBL is very exciting for us at Centrebet and we truly buy into the vision for the sport.”


NEW NATIONAL BRAND CAMPAIGN FOR NBL

The National Basketball League has unveiled a new national marketing campaign that brings to life the unique elements of the sport of basketball at its launch of the 2010/11 NBL season in Sydney today.

The campaign centres on a television commercial which will launch in October before the season commences on October 15, and will be supported by an underpinning targeted national advertising campaign.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said the campaign focused on the unique advantages basketball has over other sports.

“Unlike competing codes, the National Basketball League’s appeal is that from the moment the game starts until the final siren – anything can happen anytime,” said Sengstock. “There are no nil-all draws, no drawn-out penalty kicks, no waiting for a result – it is non-stop action for the whole family.

“The point of difference for the NBL is linked to a key part of the game structure – the 24-second shot clock. The constant action and urgency created by the ever reducing shot clock means that players are always on the edge – looking for the next quick pass, the next screen and the unexpected shot.

“The feeling of needing to beat the shot clock leads to the insight that for the players, that shot clock drives the demand that a great shot is put up before the clock ticks down. Every play has to have urgency. Every play has to count. Every play could change the game. Every play has explosive potential.

“The campaign will underline the NBL’s promise of being one of the most exciting spectator sports for fans at the game or watching on TV,” Sengstock concluded.

The key brand device that brings this to life is an explosive basketball. Using the image best remembered from cartoons and old Hollywood movies, the exploding ball device captures the feeling of impending action and extraordinary explosive action on court and off.

The campaign, which has been produced by strategic agency shift.101 and award-winning creative agency 12:20, has the full support of all nine NBL clubs, who have welcomed the idea as a fresh and exciting approach to the marketing of the NBL.

VIDEO: Click here to see a teaser for the new NBL campaign.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 NBA Free Agent movement

In what has likely been the biggest summer of free-agency in the NBA ever, its easy to miss a few names changing uniforms. Sure, everyone knows about the LeBron and Bosh decision, Amare moving to NY but there are so many other less well-known stars whose change will impact the upcoming season. If you haven't been following the NBA news closely, Dime have you covered. Click on the title below to read the full breakdown on the contracts signed and who has gone where.

Dime’s 2010 NBA Free Agent Tracker | Dime Magazine (dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

By Dime Magazine

Just how many NBA free agents will be on the market this summer? Put it this way: Even if two of the three best players in the world weren’t part of the pool — i.e., LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — 2010 might still qualify as the most important free agent class in League history. Look around the NBA right now; most teams only have a handful of players actually under contract, while everyone else is either looking for work or having work come find them.

So if you need help keeping up, we’ve got your back.

For Dime’s 2010 Free Agent Tracker, we put together the master list of every free agent in the League, then we broke them up into tiers: From the franchise-caliber superstars down to the guys scrapping for jobs who could find themselves in Europe or the D-League next season. Throughout the free agency period, we’ll keep the list updated with info on who is talking to which teams, who’s signed, who’s sealed, and who’s delivered.

TIER 1
Franchise superstars. You don’t just build teams around these guys, you build championship-caliber teams. They aren’t just the face of your franchise, they’re the icons who may end up with their statue outside the arena someday.

* LeBron James — Signed 6-year, $110 million deal with Miami
* Dirk Nowitzki — Signed 4-year, $80 million deal with Dallas
* Paul Pierce — Signed 4-year, $61 million deal with Boston
* Dwyane Wade — Signed 6-year, $107 million deal with Miami

Boomers finish tenth at World Champs

If you haven't been watching the World Championships, you're not alone. The time difference between us and Turkey plus the coverage only being on Foxtel, means that many Aussies haven't been following the tournament to closely. I am one of those, but have stayed up to date with the results on Twitter and Dime magazine. Full credit to guys like Mookie from A Stern Warning and DJ Rod for staying up till all hours to support the Boomers.


MEDIA RELEASE

9 September 2010

BOOMERS FINISH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH TOP TEN PLACING

Despite suffering the disappointment of being eliminated from the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey at the Eight-Final Round stage, the Golden Star Boomers Australian men’s national basketball team have finished the tournament with a top ten placing, FIBA has announced.

The Eight-Final Round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship came to a close on Tuesday night and, teams do not play classification games once eliminated from the tournament, the teams that did not advance to the Quarter-Finals have now been ranked by FIBA to provide a final placing.

Australia, who are currently ranked 11th in the world by FIBA, finished the tournament in 10th place, ahead of world basketball superpowers such as Greece, France and Croatia.

Australia’s highest ever finish at a world championship was fifth, achieved in 1982 and 1994.

The Boomers finished the 2010 FIBA World Championship with a 3-3 record after being defeated by Slovenia 87-58 on Monday morning Australian time.

During the course of their world titles campaign they recorded wins over Jordan, Germany and Angola. They lost games to Slovenia, Argentina and also Serbia. The Serbians subsequently have advanced to the top four Semi Finals overnight by scoring an upset 92-89 victory over reigning world champions Spain, while Argentina have also advanced to the top-eight Quarter Finals and will play Lithuania tomorrow morning for a Semi Final berth.

The final standings for the teams eliminated at the Eight Final Round stage are below.



Standings for 2010 FIBA World Championship (places 9-16):

9 Brazil

10 Australia

11 Greece

12 New Zealand

13 France

14 Croatia

15 Angola

16 China



2010 FIBA World Championship

Australian Boomers Results

28 Aug - Australia 76 defeated Jordan 75

29 Aug - Australia 72 defeated by Argentina 74

30 Aug - Australia 78 defeated Germany 43

1 Sept - Australia 79 defeated by Serbia 93

2 Sept - Australia 76 defeated Angola 55

5 Sept - Australia 58 defeated by Slovenia 87

Monday, September 6, 2010

New NBL commercial

Here is the new NBL commercial that will be shown on One in the lead-up to the upcoming season. After first viewing, I don't mind it ...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gold Coast Blaze on fire ...

Irony??
Big-Joe Tertzakian is on the side of the road, half way down the toowoomba range because the bus caught on fire! :( we're all out, fire extinguisher is empty... now what? :(
17 minutes ago via Mobile Web · ·

    • Danielle Casson Watch it burn???
      glad u all got out tho!
      x
      14 minutes ago ·
    • Karissa Louise Milikins aww
      thats kinda of funny but
      14 minutes ago ·
    • Danny Page ahhh The Gold Coast Blaze, everyones ok, can't help but laugh.
      8 minutes ago ·
    • Michelle Verrall Blaze Bus on fire..... Now that's taking thing a little far isn't it, a 'tad' ironic??? STAY SAFE!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Brisbane Bullets update

If you've been following the news about a potential resurrection of the Brisbane Bullets back in to the NBL, you would've heard there was a meeting last night to discuss the future and get people organised to assist with the task.

I messaged a few of my friends to find out if they were attending but none were and while I thought about it, I didn't make it there either. I guess I don't have the time to commit to the cause so I will follow along from the outside.

Thanks to the BrisbaneNBL twitter account, I came across a radio interview with Leroy Loggins discussing how the meeting went.

Here's the press release regarding Basketball Australia's perspective on the meeting:

MEDIA ALERT
12 August 2010
Basketball

SENGSTOCK “OPTIMISTIC” AFTER BRISBANE NBL MEETING

Basketball Australia (BA) Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock says he has renewed optimism that the National Basketball League can once again have a Brisbane-based team in the competition following a meeting in the Queensland capital last night.

More than 50 people who are committed to trying to regain an NBL license for Brisbane met at Carina Leagues Club last night at a gathering initiated by former Brisbane Bullets legend Leroy Loggins.

Sengstock and NBL General Manager of Operations Chuck Harmison attended the meeting as representatives of BA and Sengstock said he came away from the gathering heartened by the possibility of reintroducing a Brisbane team to the competition in the future.

“The meeting in Brisbane last night was well attended and out of it a ten-person working party has been formed comprising individuals with a range of key skill sets and business experience who will look to drive their bid for an NBL license,” said Sengstock. “NBL General Manager Chuck Harmison will be working very closely with the group as will representatives from Basketball Queensland and a number of the local Brisbane associations.

“This group has been formed to draft up a plan to consider how best to put together a viable business model for a Brisbane NBL team, and more specifically how to target the key decision makers and government departments to help achieve their goal. They are getting down to business immediately and will be meeting this weekend.

“After witnessing the passion, work ethic and shared vision displayed by the group at the meeting last night, I am feeling optimistic that there could indeed be a Brisbane team in the NBL for season 2011/12. Clearly there is a great deal of hard work that lays ahead for this to become a reality however and ultimately this group will need to rally appropriate financial backing as well as corporate and community support by November if they are to have a chance of obtaining a license in time for the 2011/12 season.”

“Whilst we remain supportive of any and all attempts to reintroduce a team to Brisbane, ultimately BA will only grant a license to a new team when they can demonstrate that they have in place a clear plan for ensuring their long-term financial stability,” concluded Sengstock.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Patty Mills

Thanks to the team at the Townsville Crocodiles for putting this interview on YouTube. Here's Patty Mills on Sports Tonight discussing his chances of staying with the Portland Trailblazers and also the progress of the Australian Boomers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Classy exit

A lesson in "How to leave town but not be booed when you return" from Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

Despite signing with Miami Heat, it seems Big Z will remain a crowd favourite as he took out a full page ad in the Cleveland paper to thank the city for his time with the Cavs.

I imagine this went down a lot better with the fans than a "The Decision" TV special ...


Friday, July 30, 2010

The NBA’s 5 Most Clutch Free-Throw Shooters


I came across this article on Dime this morning which lists their pick for the top 5 free-throw shooters in the NBA.

Its a part of the game that many overlook ... but not me. Click on the title below to read the full story. No surprise to see my guys, Steve Nash & Ray Allen on there.

The NBA’s 5 Most Clutch Free-Throw Shooters | Dime Magazine (dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

NBA TV’s re-run of the Lakers/Suns Western Conference Finals series is playing in the Dime office right now, and we just watched Steve Nash knock down the game-icing free throws in Game Three. So of course that started an argument: Who would you want at the line to win (or seal) the game for your team?

When people talk about “clutch,” they’re usually referring to game-winning shots and buzzer-beaters. But one underrated part of being clutch is hitting free throws. Teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs and Pistons have been successful recently because they had that one guy (or two) who can hold a lead late in the fourth quarter by knocking down shots at the line. As much as a buzzer-beating three hurts, nonstop dagger free throws to kill your comeback can hurt just as much. With that, here are my Top-5 clutch free throw shooters:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brisbane Bullets update

A friend asked me on Facebook whether I had heard anymore about the Brisbane Bullets returning to the NBL, so I did some research and came across this. I might see if I can make an appearance at the meeting on the 11th and find out exactly what's going on and where they are up to.

Darren Lockyer pipped by Billy Slater in NRL poll, says Mark 'The Ear' Oberhardt | Courier Mail

SOME months back, The Ear reported a strange rumour that Brisbane was about to get a new NBL team. It was strange because try as I might I couldn't confirm it. But things are taking more of shape with news Bullets basketball legend Leroy Loggins is involved in a push to get NBL back to Brisbane. On August 11, there is a meeting at Carina Leagues Club to establish a working party to 'approach, recruit and encourage the community, members within the sport, government and business to work towards the establishment of a Brisbane team.' It is ridiculous Brisbane doesn't have a team in the NBL and the sport continues to have a Brisbane presence in the lower divisions. It is no secret one of the most professional of the 'semi-professional' clubs in Brisbane is the Spartans basketball.

David Anderson to Toronto Raptors


Thanks to Mookie from A Stern Warning, I've just found out that Aussie David Andersen has been traded to the Toronto Raptors. With Yao Ming likely to return to the Rockets this season, the trade is probably a good one for Andersen especially now that Hedo and Bosh are no longer in Toronto.

David could see some minutes in a young inexperienced Raptors team looking to make a fresh start. I was pleased for him with his production in Houston and while he didn't set the world on fire, he was never meant to and delivered liked a professional should.

For more perspective on the trade, check out Mookie's write-up here.

Houston Rockets trade center David Anderson to Toronto Raptors - ESPN

HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets have traded center David Andersen to the Toronto Raptors for cash and a future second-round draft pick.

The 6-foot-11 Australian averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 63 games last season, his first in the NBA. Andersen helped fill the void for Houston while Yao Ming sat out last season with a foot injury. Yao is expected to return healthy this season, and the Rockets signed free-agent center Brad Miller to back him up.

The Rockets acquired Andersen's rights from the Atlanta Hawks last July, not long after Yao announced he would have foot surgery and probably miss the 2009-10 season.

Andersen was a second-round draft choice of the Hawks in 2002. He had previously played in Europe, most recently in the Spanish League with FC Barcelona.

Big Joe in the news


I'm not quite sure why this is "news-worthy" but it was obviously a slow sports day on the Gold Coast. Good to see (former Brisbane Bullets) team manager Big Joe getting some love in the paper.

Blaze's Big Joe navigates Sydney Gossip News | goldcoast.com.au | Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

BLAZE team manager 'Big Joe' Tertzakian has absolutely everything under control in his job of running the affairs of the squad, but finally CC has uncovered something he didn't have down pat.

The nationwide basketball identity travelled to Sydney with coach Joey Wright to visit the injured Jason Cadee and hired a Ford Falcon to drive out to the rookie's western suburbs home.

When the pair arrived at the hire facility they were upgraded to a plush new Audi complete with its own built-in navigation system.

Only problem was the system left Big Joe somewhat stumped at how to operate it. In particular, how to turn up the volume of the lady giving directions.

Needless to say Big Joe resorted to a very vocal conversation with the computer when all else failed and naturally that didn't work.

It's about time there was something he didn't have 110 per cent under control.

It may be a while before he is found out again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shawn Marion playing in the World Series of Poker



Last year it was LA Lakers back-up guard, Jordan Farmar playing in the WSOP, this year its Dallas Mavericks swingman Shawn Marion.

I was checking out the coverage on Poker News when I saw his face on one of their videos. Check out the interview here.

Here's a story about Marion playing in the World Series, click on the title to read the full story.

Shawn Marion tries his hand at the World Series of Poker Main Event | Dallas Mavericks Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
Posted at 11:00 PM on Mon., Jul. 5, 2010 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
SportsDayDFW.com sports Bio | E-mail | News tips

While a number of the NBA's finest are trying to secure millions in the free agent market, the Dallas Mavericks' Shawn Marion is trying to get millions in a different way: at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Marion participated in Day 1 of the Main Event on Monday. Due to the growing popularity of the event, there are four separate 'Day 1s' where players begin the tournament. Monday's was the first possible day to start. A number of other athletes and celebrities will also try their hand over the next three days. According to a report in USA Today, former Cowboy legends Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman will both play during Thursday's Day 1 action.

Last year's winner, 21-year-old Joe Cada, received $8.5 million.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mills & Schenscher off to the summer league

Trail Blazers announce summer league roster | OregonLive.com

Sean Meagher, OregonLive.com

The Trail Blazers announced their summer league roster Wednesday. Rookie picks Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson will be joined by Jeff Pendergraph, Dante Cunningham and Patty Mills.


More from the team:

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers announced their roster for the 2010 NBA Summer League. The team, coached by Trail Blazers assistant coach Kaleb Canales, will play five games from July 11-18 at Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Trail Blazers returning to summer league competition include Dante Cunningham, who led Portland’s 2009 entry with 18.3 points, and Jeff Pendergraph, whose 7.6 rebounds led all Trail Blazers in last year’s summer league. Second-year guard Patrick Mills will also compete in Las Vegas.

Also joining the Trail Blazers in Las Vegas are two of Portland’s selections in the 2010 NBA Draft: Luke Babbitt (16th overall pick) and Armon Johnson (34th overall pick). Former Trail Blazers center Luke Schenscher is also on this year’s summer league roster.

Portland’s summer league squad will begin practice on Wednesday, July 7, at the Practice Facility in Tualatin. The team is expected to travel to Las Vegas on Saturday, July 10.

2010 NBA Summer League Roster
As of June 30, 2010

Name Pos Ht Wt Birthdate NBA Yrs
Luke Babbitt F 6-9 225 6/20/89 R
Jimmy Baron G 6-3 195 5/23/86 R
Dante Cunningham F 6-8 227 4/22/87 1
Michael Fey C 7-0 270 5/29/83 R
Mike Green G 6-1 175 6/23/85 R
Ekene Ibekwe F/C 6-9 220 7/19/85 R
Armon Johnson G 6-3 195 2/23/89 R
Joe Krabbenhoft F 6-7 220 3/24/87 R
Patrick Mills G 6-0 175 8/11/88 1
Demetris Nichols G/F 6-8 211 9/4/84 2
Jeff Pendergraph F/C 6-9 240 4/29/87 1
Nik Raivio G 6-4 205 2/6/86 R
Luke Schenscher C 7-1 265 12/31/82 2
Reyshawn Terry F 6-8 222 4/7/84 R

Monday, June 28, 2010

NBA Draft 2010

After the NBA Championships were over, the next major event on the calendar is the NBA Draft. While there were no big-name Aussies in the draft to wait for (like the travesty that was last year with Patty Mills), its still a fun event to watch. Having not had the chance to watch a lot of college ball this year, I didn't know many of the players but since it was quiet at work, I watched coverage of the first round.

If you missed the draft, here are the highlights:

All hail the champs

Yes, I know it was over a week ago ... but I'm a Celtics fan and it was hard to watch the Lakers come from behind to win the NBA championship. Games recognises game tho and the Lakers were the better team.

Boston had their chances but some cold shooting and a lack of rebounding saw them lose the final two games and miss their shot at another title. Full credit to Boston for making it this far and pushing the champs to game 7, no one expected the Celtics to go deep in the playoffs, let alone having every chance to win.

So what's next for the aging Boston Celtics? Aron Phillips from Dime breaks it down here.

If you haven't been on NBA.com recently, they've really stepped up their video footage and highlight packages and are producing "mini movies". Here is the mini movie for game 7 and the Lakers winning of the title.