Friday, May 23, 2014

The latest on the return of Brisbane to the NBL

After speculation earlier in the week that the Southern Districts Spartans were the leading candidate to secure the rights to an NBL license in Brisbane, it seems that isn't the case. Here's an update from Boti Nagy after speaking with the NBL CEO.

Brisbane Bizarros but the NBL will be back

NBL Chief Executive Officer Fraser Neill is more than buoyed after meeting yesterday with a group keen to back a Brisbane-based team from 2015-16 onwards.

In fact, he was almost ecstatic.

“I met with some business people in Brisbane with good business acumen and we are working with them to put together a good plan,” he told me today.

“It will happen.

“Brisbane is a good, strong market, with sensible planning and strong management we believe it can work.”

Neill said whether the new Brisbane NBL club would retain the Bullets name or move to a new moniker was still to be determined.

“These are questions we now have four months to work on,” he said.

“Is the Bullets brand still strong? Would it be better to start with a new name?

“These are the sorts of questions we now have time to go back and work out.”

Neill said he found a recent television report and newspaper coverage of an NBL bid by Brisbane Spartans to be “bizarre”.

“We have had no contact at all with any Brisbane Spartans group – none,” he said.

“It’s quite bizarre.”

To read the rest of the article, click here

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Derek Rucker returning to the game?

If you haven't heard the news this week, our three-team NBL legend, Derek Rucker is working on playing in the QBL this season for the Gladstone Port City Power.

Check out Wayne Heming's interview with him here:

Go get em D-Ruck! #Dontcallitacomeback

Grab your Derek Rucker tees here:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Brisbane Bullets future and an NBL expansion update

I'm a bit late and most people would have seen this already, but here's the latest update from Boti Nagy on the future of the Brisbane Bullets as well as the NBL's expansion plans.

Bullets’ bid still not firing as Tassie and second Melbourne club move to join NBL

    The Advertiser
    April 22, 2014 2:25PM 

A SECOND NBL team in Melbourne and a united state-representing team out of Tasmania are front-runners in league expansion plans for 2015-16. 
While the recent loss of WNBL club Logan Thunder, in addition to the absence of Gold Coast Blaze and Brisbane Bullets as NBL entities, leaves south-east Queensland without an elite-level presence, the other bids are further advanced.

“The second team in Melbourne and the Tasmanian bid are further along than Brisbane,” NBL chief executive officer Fraser Neill said.

“We are very keen to re-establish an NBL presence in Brisbane and we are continuing to work hard in that area.

“But that’s a very strong catchment area for basketball in the south east of Melbourne and the Tasmanian bid is travelling very well too.”

Melbourne has not had a second team since South Dragons won the 2009 championship and withdrew.

Tasmania has been without NBL representation since the Hobart Devils were dropped from the competition after the 1996 season.

Previously the state also fielded the Devonport Warriors, while Launceston Casino City was NBL champion in 1981.

The new Tasmanian bid aims to represent the entire island and garner statewide support by spreading its home matches across multiple venues.

Brisbane Bullets, which boasted iconic NBL superstar Leroy Loggins and other league MVPs such as Derek Rucker, Sam Mackinnon and Steve Woodberry, dropped out of the competition after the 2008 season. 

Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright, led the Bullets to their last championship in 2007.

He also was in charge of south-east Queensland’s last NBL team, Gold Coast, which was shunted out of the NBL after the 2011-12 season while Basketball Australia was running the league.

Neill said the NBL was looking to expand to 12 teams for 2015-16, the door ajar for Brisbane.

But interest also has been shown by Wellington Saints of the NZ NBL — currently being coached by former Sydney Kings coach Shane Heal — along with Newcastle and Canberra.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Andrew Vlahov - Perth Wildcats

Today's feature Perth Wildcats legend is Andrew Vlahov.

Andrew Vlahov attended Stanford University in the U.S. before being signed by the Perth Wildcats where he played his entire NBL career (12 seasons). A stellar first season with the Wildcats saw Vlahov earn the NBL Rookie of the Year award. Vlahov replaced Mike Ellis as the captain of the club in 1993 after only two seasons in the NBL and remained so until his retirement.

Vlahov enjoyed a successful NBL career, making the finals series every year he played in the league. He won three NBL championships and was a staple NBL All Star selection every season. Andrew was one of the most feared players of all time, even though he barely stood at 6 foot 7 (undersized for a power forward) he made up for it with his power and strength. He was one of the leagues best rebounders and arguably the best Australian power forward of all time.

One of Andrew’s best seasons was in 1992 when he averaged 22.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.3 steals, 1 block while shooting over 52% from the field and 79% from the line.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ricky Grace - Perth Wildcats

Today's feature Perth Wildcats legend is Ricky Grace.

Ricky "Amazing" Grace was selected in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz in the third round (67th overall) but failed to make the active roster of an NBA team. Soon after, Grace was invited by then Perth Wildcats GM Cal Bruton to play for the Australian club, where he played his entire professional career (16 seasons), and captained the club from 2002/03 until his retirement in 2006. During his time with the club Grace played an integral part in six grand finals appearances and four championships, twice being award Grand Final MVP.

One of Ricky’s best seasons was in 1991 when he averaged 22.2 points, 8.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 0.9 blocks, 1.8 triples while shooting almost 50% from the field and 80% from the line. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

James Crawford - Perth Wildcats

Our first feature Perth Wildcats legend is James Crawford.

The "Alabama Slamma" left the Canberra Cannons to join the Perth Wildcats in 1987 where he remained for the next 13 seasons. He played in a total of 504 NBL games, 371 of them for the Wildcats and currently sits third on the list of all time NBL scorers with 11,121 points, scoring at an average of 22 per game. He also sits third on the NBL all time rebound list with 4,794 (9.5 per game) and second in blocked shots with 788 (1.5 per game).

Relatively small for a starting centre, the 6'8" Crawford was an integral part of the Perth Wildcats three NBL Championships during the 1990's (90, 91 & 95) combining with team mates Tiny Pinder, Ricky Grace and Andrew Vlahov to be part of the most successful team of the decade. He was also selected to the NBL’s All First Team four times (1982, 83, 84 and 87) and was selected to the NBL’s 20th Anniversary Team in 1998 and the NBL's 25th Anniversary Team in 2004.

One of Crawford’s best seasons was in 1987 when he averaged 33.4 points, 11.8 boards, 2.3 blocks, 1.9 steals and shot over 60% from the field!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Perth Wildcats t-shirts

Gather round and let me tell you about a time when the Perth Wildcats were one of the best teams in the league! Oh wait …

Ok, so let’s instead pay tribute to the recently crowned champions of the NBL by paying homage to their forefathers! Back in the 90’s when the league was booming, the Perth Wildcats were definitely the team to beat. They won their first championship in 1990, backed it up in 91 and again in 95.

The big five we’ve chosen to represent Perth are all true legends from that era: Ricky “Amazing” Grace, James “The Alabama Slamma”, Andrew Vlahov, Scott Fisher & Mike Ellis.

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Queensland U16 State Championships

I volunteered this week to help out at the U16 State Championships that finished yesterday. The first few days I was just helping out on the door and in the car park but yesterday I was court-side writing game summaries for the three gold medal games for each division and a bronze medal game prior.

One of the reasons I enjoy helping out is to check out the future of the game in our country. Its good to see the next generation and people always ask me who are the players to watch.

Having only watched one full division one game which was the gold medal game between the Gold Coast Waves and the Suncoast Clippers, I can really only tell you who stood out in that one. In my opinion, the player with the most potential that seemed to have the skill-set to take it to the next level was Clippers player Tom Fullarton. His outside shot wasn't falling during the game and his team didn't get the win, but he's tall, could handle the ball, find open team-mates and play almost any position. Despite being one of the tallest players out there, it seemed like they had made a conscious decision to play him at the guard or wing spots to develop his skills rather than limit his growth by just playing him inside.

The performance of the day tho was from a division 3 player, Jhalam Anson who scored 37 points and just dominated the game for his Mulgrave Magic team. In this tournament there were no stats but Jhalam would have had plenty of boards, assists and at least half a dozen steals to go with his haul of points. He's quite young and raw but if he works hard and gets the support needed, he could be one to keep an eye on in a year or two. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

NBL launches Summer League in Las Vegas

Some exciting news from the NBL earlier in the week. Originally I wasn't sure whether the deal was that each NBA Summer League team would have two NBL players in it but it seems the NBL are having their own summer league prior to the main one.

I loved my time at the NBA Summer League in 2012 so next time I go this could be an excuse to get there a little earlier! :-)

NBL launches Summer League in Las Vegas

The National Basketball League has launched an exciting new tournament that will see the iconic brand join one of the biggest global events in the sport.

The Australian NBL Summer League will be played in Las Vegas in July. It will position the NBL on the doorstep of the NBA Summer League, held annually on the UNLV Campus.

All eight NBL clubs will send a minimum of two players and coaching staff to the Summer League. They will be integrated into teams of draft hopefuls looking to catch the eye of talent scouts around the world.

Crucially, NBL coaches and team management will be given a first-hand glimpse at a wide array of potential imports looking to play in Australia. The Australian NBL Summer League will allow coaches to see how those players perform in game situations, alongside NBL personnel.

In previous years, Melbourne Tigers guard Chris Goulding, Sydney Kings centre AJ Ogilvy, San Antonio Spurs star Patty Mills and Boomers forward Joe Ingles have played in the NBA Summer League tournament.

NBL Chief Executive Fraser Neill said the launch of the Australian NBL Summer League was a glowing endorsement for the NBL and the progress it has made during the 2013/14 season.

“It is an exciting new initiative that the NBL is extremely proud to be launching,” Mr Neill said.

“The opportunity to be on campus next to the NBA speaks volumes for the regard the NBL is held in abroad. It will showcase the quality the NBL has to offer and will open up great opportunities for our players and our brand.”

“This is about more than just games though. This is about further enhancing our relationship with the NBA. We will be part of the business hub of the global basketball community. This is an opportunity to take the NBL to the world.”

The Australian NBL Summer League will held from July 13 to 16 in Las Vegas. More information can be found at

Friday, March 28, 2014

The 2003/4 Sydney Kings - legendary team

C. J. Bruton was recruited to take the place of the retired Shane Heal and Jason Smith was signed after returning to the NBL after playing in Europe. The Kings started the 2003/04 season with 12 successive wins, and would eventually win their second championship after their best-of-five grand final series with cross-town rivals West Sydney went down to the deciding fifth game. Kings player Matt Nielsen would win the regular season and finals MVP this year before leaving to play overseas. Sydney’s outstanding depth was also a key that season, with Brad Sheridan, Brett Wheeler, David Stiff, Luke Martin and BJ Carter all contributing quality minutes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The 1991 Perth Wildcats - legendary team

The start of the 90’s saw the Perth Wildcats move to the 8,200 seat Perth Entertainment Centre. Despite a shaky start to the season Perth charged into the Grand Final and achieved their first NBL championship by defeating the Brisbane Bullets in Brisbane. The Wildcats backed up this effort in 1991 by becoming the third team in NBL history to win back-to-back championships, defeating the Eastside Spectres in front of a home crowd.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The 1998 Adelaide 36ers - legendary team

Today we feature the '98 Adelaide 36ers (and no, we haven't forgotten about an earlier legendary Adelaide team).

In 1998 when debutante coach Phil Smyth recruited Paul Rees to play alongside former NBA pair Darnell Mee and Kevin Brooks, the Clipsal Powerhouse was hanging the “sold out” sign at every home game. The 36ers turned their fortunes around under Smyth and finished the regular season in 2nd place with a 19-11 record. They won through to the 1998 NBL Grand Final series to face the heavily favoured South East Melbourne Magic that many thought were the greatest team of all time. Adelaide stunned the Magic and swept the series to claim the clubs first championship since 1986. Kevin Brooks was named the Grand Final MVP in what was the last ever winter season for the NBL.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The 1997 Melboune Tigers - legendary team

Today's legendary team, the 1997 Melbourne Tigers.

Having to deal with a mid-season return of Mark Bradtke from the NBA, the Melbourne Tigers started the 1997 season in very poor form with a 3–11 mark at the midpoint of the season. Marcus Timmons was brought in on a tip from former assistant coach Brett Brown. From that point, the Tigers did not lose another game until the second game of the Finals against the Magic. The Tigers would go on to defeat the Magic in Game 3 of the Finals to claim their second championship in front of their home-town fans.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The 2002/3 Sydney Kings - legendary team

Our next legendary team was the start of a three-peat dynasty, the 2002/2003 Sydney Kings.
(See pic below, for the Kings you have the choice of the purple or gold tees)

For the 2002/03 season, Shane Heal was joined by talented imports Chris Williams and Kavossy Franklin. The team also welcomed the NBL's all-time leader in coaching victories, Brian Goorjian. The Kings finished on top of the ladder with a 22-8 record and swept the Perth Wildcats in the grand final series to claim their first-ever championship.

With Goorijan able to implement his defensive tactics which were so successful with the Magic and Titans, in addition to finally being able to purchase high quality superstar imports he was unable to attain due to financial constraints on the team in Melbourne, there seemed to be no stopping the Kings ...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The 2007 Brisbane Bullets - legendary team

Following on from the 1985 team yesterday, this morning's feature legendary team is one of the greatest ever assembled, the 2007 Brisbane Bullets.

Whether you consider them the best NBL team ever (or the best that money could buy), you can’t argue with how great the Brisbane Bullets team was that won the 2006/2007 championship. They were so good their bench players would have likely beaten most rival teams. “G-Unit” as they named themselves featured Adam Gibson, Dillon Boucher, Mark Bradtke (Dusty Rychart was the starter I believe), Mick Hill & Brad Williamson.

The Bullets won the pre-season title and then easily won the minor premiership, claiming an end of season record of 28 wins and only 5 losses. This included an all-time NBL record-breaking 21-game winning streak, marking the Bullets' most successful season since 1979. Brisbane went on to make their first NBL grand final since 1990 and took out the finals series 3-1 over defending champions the Melbourne Tigers to be crowned NBL champions for the third and last time (for now).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The 1985 Brisbane Bullets - legendary team

Announcing the release of our new Legendary Teams tees!

We've been paying tribute to some of the greatest NBL players to grace the league, now its time to honour some of the greatest ever teams. We're starting with the 1985 Brisbane Bullets.

Having lost the Grand Final in the previous season, the Brisbane Bullets emerged in 1985 as the league's most powerful team under Brian Kerle and again won the minor premiership with a 20-6 record. With the grand final game being held at their home venue (Chandler Arena), the Bullets were hot favourites to defeat the Adelaide 36ers in what was to be the last single game grand final in NBL history. Leading 78-74 going into the last period of play the Bullets then outscored Adelaide 42-21, setting an NBL grand final record for points scored in the final period and easily accounting for the 36ers 120-95 to record their first ever championship win.

For your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

NBL Hall of Fame vs 1998 Adelaide 36ers

Here are some of the highlights from the NBL Hall of Fame vs 1998 Adelaide 36ers held last weekend. The Hall of Fame team features some of the legends we've immortalised in t-shirts so far:
  • Leroy Loggins 
  • Cal Bruton 
  • Mark Bradtke 
  • Andrew Gaze 
  • Lanard Copeland
  • Steve Carfino
None of them were moving too quickly or playing any defence but Kevin Brooks looks to have been the star of the show.

To represent your favourite NBL legend, check out our range of t-shirts here:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In The Game Tees - $10 off sale on now

Whether you’re Irish or Irish-ish… we’ve got a deal for you! To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (next month), our partners at Spreadshirt are offering $10 off any order of $50 or more. Simply enter the coupon code POTOFGOLD at check out to receive the discount. 

So if you’ve been eyeing off one of our recent Melbourne Tigers or South East Melbourne Magic tees, now is the time to grab yourself a bargain:

           $10 off orders of $50 or more
           Coupon code: POTOFGOLD
           Run time: February 25th – March 4th, 2014 (US EST Time)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Andrew Gaze - Melbourne Tigers

The one, the only ... Andrew Gaze
(pic below, who said he couldn't jump?)

Andrew Gaze is considered the greatest player in the history of the NBL and is a seven time winner of the league's MVP award, which is now named after him.

Gaze began his career in the NBL at age 18, being named Rookie of the year in 1984. He was the top scorer in the league for a total of 14 seasons. Not an outstanding athlete, Gaze's heavy scoring was due to exceptional shooting, including from three-point range. A crowd favourite, one of Gaze's trademark plays for the Tigers was the alley-oop pass to Lanard Copeland. Playing under his father with the Tigers, Gaze played in 612 NBL matches and led the team to two titles (’93 & ’97).

One of Andrew’s best seasons was in 1987 when he averaged 44.1 points (that’s not a typo), 8.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.5 steals & 3.4 triples.

Check out the Andrew Gaze Legends tees here:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Hawks Nest ... featuring one of our tees!

The Hawks Nest this week Featuring Nat (on the right) from repp'ing the Ricky Jones tee, thanks for the shout out at 10:35'ish!

Grab your very own Ricky Jones Townsville Suns t-shirt here:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Melbourne Tigers t-shirts

Gather round and let me tell you about a time when the league was booming, so much so, NBL players were household names!

Back in the 90’s when the league was booming, one of the teams to beat was the Melbourne Tigers who took out their first championship in ’93 and then won it again in ’97. Lindsay Gaze prowled the sidelines while his son Andrew was the superstar. He wasn’t alone as he was joined by two of the legends of the league, Lanard Copeland and Mark Bradtke.

Fast forward to the 2000’s when the big three had moved on, a new superstar emerged for the Tigers in the form of Chris Anstey who returned from several years in Europe. Anstey dominated the league helping Melbourne to another two titles in ’06 and ’08.    

As you can see from the pic below, we’ve come up with two different styles for this team, based on the team’s classic uniforms from back in the day.

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

Saturday, February 1, 2014

South East Melbourne Magic t-shirts

Gather round and let me tell you about a time when the NBL was booming! So much so, at one time there were five Victorian teams in the league!

The South East Melbourne Magic were formed in 1992 as the result of a merger between the South Melbourne Saints and the Eastside Spectres. The team’s home venue was the Rod Laver Arena which it shared with cross-town rivals the Melbourne Tigers and drew an NBL record 15,366 fans to a game between the two clubs in 1996.

Despite the Magic being successful on-court during its tenure in the league, making four Grand Final appearances and winning championships in 1992 and 1996, the club once again merged with a cross-town rival, the North Melbourne Giants for the 1998/99 season, forming the Victoria Titans.

Representing the Magic in our “Legends” series are Bruce Bolden, Tony Ronaldson, Sam Mackinnon, Darren Lucas, Mike Kelly and Rob Rose.

South East Melbourne fans, its time to represent and show your support for your once great team. Like, share and shop!

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bruce Bolden's new role

Came across this press release that a friend shared on Facebook earlier about one of our West Sydney Razorbacks legends, Bruce Bolden.

The Basketball Factory

All Sorts is excited to announce the appointment of NBL star, Bruce Bolden as Basketball Manager at their brand new facility, The Basketball Factory.

American-born Bolden, who enjoyed an illustrious career spanning 17 seasons in the Australian National Basketball League, is thrilled to be launching the venue aimed at providing kids with an opportunity to learn the game and become a part of the basketball community.

"I've met so many amazing people throughout my basketball career and I am looking forward to sharing my passion for the game with the local community. I'd like to welcome kids of all levels, the upcoming stars who dream of a professional basketball career and those who enjoy the game for fun and social competition. The Basketball Factory is for everyone."
Bruce Bolden

Bolden has a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge to pass on to young basketballers after playing and coaching in the NBL. More recently, Bolden has enjoyed providing private one to one coaching which has led him to taking up the opportunity to offer something back to the wider basketball community here in Sydney.

All Sorts Gym and Indoor Sports now boasts a huge footprint of more than 10,000 square metres in Alexandria and has become a power house when it comes to the provision of fitness and sporting activity in Southern Sydney.

Since launching the indoor sports centre, which features top-quality basketball facilities, the court bookings have been over taken by school groups and other sports such as Futsal, leaving basketball lagging behind. The management have a keen desire to see basketball grow and so they seized the opportunity to convert the vast space of the old heritage 'Zeppelin' shed, that was originally built in the 1930s by Commonwealth Gases for construction of Dirigibles (Zeppelins/Airships), into a brand new basketball venue! With super high ceilings and walls decorated by local street artists and youth community groups, The Basketball Factory needs to be seen to be believed.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

In The Game Tees - 20% off sale on now!

The Boxing Day sales may be well and truly over but if you’re looking for a bargain, our partners at Spreadshirt have just started a 20% sale!

So whether you’re after the Brisbane Bullets, Canberra Cannons, Townsville Suns or whoever, you can now pick up your favourite NBL Legends tees for under $20 (US)!

Use coupon code: MONEY20
(Run time Jan 8 - 14 US EST time)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dennis Rodman played in the NBL?!

Check out the typo in the sub-headline about Dennis Rodman on the bottom right of this screenshot from

(PS. Bikini bridge?)