Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Interview: Aron Baynes on the NBA

Not a bad interview with Australian/New Zealander Aron Baynes about his time so far with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA.

Interview: Aron Baynes on the NBA


By Nick Metallinos in New York

Image: Getty Images
It would, naturally, be tough for any professional player to go from playing regular rotation minutes, to sporadic minutes. For Aron Baynes, the 6’10 Australian, the transition to the NBA was made smoother with the situation he found himself in.
Some may say it was serendipitous, but if you follow the Spurs’ organisation, you’ll know that nothing is left to chance when it comes to their player selection. Nothing is left to chance.
Yes, Baynes found himself at the end of a deep San Antonio bench, but his Boomers teammate Patty Mills, and then-national team coach, Brett Brown, were there to help guide him through the rigors of the NBA schedule. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt when you have one of the game’s greatest big men, Tim Duncan, to learn from while playing on a championship-calibre team.
Basketball Australia caught up with Baynes just before the 2013-14 season was set to begin to get his thoughts on last season, and what lies ahead.
Basketball Australia: Firstly, how was your summer? What did you spend it doing?
Aron Baynes: It was good. I spent a lot of time in San Antonio, played in the Summer League, and worked out here the rest of the time. I had a lot of time to get better, worked with big guys like, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. It’s been good to be here and be able to develop my game.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Derek Rucker - Townsville Suns

Our final Townsville Suns legend is Derek Rucker. (Yes, this is now the third team we have Rucker in!)

In a shock move in 1995, Derek Rucker left a promising team in Newcastle to join the Townsville Suns which was a huge coup for the club... in just its third year. Derek teamed up with Clarence Tyson to make one of the most exciting duos in the 90s.

Rucker’s best season for the Suns was ’95 where he averaged 30.3 points, 8.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 3.6 triples while shooting 47% from the line and 89% at the line.

To grab your Derek Rucker Townsville Suns tee, follow the link:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

NBA game down under and some gold from Chris Anstey

Two good reads from yesterday, first there is talk on the NBA blog about a possible pre-season game being played down under which I think is well overdue:

Why not down under?

By the end of 2013-14, the NBA since 1978 will have staged 148 preseason or regular season games in 20 countries and territories across Europe, North and South America and Asia. Still waiting their turn – to answer the many emails we get here at HTB – are Australia and New Zealand.

Scott Levy, senior vice president and managing director, NBA Asia, acknowledged the heavy interest in the NBA in those countries. Past and present players have hailed from there, including Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Luc Longley, Sean Marks, Shane Heal, Chris Anstey and Nathan Jawai. Oklahoma City’s first-round pick Steven Adams is from New Zealand and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving was born in Melbourne.

Participation is high, Australia ranks No. 1 in subscribers to NBA League Pass International and in’s international revenue, and the country certainly has the sports facilities and culture befitting a possible preseason destination.

“Australia is an important market for the NBA in the region and we enjoy a great following from our fans,” Levy said. “We have conducted several NBA events in the country, including the 2011 Asia Pacific Team Camp featuring the top youth basketball players from Australia, New Zealand, China, and South Korea. There have been discussions around many different programs from grass-roots clinics, development programs, mass participation events, and a preseason game, but nothing is definite at this point.”

For the full article, click here.

Then, in his weekly blog for the NBL website, Chris Anstey talks about what he learnt from Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki while he was playing for the Dallas Mavericks. Click here to read the whole story but what surprised me most was his final paragraph:

I played tennis until I was 17. My doubles partner, Dustin Fletcher, played to the same age and will become the second highest AFL games player in history.

Being a Bombers fan I didn't know this about one of my all-time favourite players. That must've been the tallest, skinniest doubles pair ever!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Clarence Tyson - Townsville Suns

Next up on our list of Townsville Suns legends is "The Elevator", Clarence Tyson.

Clarence Tyson was one of the NBL's best and most exciting imports of the mid 90s. He signed with the Townsville Suns in 1995, playing for them for three ...seasons and earning the nickname "The Elevator". He was rated as one of the leagues best rebounders during his time as a Sun and still holds the team record for 25 rebounds in a game.

His best season was ’95 when he averaged 24.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 blocks, 1.5 steals and shot over 62% from the field!

Grab your very own Clarence Tyson t-shirt here:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Reggie Miller vs the New York Knicks

I rewatched the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Reggie Miller and his battles with the New York Knicks on the weekend. Reggie is one of my top 5 all-time favourite NBA players so I thoroughly enjoyed it again and just reminds me why I like watching him play.

I literally burst out laughing when he gets drafted and I think its Donny Walsh that tells him that all he needs to do to make the Pacers happy is to have the same intensity as his sister. The look on Reggie's face when he hears it is priceless!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rimas Kurtinaitis - Townsville Suns

Next up on our list of Townsville Suns legends is the first non-US import in the NBL, Rimas Kurtinaitis.

Rimas Kurtinaitis signed with the Townsville Suns in 1993, already known as one of the best European 3-point shooters of all time. During his short time in Australia, Rimas hit 5 or more threes in 6 of his 21 NBL games, including a game against the Adelaide 36ers when he scored a career high 41 points. Kurtinaitis averaged 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.7 triples per game.

To grab your very own Rimas t-shirt:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ricky Jones - Townsville Suns

We'll start off our Townsville Suns legends features with Ricky "Rainman" Jones.

Ricky made an immediate impact on the league scoring 47 points in his NBL debut against the Newcastle Falcons. He still holds the Townsville record for most points scored in a game with 53.

Jones was known for his high flying dunks, shot blocking ability and unorthodox shooting style. Ricky scored 30 or more points 20 times in his short NBL career (52games). His best season was in ’93 where he averaged 28 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 2.5 triples and shot 48% from the field. ...

To get your very own Ricky Jones t-shirt:

(Side note: When I was looking for pics of Ricky Jones, I think I found three and they were all of him dunking on Brisbane Bullets players!)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sydney Kings honour past legends

Its great to see the Sydney Kings paying tribute to some of their own former legends by naming their 25th anniversary team. Here's the story:

They also brought two of their most exciting imports, Leon Trimmingham and Dwayne McLain, back to Sydney for the opening game of their NBL season.

And from Steve Carfino, here's a pic of some former Sydney Kings meeting with the current team at practice.

Friday, October 11, 2013

October promotion: $10 off for orders over $50

If you've been eyeing off some of our basketball tees, our partners at Spreadshirt have just announced a Halloween promotion that gives you $10 off for orders over $50!

Use coupon code: TREAT2013.
(Run time Oct 8 - 15 US EST time)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Townsville Suns t-shirts

Gather round and let me tell you about a time when the NBL was booming, so much so the NBA felt threatened by its popularity! (Ok, I’m exaggerating a touch but I’ll explain shortly)

After several years of campaigning, Townsville entered th...e NBL in the ’93 season adopting the name of their state league team, the Suns.

The Suns got off to a slow start in the NBL losing their first four games and didn’t make the playoffs until they later changed their name. Despite not getting too many wins, they were fun to watch and the people of Townsville got behind the team selling out their first 69 games!

In ’98 the team was involved in a dispute with the NBA's Phoenix Suns, who held the "Suns" trademark in Australia. Faced with the prospect of paying Phoenix royalties on merchandise sales, the team changed its name to the Townsville Crocodiles.

Representing the birth of the NBL in Townsville for the Suns in our “Legends” series are Ricky “Rainman” Jones, Clarence “The Elevator” Tyson, Derek “I’ve been everywhere man” Rucker and Rimas “we’re surprised we managed to fit his name on a t-shirt” Kurtinaitis.

Townsville, its time to represent, show your support for the history of your team. Like, share and shop!

Check out our store for team six of the "Legends" range:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chris Mullin still has it

One of my all-time favourite NBA legends and shooter extraordinaire Chris Mullin shows that he still has it at training with the Sacramento Kings.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NBL countdown continues ... 4 days to go

The countdown continues ... only 4 days until the NBL season gets underway. The # 4 is brought to you today by Geelong Supercats legend Bobby Locke.

Friday, October 4, 2013

NBL countdown continues ... 6 days to go

The countdown continues ... just 6 days until the NBL season gets underway. The # 6 is brought to you today by West Sydney Razorbacks legend Sam Mackinnon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NBA Summer League trip 2014

Jeff has teamed up with Daryl Corletto for next year's trip to the NBA Summer League.

I went last year and had a fantastic time, check out our photo albums (on facebook) for some of the sights.

For anyone that fell in love with the NBA in the late 80's and early 90's, half the fun of the games is checking out the legends that are there scouting the talent.

NBA, Las Vegas ... what more do you need?!