We're still celebrating the NZ Breakers dynasty but the NBL competition that they have been dominating is severely under the pump. Both the Wollongong Hawks and the Townsville Croc's are currently in administration and their future along with the future of the NBL is up in the air.
Everything looks rather lovely over here with the Breakers again doing the business and basketball in general on a bit of a high with the homie Steven Adams doing his thing. Across the ditch though we're seeing that it doesn't really matter how your top end is going if the domestic league can't even stay afloat. We have Steven Adams, who is a single being, while the Aussies have a few decent NBA players in Andrew Bogut, Dante Exum and even Matthew Delladova is playing alongside LeBron James yet in their home nation, clubs are struggling to survive.
It's not the end of the world, but it puts things in perspective and the silver lining is that it will hopefully see some common sense prevail. The NBL does not have a franchise in Brisbane, for some reason they opted to focus on smaller communities such as Cairns, Townsville and Wollongong which in the ever competitive sporting market makes things extremely difficult.
Basketball in Aotearoa and Australia needs the NBL to exist and we need it to be firing on all cylinders. We all know that basketball is a widely supported sport, but it feels a bit underground ya know like there's a strong niche following but it's still trying to break in to the 'mainstream'. I mean look at the Breakers, champions, domination and yet rugby still gets the headlines so while we love basketball, it seems like we've got quite a way to go.
It's dumb to think that because our team is the Breakers and they won, everything is sweet. No, the NBL is struggling and it's possible that god forbid the NBL may not exist soon which is extremely sad and we along with the other basketball soldiers need to support the code.
It's also highly possible that having the Hawks and Crocs go into administration will help sort their financial position out and the NBL might find some silver lining. There's plenty of options and you'd imagine that having a team in each major Australian city would be the first task instead of small community markets. And then maybe a team in Wellington?
Now, another kiwi team in the NBL would test our basketballin' support wouldn't it?
Here's hoping that while the NBL is currently up shit's creek a wee bit that there is a silver lining. Maybe these are growing pains that lead to growth and prosperity?
Kyle Stanley, former Dragon who was signed by the Cronulla Sharks has had a rotten run of luck. Stanley was playing for the Sharks' NSW Cup side Newtown and suffered his fifth ACL tear, meaning he'll have his fifth knee reconstruction. That's absolutely terrible.
This one crept under my radar, but not under the Wildcard's radar who mentioned the All Whites squad in his weekly Flying Kiwis column. This All Whites squad for their game against the Korea Republic at the end of the month is as funky as off milk with a few names that we've never ever ever heard of before and plenty of young lads getting a run.
Themistoklis Tzimopolous has strong family links to Wellington despite living and playing in Greece, he's been named at 29 years of age to stiffen up the defence while Benjamin van den Broek has also been named. Van den Broek is a 27 year old lad who plays in Romania and was hooked up by Ryan Thomas which gives you the impression that coach Anthony Hudson told his lads to keep an eye and an ear out.
Other new names are goalies Max Crocombe and Stefan Marinovic while Sam Brotherton, Sam Burfoot, Clayton Lewis and Ryan de Vries also get a look in. Just looking at the more established players in the squad, it's hard to argue that this could be one of the strongest All Whites squads we've seen in a long time. Just the standard of football that these lads are playing on a regular basis, it's a very young squad which is awesome but they have plenty of top level club experience to draw on which is fresh.
Anyone else think Kendrick Lamar is our leader?