Friday, March 26, 2010

NBL signs deal with Network Ten

I've now about the possibility of this for the last week or so and heard confirmation yesterday but its finally official.


26 March 2010



Following a thrilling 2009/10 National Basketball League season that marked a renaissance for the NBL and just days after announcing the rebirth of the Sydney Kings, Basketball Australia have unveiled a new broadcast deal with Network Ten and its digital sports channel ONE.

In a move that is set to offer a wide array of commercial opportunities for the NBL, BA has signed a five-year deal to show games live on both ONE and TEN nationally through to the end of the 2014/15 NBL season.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said the new deal was a great opportunity for future growth of the NBL.

“As a league the NBL has undertaken to reshape itself over the past two years in order to allow us to reform the sport commercially,” said Sengstock. “This commitment from ONE and TEN is a massive vote of confidence in the advances we have made recently.

“Coming on top of the success of the 2009/10 season with its 5% increase in attendance and sold-out Grand Final series as well as the recent announcement of the return of the Sydney Kings to the competition for 2010/11, this deal is fantastic news for the NBL and basketball in general.”

“Partnering with ONE and TEN will provide the NBL with significant and valuable cross-promotional opportunities and will be very attractive to sponsors and other prospective commercial partners,” Sengstock added.

Network Ten General Manager - Sport David White added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with basketball in Australia and we recognise all the hard work that has been going into the reformation of the NBL. Of course the NBL provides ONE and TEN with great sports content we can showcase throughout the summer months.”

Live coverage of the NBL will grow over the term of the agreement, starting with a minimum of two live games a week on either ONE or TEN in 20010/11 and increasing to five games per round in the final year of the contract.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Return of the King(s)

Sydney Kings return to NBL


Sydney’s newly announced team to play in the National Basketball League from season 2010/11 will be known as the Sydney Kings once more, the club revealed today, with one of Australia’s iconic sporting brands to return to the NBL.

At a press conference held at the Newington College in Sydney this morning which highlighted the team’s commitment to building connections with grass roots basketball participants, the new club announced that it would compete as the Sydney Kings.

Sydney’s NBL team were known as the Kings from 1988 through until the club’s license was terminated on 12 June 2008 after former owner Tim Johnston failed to remedy outstanding player payments outlined in a default notice issued to the club. As the Kings, Sydney won three consecutive NBL Championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and also advanced to the Grand Final in 2006 and 2008.

A new consortium made up of passionate basketball supporters with strong business credentials successfully applied for a license to play in the 2010/11 NBL season and have worked hard to resurrect the Sydney Kings name, one of the most well known sporting brands in the country and Asian region. The consortium is made up of a large number of investors so as to ensure the financial issues that saw the Kings exit the league as a result of its single-owner model can never again threaten the team.

The Kings consortium is led by former executive chairman of Myer and senior executive of Woolworths Bill Wavish, who will be the club’s Chairman, and also includes respected education manager and exporter Max Schroder, former West Sydney Razorbacks Chairman Phil Hudson and former Westbus owner and deputy chairman of the Razorbacks Jim Bosnjak. There are also a number of other consortium members confirmed who wish to remain as silent partners.

Iconic former Sydney Kings head coach and NBL Hall of Famer Bob Turner has taken over the role as General Manager for the new club and said the consortium was determined to rebuild the respect for the Sydney Kings organisation.

“The consortium of Sydney Kings owners is absolutely committed not just to the team but also to the sport of basketball,” said Turner. “We have sought investors who believe in the sport and are dedicated to the long-term success of the Kings and Sydney basketball as a whole.

“There are hundreds of thousands of basketball players in New South Wales and we are determined to put in the work necessary to build a mutually beneficial relationship with that latent support base,” added Turner. "But we can't do this alone. We need the Sydney basketball community to get behind us to bring back the Kings. We're determined to make a night at the Kings great fun, great basketball and great value. We ask everyone to get behind us. Head to our website and sign up with your support. Let’s all bring NBL basketball back to Sydney with a team we can all be proud of."

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said the decision by the Sydney team to use the highly recognisable Kings moniker was a sound one.

“The Sydney Kings have always been one of the best known sporting brands in Australia and synonymous with basketball in Sydney,” said Sengstock. “As a team, the Kings attracted a massive sell-out crowd of 10,244 to their final home game back in March 2008, so clearly there is significant fan support for the Kings as a club.

“I don’t think there was a sports fan in Australia who wasn’t disappointed at the way the Kings left the league so we are delighted that the club will have the chance to write a new chapter,” Sengstock continued. “The ownership group have sound business credentials, a passion for the game of basketball and a determination to link back to the community. Those qualities are all perfectly aligned with what we have been trying to achieve with the NBL. This announcement, coming on the back of a highly successful 2009/10 NBL season, shows that basketball is continuing to grow and move in the right direction.”

Kings consortium member Max Schroder said the team was committed to Sydney basketball.

“I have been a long-time follower of the Kings, squeezing in games between a lot of overseas business travel,” said Schroder. “Like many others, I was stunned by the demise of the Kings, and resolved to get behind any serious attempt to revive the team. I was introduced to a group of like-minded individuals, determined that the team be placed on a sound business footing, run by people experienced in and committed to basketball, and rooted in the foundation of community involvement.”

“The people of Sydney want to believe that the Sydney Kings is their team, not some franchise to be shopped around by uncommitted entrepreneurs. The new owners will ensure that they and the people of Sydney will be proud of the new Sydney Kings,” Schroder concluded.

The Sydney Kings will join the Hood Sweeney Adelaide 36ers, Skytrans Cairns Taipans, Gold Coast Blaze, OAMPS Melbourne Tigers, Burger King New Zealand Breakers, Perth Wildcats, Townsville McDonald’s Crocodiles and Wollongong ahm Hawks for season 2010/11, which will commence in October 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sydney team returns to the NBL


18 March 2010


The National Basketball League is building on the success of the 2009/10 season and will welcome a new team to the league in 2010/11.

Sydney will once again have a team in the National Basketball League, with Basketball Australia announcing today that a club based in the New South Wales capital would be included amongst the nine teams to make up an expanded NBL competition for the 2010/11 season.

Sydney will join the existing eight clubs who competed in the recently completed NBL season to make up an expanded league in 2010/11. Those other eight teams are the Hood Sweeney Adelaide 36ers, Skytrans Cairns Taipans, Gold Coast Blaze, OAMPS Melbourne Tigers, Burger King New Zealand Breakers, Perth Wildcats, Townsville McDonald’s Crocodiles and Wollongong ahm Hawks.

Whilst the name for the new Sydney team is yet to be revealed, Basketball Australia Chief Executive officer Larry Sengstock said that the group backing the club were a diverse collection of very well respected business people who had a passion for basketball.

“I am delighted to announce that the NBL will be back in Sydney next season, with a very strong consortium making a compelling case for BA to issue them with a license,” said Sengstock. “Their application was unanimously endorsed by the NBL Commission last night and as a result they will take their place in the NBL in season 2010/11.

“Whilst the people backing the new Sydney club have asked to remain anonymous for a little longer until they have had the chance to launch the team properly, I can say that the ownership group has impeccable business credentials. They are also all fully committed to making the Sydney team a long-term success both on and off-the-court, and have embraced the NBL’s renewed community focus. This team will be a side for all of Sydney and will have very strong links to the community.”

NBL Commission Chair Diane Smith-Gander said that the NBL would look to continue to expand its footprint by including a team in Brisbane in the future, but that only teams that have satisfied the new, more stringent financial criteria would be awarded licenses.

“The NBL Commission and the BA Board are taking a controlled and strategic approach to expansion and are not rushing into additional marketplaces before the time is right,” said Smith-Gander. “We have Sydney now and that leaves Brisbane as the only major Australian market in which we don’t have direct representation. We are continuing discussions with a group there and are confident that they will come to fruition, we are targeting the 2011/12 season, but we will not hamstring a team by rushing them into the competition before they are completely ready.

“We need to make sure that we only issue licenses to teams that can meet our criteria and that have the capacity to be successful in the long-term. Sydney and the other eight existing teams all satisfied the NBL Commission that they deserved a license. The NBL will now build on the success of this most recent season, which saw increased attendance and strong television coverage.”

“BA and the NBL have been undergoing a necessary commercial reform process over the past two years,” added Smith-Gander. “The announcement of the nine teams for next season is another significant step in basketball’s growth as a sport.”

The NBL season will start in October 2010 and will conclude in March 2011. The 2011 Finals will once again see the top four teams qualify for the post-season, with one playing four and two playing three in best-of-three Semi Finals. The Grand Final will once again be a best-of-three.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Foot Locker Elite Classic – High Stakes Hoops

With less than a month to go until the High Stakes Hoops tournament, its time to catch up on everything that's been happening.

First, I mentioned last month that the Footlocker Elite Classic would be having an international draft. Well, the draft took place on Friday and the results are below.

Foot Locker Elite Classic – High Stakes Hoops Draft a Success « The Foot Locker Elite Classic – High Stakes Hoops

The 2010 Overseas Player Draft is complete, and the field is led by some recognisable players with strong resumes in Australian professional basketball, complimented by some young, explosive new talent. The selection pool was deep, and the Team Rights Owners we able to add athleticism and depth to their already star-studded rosters. Teams were given the opportunity to select players over three rounds. Several owners indicated a high level of confidence in their current Australian personnel by passing on picks in at least one of those rounds. A total of 14 players were drafted. Below are the results:

Isiah Victor
Scott O’Gallaher

Mike Helms

Shane Edwards
Jelani Gardner

Lonnie Harrell
Michael Boone
D’Lancy Carter

Freddy Robinson
David Fisher

Vernon Goodridge

Terrance Woodbury
Mario Brown

David Carson

Secondly, earlier in the week came the news that Brett Maher was almost sure he would be signing popular former Adelaide import, Willie Farley.

Finally, after the draft was completed, there came the announcement that the Pythons would sign undrafted 2009 NCAA dunk champ, Tony Danridge. Considering this tournament is an "event", its crazy to think someone wouldn't sign him just for the excitement he could bring to the games and to keep the fans entertained (even if it was just in the lay-up lines).

To keep up to date with all things about the Foot Locker Elite Classic, follow ECB on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NBA Rookie of the Year race

I follow Andrew Bogut on Twitter and saw a post from him earlier:

SO they got my youngfella @BJ3nnings3 at 5th in the rookie rankings? What a joke. Even though he doesnt care bout ROY. 5th?? 5th?? LIKE 5th?

So it got me wondering what the current rankings were so I found this article. Here's their breakdown of the top 5.

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Last Week: 2 | Drafted: 7
I can no longer ignore the fact that Curry is playing better than Evans. Evans may have already won over too many voters, but Curry is certainly making his case in a big way.'s Marc Stein had an interesting column this week in which he spoke with several scout around the league. One Western Conference scout had this to say about the two: "[Tyreke] Evans is going to win it and [Brandon] Jennings was up there early, but [Steph] Curry is going to wind up being the best player of the three. He's the ray of hope in Golden State because he's got the shots, he's got the moves, he's marketable and he's only going to get better. And I think his teammates like playing with him. He's a great shooter, obviously, but he's unselfish. He's looking to get other guys involved. You can argue that [Curry's] numbers are inflated playing in Golden State's system, but you could have said that about a lot of rookies over the years. Most of the top rookies are on bad teams. Rookies of the Year aren't coming from the Lakers. The issue is what the Warriors are going to do with [Monta] Ellis, because it's obvious that that team needs to be built around Curry, and Curry defers too much when Ellis is in there."

2. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings
Last Week: 1 | Drafted: 4
Evans is obviously comfortable being a leader on the young Kings. Maybe too comfortable. In the Kings' 108-102 loss to the Thunder on Sunday, Evans called out teammate Andres Nocioni after the veteran took several questionable shots down the stretch. "We were in the game, and you come down and take bad shots?" Evans told the Sacramento Bee. "That's not team basketball. Coach didn't say nothing, so I thought I had to step up (and say something)." Maybe Evans was justified -- he had 24 points and seven assists to Nocioni's six points -- but he still apologized Tuesday afternoon on a Sacramento radio station.

3. Darren Collison, New Orleans Hornets
Last Week: 3 | Drafted: 21
One Western Conference scout, in the earlier-mentioned Marc Stein article on, asked the question many have been asking: How will the Hornets -- and Collison in particular -- fare when Chris Paul returns? His answer: "The rookie has been so good because he's had the ball in his hands. Collison is more of a penetrator than a shooter. He's not a guy who's going to make shots out there [as a shooting guard]. The last time they went through this, they put Collison right back on the bench. Can [Paul and Collison] play together now? I don't necessarily think so."

4. Marcus Thornton, New Orleans Hornets
Last Week: 4 | Drafted: 43
It's amazing to me that Thornton is still not starting. He, along with fellow rookie Collison, has been one of the Hornets' most aggressive and productive pieces. Still, Morris Peterson is starting, despite shooting just 36 percent from the field (33 percent on 3s). Peterson has scored in double-digits once in the last eight games and just four times all season. Thornton, on the other hand has scored in double-digits in 25 of the last 27 games. Hornets coach Jeff Bower continues to start Peterson and prefers the jolt Thornton provides off the bench, but why not let Thornton play a consistent 30-plus minutes per game?

5. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks
Last Week: 5 | Drafted: 10
Despite all the distractions, all the Rookie of the Year talk, all Jennings wants is a spot in the playoffs. Early in the week, Jennings raised eyebrows after going just 2-for-12 in a win over the Wizards. "My offense is just terrible right now," Jennings was quoted in the Journal-Sentinel. "I don't even know if I want to shoot the ball because things are just not going my way. I'm struggling really bad right now." That drew a sitdown with coach Scott Skiles. "We're not fond of that kind of statement," Skiles said. "We know where his heart lies." Where Jennings heart is is helping the Bucks -- currently fifth in the East -- reach the playoffs. "Right now, I'm playing for something bigger. I don't even care about the Rookie of the Year," Jennings said. "Forget it. Whoever gets it, who cares? Both of their teams suck, so whoever gets it, it doesn't matter."

Unlike Bogut, I think they've actually got the rookie race pretty much right. His boy Brandon Jennings got off to a great start to the season and was definitely the front-runner but my boy Stephen Curry is the man to beat now. I'd actually put Jennings ahead of Thornton but that's the only change I'd make to the order.

Darren Collison has flown in to the top 3 due to the injury to Chris Paul. Collison (the new DC as we call him) has been putting up large numbers over the last month or so and although he turns it over far too often, its excusable from a rookie thrown in to that situation. Paul is supposed to be returning soon so DC will likely fall off and if Jennings can find his shot again he'll be back in the top 3.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Australian Dunk of the Year

From today's Bucks vs Celtics game, Andrew Bogut throws down the biggest dunk by an Australian in a long, long time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Andre Miller throws down

Now, I've mentioned it many times before, I'm not about the flash dunks, I'm more about the beautiful pass or the big triple with time running down. Saying that tho, I was watching the boxscore of the Portland - Denver game yesterday when I saw a line that surprised me:

6:26 Andre Miller makes slam dunk (Martell Webster assists)

I actually remember thinking to myself at the time "wow, Andre Miller dunked it?!"

I've always been a fan of Andre Miller, he's your pass-first team-oriented point guard. He's 6'2 but he's not the most athletic of players and at age 33 he's getting on in NBA years. So when I came across the clip of the play I was even more shocked to see just how good Dre's dunk actually was!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Play of the year

Forget about your high-flying dunks, for me this is the play of the year so far.

As a small-man in a big-mans world, its great to see Stephen Curry going to work in the paint. Up against one of the best shot-blockers in the league, Curry shows the Birdman some of his Pistol Pete style tricks.