Category Archives: NBL

News From Around the National Basketball League

Is Larry Kestelman’s vision for the NBL achievable?

In order to survive and prosper in the competitive Australian sporting market a sport must be able to market itself in a way that attracts the corporate dollar through sponsorship and media deals. The corporate dollar wants value for money and a product that makes good business sense.   Media outlets need viewers in order to remain commercially viable and profitable and sponsors need to be associated...
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Have We Seen The Best Of The NBL’s Best Player?

Last year when the NBL was graced with the phenomena that is known only as Josh Childress. Although he may have played just a handful of games due to injury (like many other Kings players) any court stepped he on, he left a mark.   The only reason last season's MVP award doesn't currently sit on "J-Chillin's" mantle piece is league's voting system, which benefits players who play more games than others combined with...
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Small changes which could go a long way for the NBL

A few months ago the NBL looked like it would be no more. Australian basketball legends such as Andrew Gaze were calling for the league to take a one year hiatus, while the then Wollongong (Illawarra) Hawks and the Townsville Crocodiles had just fallen into voluntary administration (VA) and didn’t look they would be able to dig their way out. 

Now Mid-September and there is no better time to be an NBL fan then now. With a new ownership, a landmark broadcast deal with FOX and a large array of new and returning basketball talent prepared to take the court, the NBL looks like it’s about to head into one of its best seasons ever.

Without getting too ahead of ourselves the NBL still has a long way to go before fans should start asking for Larry Kestleman to run for Prime Minister (but heck, if he can fix the NBL from last year in less than a few months Australia must seem easy right?).

There is still plenty of room for the league to improve…. And here’s some of them.


1. Highlights, Highlights And More Highlights

The casual fan is going to want to be able to watch lots and lots of highlights, and no not the “Player’s losing the ball and shooting free throws” highlights, people want the “Josh Childress posterising Charles Jackson” type highlights. 


This kind of exposure on nightly sports news programs is what’s needed to help convert some of the thousands of NBA league pass subscribers to into NBL hardcore fans.


Take the NBA for example, take a look at their social media and you’ll see plenty of content available for anybody to share, including potential media outlets. The NBA YouTube channel is a cornucopia of highlights with different camera angles and commentary… even in the offseason!


The most important thing is the NBL need to make it as easy for rabid fans, casual fans and media outlets to access highlights from all NBL games.


But why not take it that one step further, why can’t the NBL post interesting interviews and Q&A’s with players and coaches, and no not the ones where you’re interviewing the players while their team is practicing behind them, and you’re barely able to hear the person they’re interviewing, but interviews in a proper room, with no background noise and a good quality microphone.


And please, somehow, can we get a “Top 5 Plays Of The Week” or a “Weekly Wrap Up” type show. Even if it’s 5 minutes. When Josh Childress posterises someone that should be going viral on Facebook. When Kirk Penney or Chris Goulding goes off for 50+ points in a 40 minute game media outlets should be able to get vision of every shot quickly and easily.



2.Make The TV Broadcast Interesting

Last year the NBL’s broadcast was at times boring and simply painful to watch, even if you were a hardcore fan. This year however the NBL has a new broadcasting deal with a new company (FOX) and with that comes an opportunity to make the broadcast much more interesting and eye catching.


Let’s make the broadcast more engaging to casual fans so they can be transitioned to hardcore fans. Put a twitter feed throughout the game to engage fans and families. I mean imagine, as a kid how exciting it would be for your tweet to show up on TV!


Give viewers so insight to these teams and let them know why they should care about this match up. In the past simple things like taking a look at the team’s full lineup, a summary of how each player may fit into the game have been missed. This should be a staple combined with some photos, statistics or highlights of each player.,


Let’s build up player and time rivalries, Have the broadcast show highlights of previous encounters between these teams before the game starts. 


Make half-time mean something. why can’t we have a couple of analysts sharing their insight into the game. We want to know the stats but simply focusing on them for the entire ten minutes between 1st and 2nd half is not engaging.


We want highlights from the game, other games from the round and maybe footage of players out in the community giving back.



3. Game Day Programs and Basketball Cards


While this idea obviously has some production costs involved it’s something which can get people engaged more with team and players.


Many people will have fond memories of growing up collecting futera basketball cards and while trading cards will probably never be what they were in the 1990’s, without cards today, what are young fans supposed to get signed after the game?


Having these player cards available at game venues pockets the league a few dollars and gives kids something to hand to a player and say “Mr Jawai can I have your autograph” and take to school for show and tell. Maybe make a few classmates jealous so they are at the next game in their area.


With the small cost it would be to produce these cards the questions is really not why do it, but why not?


They’re cheap, affordable, small and just overall cool. It’s a tangible way for young fans to promote the game to their friends at school the next day. The result is sure to outweigh what it would cost to get these cards developed.


Add that to ensuring all teams give out programs for each round, it’s something they’ve done in the past but it’s consistency here which we’re asking for. Every game we want a small basic program to tell fans why they should care about they game they’ve come to see and the league in general… as well as give advertising space to sponsors.


There are obviously many more (easy wins) the league could continue to roll out to keep the fans in their seats every week.


I’m certainly not trying to say the Larry Kestleman regime have done anything wrong so far, just hoping improvements are made on the visual product and game nights as well as within the league structure.


So if you’re reading this Larry, feel free to take any ideas and keep growing this game we love. Financial gifts are welcomed if you do.

A Melbourne United Conspiracy Theory: gaining Hakim Warrick for Ekene Ibekwe

  It is time that we put on our tin foil hats and get a bit strange and paranoid here, basketball fans.   The past few hours have yielded some news which is seemingly unwelcome for Melbourne United. [caption id="attachment_5470" align="alignnone" width="299"]CRAY It is, but it isn't.[/caption] Please take heed of the word "seemingly."   Ibekwe has been granted (giggle) leave on 'compassionate terms'...
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Hawks are ready to soar again

Fresh new name, star player signings, champion coach   The Illawarra Hawks are ready to soar high again. It was a tumultuous 2014 season filled with financial troubles, but things may be looking up. After finishing at the bottom of the ladder with only 6 wins and 22 losses, the Hawks have rebranded their name, overhauled their roster and added a high-profile head coach.   In March, the Hawks...
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NBL soon to announce “household names” as sponsors

Larry Kestleman has mentioned the NBL will be announcing some "household names" as sponsors during an interview with Peter Switzer of Switzer Daily on Monday.   After throwing a couple of curve balls at confused fans with American renown - yet Australian unknowns McDavid and Shock Doctor, Kestleman said the next announcements will be "a lot of very, very common names you will have heard at the...
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Illawarra Hawks Recruitment Report 2015

When both the then Wollongong Hawks and the Townsville Crocodiles fell into Voluntary Administration (VA) many thought it would be the end for the leagues only surviving club from it's debut in 1979. In perhaps the greatest 3 month turnaround in sporting history the Hawks have a new coach, a new name, a new source of funds and with that momentum the Hawks have put together potentially their strongest...
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Cairns Taipans 2015 Recruitment Report

  The Taipans had a great 2014/15 season making it all the way to the Grand Final Series. Let's have a look at the off season moves made by the Taipans to go attempt to go one step further in the 2015/16 NBL season.

Players Out

Scottie Wilbekin (Philadelphia 76ers), Mitch Young (Townsville Crocodiles), Corey Maynard (Townsville Crocodiles)

Players In

Markel Starks (Italy), Mark Worthington (Melbourne United), Damon Heuir (Cairns Taipans...
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Does Nathan Jawai solve problems or create them in Perth?

It’s official Australian Boomers big man Nathan Jawai has officially signed with the Perth Wildcats for the 2015/16 NBL season. There has been a lot of fanfare and press around many big names returning to the NBL this season and names like Chris Goulding, Julian Khazzouh, AJ Ogilvy returning to the NBL are all huge additions to their respective teams. But Jawai is a 6’10,...
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Did Joey get the Wright imports?

It's become clear that many Adelaide 36ers fans have questioned this season's search for an import. With the season rapidly approaching us I decided to take at look at Kenyon McNeail and Ebi Ere and question "Have Adelaide signed the best imports for the job?   At the start of the off season I remember reading an articles by Boti Nagy talking to coach Joey Wright about the plans...
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