Australia’s best basketballers descended upon the Latrobe Valley this weekend to compete in the NBL Blitz pre-season tournament.
All eight NBL teams played eight games in Traralgon as well as provided clinics and school visits across the region. The Victorian Government has partnered with the NBL to bring the games to the region September 7-9.
The NBL Blitz will culminate with four games played in Melbourne on September 10th.
During two podcasts Aussie Hoopla’s Dan Boyce recaps all 12 matches played during the pre-season, providing insights and key takeaways for each team.
Interview with Brisbane Bullets CJ Bruton (4:00)
- Brisbane’s focus on building a better backcourt.
- What the Bullets needed to fix in the offseason.
- What does CJ fit in with the Bullets coaching staff?
- Rebuilding a basketball culture in Brisbane.
- Reflecting on being drafted to the NBA in 1997 and then 20 years returning to the NBA as a coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- How coaching with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron James has changed his goals for the future.
Recap: Cairns Taipans Vs Illawarra Hawks (25:00)
Recap: Brisbane Bullets Vs Adelaide 36ers (28:00)
Interview with Adelaide 36ers Matt Hodgson & Mitch Creek (31:30)
- Matt Hodgson reflects on being unable to get minutes in 2016 and in 2017 he’s a part of the Adelaide 36ers, Australian Boomers and the NBA’s Summer League.
- Main takeaways from NBA Summer League.
- What it meant to win gold at the FIBA Asian Cup.
- Mitch Creek’s leadership strategies.
- Do the Adelaide 36ers have the highest ceiling with so many young players producing for the team.
- Why did both players choose to return to Melbourne United
Interview with Adelaide 36ers Ronald Roberts (46:00)
- Adjusting to the NBL game.
- Memories of his first dunk.
- The biggest obstacles he has faced in his career.
- Playing in Turkey and facing terrorists and bombings.
- Initial thoughts on living in Adelaide.
- What type of role he will fill for the 36ers.
Interview with Cairns Taipans coaches Aaron Fearne and Jamie O’Loughlin (54:30)
- What Fearne and O’Loughlin noticed during the 36ers vs Hawks game.
- What Aaron and Jamie are doing now they are earning the big bucks in the NBL.
- Does Aaron Fearne look for particular skill sets in his imports each season?
Interview with NBL Legend Darryl McDonald (103:00)
- Thoughts on this seasons competition.
- How does the NBL of today compare to the glory days in the 1990’s
- Are imports better now or when D-Mac played.
- The evolution of the centre position and the increase in talent level among point guards in the NBL.
- Will we see Darryl McDonald back in the league as an NBL head coach
Recap: Melbourne United Vs Sydney Kings (117:30)
Interview with Sydney Kings Brad Newley (119:00)
- How are the Kings new recruits adjusting to the NBL
- Reflections on winning a gold medal at the FIBA Asia Cup.
- Goals for getting back on the Boomers squad for major FIBA events.
- His leadership role with the Sydney Kings this season.
Recap: Perth Wildcats Vs NZ Breakers (123:30)
Interview with Perth Wildcats Clint Stiendl (127:30)
- Will he play for the Wildcats this season?
- Does he still plan to play in Europe?
- His wedding plans with Perth Lynx star Kayla Standish
- Is he hoping to play for Australia at the FIBA qualifiers in November?
Interview with Perth Wildcats Coach Trevor Gleeson (135:30)
- Goals for the Perth Wildcats at the Blitz.
- Perth Wildcats injury update.
- Thoughts on standout players at the Blitz so far, Lucas Walker, Clint Stiendl, Damian Martin, etc.
- Will Clint Stiendl be a part of the Perth Wildcats roster in the NBL season?
- How will the Wildcats squad look in 2017/18
Recap: NBL Blitz Day 4 (140:00)
- New Zealand Breakers Vs Adelaide 36ers @ Mill Park
- Melbourne United Vs Perth Wildcats @ Knox
- Sydney Kings Vs Illawarra Hawks @ Kilsyth
- Brisbane Bullets Vs Cairns Taipans @ Werribee
Interview with FIBA Hall Of Famer Lindsey Gaze (135:30)
- Thoughts on the Blitz and the current state of the NBL.
- Plans on getting the Melbourne Tigers back to the NBL.
- What areas make sense for new NBL teams next year.
- Comparing the NBL today to the league in the 1980s-90s.
- Why Lindsey feels the NBL should have unlimited import spots.
All of this and a whole lot more….
Listen to the full interview below or download on iTunes.