Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Fans of the NBA will be happy to know the season kicks off today, and you can even catch a game on FOX SPORTS today. You can actually get your fill of hoops today. NBL and NBA all in the one day. I'm starting to think we have pressed rewind and are stuck in the early 90's. Getting this much hoops on one day has not been seen since Steve Carfino had two good knees.

Back to the NBA. The Spurs are trying to win their fifth championship in a decade. Quite an achievement. All eyes will be on the Celtics to see how Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce can co-exist. Can Dirk and the Mavs rebound from their early playoff exit last year? And Pat Riley may have his toughest coaching job on his hands. D-Wade and Shaq will both miss games during the season, so will the Heat be able to win enough to remain a challenger for the championship. Will the Suns finally get to a championship series? Will Kobe remain a Laker? All the questions and more begin to be answered today.

To the NBL. This Friday night will see the Kings launch their live broadcast via the internet. Resident NBL guru Matt McQuade will team up with legendary player Bruce Bolden. If Bolden allows McQuade to get a word in, I see a Steve "Snapper" Jones/ Bill Walton combination evolving here. This will lead to an international cult following. I just hope McQuade realizes Bolden has requested they wear purple and gold Safari suites during the broadcast.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Give The Barber Credit

I have been rocking the mohawk for two games now and guess what, we are 2-0. It is here to say, maybe. This stylish cut would not be possible without my barber, Galen Young (pictured left). This guy is multi-talented. Both Homicide and myself have been taking advantage of G's free service. I have created some You Tube links to show you what goes into a hair cut like this. I can only hope a few teammates may join us in the coming days. Movember is fast approaching. Stay tuned for more.

Mohawk Links: "Homicide" Williams getting a fresh cut Second edition of the Mohawk

NBL ARTICLES:,22049,22664404-5001023,00.html Pigs lack defense dragons win,23739,22662510-10389,00.html errors dog bullets,22606,22664063-5006371,00.html adelaide anger,22606,22665048-12428,00.html boti weekly wrap

Boxscore: kings vs slingers

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Stop the press. Rashad Phillips has released a You Tube piece. Check it out:

With a few days off and the wife heading to the Justin Timberlake concert, that left me plenty of time to surf the net over the weekend. Oh boy, have I come up with some stuff for you guys to sink your teeth into.

First, the NBA kicks off this week and TNT broadcasting company is giving people a chance to ask Charles Barkley a question on November 1st, USA time. Have a good question and you might just find yourself on the big stage. Click here to find out more:

If you are interested and do not have a You Tube account, trust me, it is very simple so do not let that put you off. Even I figured this out over the weekend.

Something else that caught my eye were these dance moves from Wisconsin's basketball head coach Bo Ryan. Soulja Boy's hit single Crank Dat is causing a dance craze through out the States. What I'm thinking here is half time entertainment at the All Star game. One player, one coach from each team having a dance off. I can just see it now, Homicide and Trevor Gleeson holding the trophy a loft.

Boxscores Saturday/Sunday 36ers vs blaze tigers vs breakers taipans vs bullets hawks vs pigs dragons vs breakers

Articles: tigers still unbeaten,21598,22657783-5005401,00.html phillips not done,8659,22662511-23210,00.html dragons 1st win,22049,22659239-5001023,00.html good read on Jawai by Tim Morrissey

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Crocs Almost Have A Streak

I have always been told that a streak is three. Well, with our hard fought three point win over the pesky Razorbacks last night we have two wins in a row. Next will see us hit the road against an inform Sydney Kings. This is a great test for us right now. A few solid home wins starts to get you in a groove, but to really see where you are at you need a test. This is what the Kings will be. Currently they are sitting in second spot and playing with great confidence. Add their great home record and we really get to see where we are at.

An interesting side note to this game will be Rowdy Sheridan playing his first ever NBL game against Brian Goorjian. Rowdy played under Goorj for his first nine seasons. He missed our early round clash against the Kings, so get your cameras ready as Rowdy may so a little emotion in this game. We all may turn "pasty" white if we witness that!

Brad Newley has his second game in the Greek league today. You can find results at

Boxscores so far: kings vs 36ers hawks vs wildcats crocs vs pigs

NBL ARTICLES:,21985,22654489-11088,00.html tigers lookout for kiwis,8659,22656424-23209,00.html hawks swoop on cats,22606,22654943-5006371,00.html 36ers ready for blaze,8659,22656367-23769,00.html cj says move over black

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vote 1...JR

You guys need to go to and vote for JR to participate in the All-Star Three Point Shoot Out. Every vote counts and only six players get to go. I am more than happy to debate any of the other shooters on the list. The worm will be looking for a breather after I have finished speaking my mind. If I get there everyone else is playing for second. If you are not registered to vote, no problem. Find a computer and log on. That's all that is needed. Vote 1...JR

Tomorrow morning I make my debut on ESPN Sportscenter Aussie style. Host Travis "40" Winks hits me with the tough questions, and I come through with a strong performance. To bad it is on at the crack of dawn. I'm sure it will rate so well it will be replayed in prime time later in the day.

Bakari Hendrix is in a race against time. The Dragons are going with him (replaced import Nick Horvath), but will he be cleared in time for this weekend's game? If he does play and the Dragons win, he becomes a hero immediately. If they lose a few more, will the Dragons make further changes? Interesting times ahead for this team.

NBL Articles: 3 point nominees new import hendrix drew williamson,22606,22643675-12428,00.html boti article,22049,22642209-5001023,00.html kings expanding???,21598,22646302-5005401,00.html fisher explains

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Weekly Column

JR's Straight Shooter (Townsville Bulletin)

ON Friday night the Crocs will take on this year's surprise package, the West Sydney Razorbacks. The Pigs have come out of the blocks fast, boasting a 4-2 record to date, and are trying to erase the memories of their last two seasons as wooden-spooners. So what makes this year's Razorback team different?

A new coach, a few new players and a style that has not been seen in the NBL for quite some time, if ever.You can expect to see a full-court pressing defence for 48 minutes, which in turn evolves into a fast pace offence at the other end.The coach subs at a frenetic pace, making it difficult for opponents to find a rhythm in the stop-start pace.

The high-risk, high-return philosophy is one that seems to best suit their young, bold talent and appears to be working so far. Our test will be how we handle this trapping defence. If we are successful in being aggressive in our attack, it should lead to easy baskets. However, if we take a passive approach and allow them to dictate pace, it will lead to turnovers and easy baskets for them and we will have a long night on our hands.

We opened the season with a win against the Pigs and I do not see a different result this time round, provided we attack them with a purpose and look after the ball. This will allow us to score enough points to win the game, assuming our defence stays to form. So far it has been our defence that has kept us in games.

AS many of you readers and/or Croc fans know, last week a couple of us donned our new Mohawk hairstyles. Galen Young, Corey Williams and I are comfortable enough in our skin that the Mohawk was just another haircut.

Kelvin Robertson, on the other hand, is doing a little sweating after he casually threw down a challenge that he thought Croc CEO Ian Smythe would never take him up on. Smythe was commenting on the new dos in the locker room and inevitably asked Kelvin when he would be sporting his Mohawk. Kelvin innocently replied: "When you get yours."

The locker room went into a collective gasp when we heard Smythe reply: "You're on."
Among the laughter and the "what if" banter that was already going around, there was Kelvin -his face was panic-stricken. His lips could not get the words out quickly enough to take it all back.

I'm not sure where this bet currently stands but I would love to be a fly on the wall if Kelvin gets called into the `Big Dog's' office this week.

FORMER assistant coach Scott Ninnis cannot take a trick in the coaching circles.
Upon finishing with the Crocs in 2005, Ninnis headed to the South Dragons on a two-year deal in a similar position. Less than a year after this move, Ninnis found himself out of a job and in court over a dispute with the new franchise.

This was finally settled and Ninnis moved on to a position with the Adelaide WNBL team, again as an assistant, only to re-sign last week after the club underwent some tumultuous times.
I played with Scott in Adelaide, and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at his coaching ability and his ability to pass on knowledge of the game to his players when he was a part of the coaching staff here.

After an absolutely disheartening run, here's hoping he can find a job that puts this ability to some good use.– JOHN RILLIE

In other news, it seems the Dragons are posed to replace Nick Horvath. Starting the season so slow it was only a matter of time before Shane Heal made some changes. They have former Gonzaga University player Bakari Hendrix (no relation to Jimmy) in for a try out. If all goes well he will be suiting up this weekend.

Tonight when you tune into the Fox Sports game, Kings vs 36ers, we may get our first look at import Isiah Victor. Time will tell, but this situation must be getting frustrating for Victor. He has been in the country for over a month and has not played a game. In between doing defensive slides for coach Goorjian and visiting Bondi Beach, I'm sure he would like to get a little playing time to make his trip Down Under worthwhile.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Like Father, Like Son....and his "J" is coming too
Big Ben...Big Kev Excited Throwing This Down...look closely

Finally the weekend saw the Crocs join the winners circle again. A solid performance saw us beat the Adelaide 36ers by 22. Not taking away from the game, but there has been a lot of conversation about the Mohawks. Sure Homicide has been the trendsetter here for the team, but Galen has sported on before, while I am a virgin to the Mohawk.

It was not a team thing, just a few guys running their mouth that led to something. We would love it if others jumped on board, but I cannot see that happening. Maybe someone will make a liar out of me, but I think I'm very safe.

Brad Newley started his Greek experience last weekend. His team won on the road and Newley scored 9 points in 30 minutes of PT.

Interesting to see that Perth has let go of Rashad Philips and brought in Gerald Brown. I spent a few of my college years matched up on Brown. He played the two guard so I will be interested to see how the point is handled or if he has turned into a point since turning pro. He certainly has size about himself.

My personal feelings are a few other teams are beginning to get itchy fingers as far as pulling the trigger on an import. This is always a tough call. The devil you know is sometimes better than the devil you don't. Time will tell, but look for some more changes soon!

Talk about bad luck. Former championship winning teammate Scott Ninnis has not had the best run of luck when it comes to coaching. Since leaving the friendly confines of Adelaide in 2005, he has spent one year with the Crocs, suppose to be with the Dragons for a couple, but ended up in court after one year, and now the real kick to he groin. He has resigned from the Adelaide women's team. Right now I wouldn't even let him near my backyard to coach my sons!

Articles of Interest:,21985,22624937-10914,00.html Heal disappointed in start,22049,22624157-5001023,00.html Pigs Back? Jawai article back to back for blaze philips goneeeee,22606,22625869-12428,00.html 36ers road trip cats/taipans,22606,22626373-5006371,00.html weekend wrap from boti,21985,22624938-10914,00.html thomas injuried

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Mohawk Baby!

One of my best!

After practice today there was a score to settle. Homicide opened his big mouth in the weight room the other day and said I would not get a Mohawk and sport it during a game. (You have to love new seppos.) Well my ego got the better of me and said "do it".

During this banter between myself and Homicide aka Corey Williams, Greg Vanderjagt and Galen Young got in on the action. After some heated conversation there was a nice pool of money that had my name all over it.

So today was the day for the haircut to happen. Galen hooked me up with a fresh cut that I will be sporting in the upcoming games. I cannot wait for some of the cheap shots from the crowd.
The way I look at it, my hair will grow back in no time (unlike some of my teammates), while I still have not found that money tree with an endless supply of the stuff. Easy money from my angle.

I can see this hairstyle taking off across Townsville. I just hope Mr T is proud.
NBL News:
Boxscores round 5

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Milestones Within Reach

How does a player approach questions about milestones? That is a great question within itself. It certainly does depend on the player, but for me, I certainly do not play the game for these acheivements.

It was brought to my attention that this week's game against Adelaide could bring up many milestones, according to someone. What is a measurable milestone?

In my opinion a milestone is something that does not happen every day or season. It is a special achievement that is reached by few and is something that others strive for. Barring a practice injury I will set a record for most consecutive games played in NBL history. I will pass Mike Kelly and the record will become 343 games in a row. That is a milestone just for the sheer fact no one else in the history of the NBL has done that. The trouble with this achievement is we are 1-5 and the focus needs to be on us as a team and getting our second win, not the fact I have not missed a day in the office for a while. (Some people may argue the fact I did indeed not show up to work on some of those days!)

If I score 18 points or more I will pass 7000 points for my career. Now I need Mark Slocombe (stats guru) to help me out here. I'm not sure how many players have passed this mark, but this is something you are more likely to reflect on when your playing days are over. All this shows right now is I have done my job reasonably well. As I told one of the assistant coaches the other day, "teams do not bring me in for my good looks, so when I'm open get me the ball. They pay me to shoot!"

As for other milestones I'm very vague on these but it is something like 3 assists to 500 for the Crocs, 8 points to 1700 for the Crocs and a low number of rebounds for something else. No disrespect to these figures, but I feel this just shows that I have performed at a solid level while with the Crocs. Players do not need to be notified every time they reach a number that ends in a zero. That is what I like about the footy codes. They have very distinct milestones, but when they are achieved they are celebrated in the right way. It seems within the NBL, we are always handing out a plaque for something. Milestones are suppose to be special.

I'm sure when I'm done and I need to try and impress someone these figure will roll of my tongue effortlessly, but for now I need to perform well so we can get win number two and start to get on a roll.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Have Found Half Time Entertainment

I have to confess that I'm a Micheal Jackson fan from way back, so I'm a little bias towards this guy. Check this out and see if you agree...entertainment plus at half time. Joel Turner eat your heart out.

I know you will not please everybody, but this guy would get a call from me if I was the Commissioner.

NBL ARTICLES: POTW,8659,22593568-23769,00.html Bradshaw the "X" factor Jeweler no longer a Brave in off season

Monday, October 15, 2007

AllStar Three Point Shoot Out

It seems like the All Star game will be in Melbourne this year. This is great. What I'm here to bring up is the talk that has centred around a three point shoot out. This competition has not been part of the festivities for quite some time, but I say bring it back.

Sure, there is no doubting I have a soft spot for it, but it is a huge part of our game right now. To see a guy run of 11, 12 in a row is better to watch than Rhys Carter give us nothing in a dunk comp. I believe the fans would love to see the best shooters go at it.

Imagine Maher, Black, Anstey, Corletto, DeVries and whoever else trying to out shoot me. It would be just as entertaining as anything else happening during the course of the All Star proceedings.

Talking about the All Star game though, it is great to see that it is still around this year. There was quite a lot of talk about it being scrapped again. You need to reward the players and give the fans a chance to see the best getting around in this type of environment.

I even suggested in an article last year, that you could have two games. A Brian Goorjian led national team vs the best of the rest Aussies, while you have an east vs west American game. These games would be played for real from start to finish.

You can make these things work, you just have to get creative. I just hope we see the All Star Game become a bigger calender item than what it is right now.

NBL ARTICLES:,21985,22585686-10914,00.html Tigers show depth,21985,22585688-10914,00.html Heal thinks playoffs,22606,22585396-5006371,00.html Chappell ready,22606,22587059-12428,00.html weekend wrap,22884,22586682-13222,00.html aba coach named

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finally See a Fox Game

Tonight was the first time this season I was able to sit in my Laz-E-Boy and watch a game from start to finish. Whether we have been playing or travelling I have not been able to utilize my Austar subscription yet. I'm sure my wife knows that means I will only make up for lost time in the coming weeks.

Back to the game. What a cracker of a game to tune into though. The Dragons were the better team for most of the game. Even without scoring machine Cortez Groves, the Dragons created plenty of open looks for each other. But the the veteran savvy Tigers turned it up in the fourth quarter.

It was picture perfect Tigers basketball. D-Mac off a high on ball. If that was not on, get it to Chris Anstey for three in the corner or on the block to create what the defense gave him. Anstey delivered on nearly every possession. Whether it was himself scoring or creating an easy open look for a teammate, he did it.

I loved watching this. Smart basketball. Getting the ball to the guy who made good decisions and the rest falls into place. Everyone knew what was going to happen so the likes of Dave Barlow and Thomas positioned themselves to knock the weak side jumper down. Pretty to watch.

I'm sure a lot of you fans are wondering what is happening with the Crocs right now. Sure our record does not please the eye, but we are close I'm telling you. Four of the five games we have lost, we have had a good lead at the half, then we fall asleep. Once we fix this problem, we will be on the road to recovery.

I know, you are going to say it better happen soon. It will, especially since we get to play a few games at home in a row now. Throw in some improvement in my own personal form, and a win is just around the corner.

Just a point of interest. Did anyone else think that in Joe Ingles interview after the game he was leaning towards Nick Horvath being on the outer? I'm curious to see if anyone else got the same vibe!

This week's boxscores: wildcats vs 36ers tigers vs taipans crocs vs breakers hawks vs pigs tigers vs dragons blaze vs slingers

Monday, October 8, 2007

Setting the Example

If anyone has been following the NBA over the offseason, you will know that Knicks coach Isiah Thomas is in some hot water over sexual harassment charges. Whether Thomas did or did not behave like this, there are only a select few people that will ever know the truth behind what really happened.

This did get me thinking though and I have to agree with J.A. Adande. Players in all professional sporting arenas are put under the microscope in all facets of life. Why should the other employees or bosses of a franchise not be made to follow the same rules they preach to their players on a near daily basis. I can hear it right now. "Remember who you are representing at all times."

This phrase absolutely shits me. Teams will always say they recruit "good guys". So do these "good guys" need to be reminded how to conduct themselves in the public eye. I don't think so. Acting responsible is something I hope I will do no matter who I'm representing at whatever time of the day. Sure, I understand being an athlete you become a target in the public eye sometimes, but your profession should not determine how you behave.

Another point to come out of this Thomas ordeal is, how can these franchises expect teenagers and 20 somethings to behave properly if the leaders of the group are setting a bad example. All teams these days talk about creating a "positive culture". Whether it is on the field or in the office the culture is put to the test and all must abide by the rules. The franchise is ultimately one big team.

I know players understand that they are always going to be scrutinized a little closer than the lady that operates the photocopy machine, but when an mistake is made there can be no leniency shown.

If the NBA takes no action against the Knicks and I'm Mark Cuban, I'm asking David Stern for a huge refund. Favourites cannot be played in situations like this, otherwise your company will spiral out of control and possibly a slow death.

Other articles on this Topic:

NBL articles:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

NBA Fantasy League

Every year myself and Greg Vanderjagt play fantasy NBA basketball. This year we thought we would invite any of you punters along who think they can match it with us. You can join our league at The league id# is 28399 and the password is password. I hope to see a few of you guys there so we can see if you have the skills to match the trash talking that will go on with it. See you there.

Resident NBL expert journo Matt McQuade has broken down each team and rated their chances for this year. It makes for an interesting read. As we are already a few weeks into the season it is a good read to see if he is on track with his breakdowns. You can find these here:

Well, tomorrow is the first day we will see Corey "Homicide" Williams in a Crocs practice uniform. I just hope I make it through to tell a story. If you do not hear back from me, you know I have ended up being a chalk outline.

Rest of the Weekends Boxscores: Kings vs Taipans Blaze vs Tigers Crocs vs Bullets Hawks vs Taipans Bullets vs Wildcats Breakers vs Pigs

Friday, October 5, 2007

Homicide has Entered the Building

Our new import Corey "Homicide" Williams touched down in the Ville today. Sporting a mohawk surrounded by stars etched into his melon, this guy has character written all over him. Let me tell you, his fellow point guard Kelvin Robertson will be learning a lot from this guy. Off the court I'm talking about. Kelvin will be a cultured young man by the end of this season.

Homicide, (I cannot believe after all these years I will be calling a teammate "Homicide") has not hit the court yet so I cannot let you know what type of player he is. What I have done though, is gone to my good friend You Tube and found some footage of this man. Please, some of the content is for the older generation, so you have been warned.

If this is your thing, there is plenty more of Homicide on You Tube.

NBL Boxscores from tonight:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Good to be Home

You always need a little luck to go your way in this profession. Right now we (the Crocs) are playing great for the first 24 minutes, then we leave our game in the change room at half time. You need luck, but you create your own.

We are not creating that for ourselves in the second half and it is amazing how it seems to effect everything else that goes on. Over the five days we spent going to and from Singapore there are many examples how this presents itself.

First we arrive in Singapore a little over an hour later than what was first expected. Our travel time over there ended up being approx 16 hours. If your winning this does not bother you, but when you lose, you seem to become very tired and testy.

We go to shoot around the day of the game and are expecting a 10 minute bus ride. All players board the bus with only their shoes but for some reason the bus driver thinks we are going to the airport. 45 minutes later we arrive for practice. Just another thing that does not go your way. Maybe the driver could see into the future and was trying to give us a message about the result of the game.

During the game Mick Cedar receives a nasty cut on his cheek from his own teammate. I'm pretty sure NBL rules say you need a doctor in the house, none were present. Instead Cedar sucks it up and plays with strapping tape used as a band aid because somehow our first aid kit ended up in London. After the game Cedar seeks medical attention and is now the proud owner of 15 stitches. This is called bad luck.

We get back to Sydney (early evening) where we have to spend the night because there are no more connecting flights to Townsville the rest of the day. The hotel has lost our dinner order so there is no food prepared for 13 starving mouths upon arrival. We finally get fed and are in bed before midnight.

A rather unadventurous but successful Thursday. Maybe it is time our luck starts to change. I sure hope so.

Why did I write about this. I remember having a conversation with Leroy Loggins back in '93. I was home for a few months from the States and playing CBA with Toowoomba. I was about to embark on a three game road trip in a 60 hour span. Leroy wished me luck and I said, "you don't need luck!"

How wrong I was, but what a great lesson I learnt. Luck is a great friend to have. I hope we find each other before Saturday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On My Way Home

After a disappointing second half performance again, I'm on my way home. We when touch down back in Australia I will be letting you know how the trip went. Hope all is well in your basketball world.