Wednesday, January 2, 2008

How To Get Stronger

My weekly article from the Townsville Bulletin!

Early this week former Townsville Sun and one time team mate of mine, Derek Rucker, offered his view on the current state of the NBL to the Sydney media. I am only too aware that Rucker’s opinions hold variable weight amongst many within the basketball community of Townsville, but I have to say that in this instance I would agree with his assessment of our situation.

In case you missed the article, here are some of his more note-worthy points.

Firstly, he said he believed that the league in its current state needed to cut itself back to a ten team competition. Admittedly, this means making some tough decisions, but I also believe these decisions will result in better quality basketball in the long run. Talent will be deeper on each roster and the disparity in talent levels from team to team should be somewhat bridged.

Rucker’s second recommendation was that the current 48 minute game be trimmed to 40, as to fall in line with most other international competitions.

This is a valid point for a couple of reasons in my mind. I have, through the years, heard the ‘average’ fan mention that a game can drag a bit, particularly in the last few minutes. Maybe trimming a few minutes makes it a more viewer friendly package for the general public because it gets us to the tactical point of the game sooner.

It is also my understanding that the forty minute game makes a more attractive package for free to air TV coverage. A forty minute game slots nicely into a two hour block of time, whereas the forty eight minute game carries over to an extra half hour which creates scheduling difficulties.

The only thing those of us who have been around long enough to witness the changes the game of basketball has undergone over the past decade can do is voice our concerns based on our experiences. I support Derek’s bottom line assessment that the league needs to make some big decisions in an attempt to reclaim our position in the business of Australian sport. If this does not happen, I am afraid that we could face the possibility of an unsure future.

Over the years there has been story after story about how the American players have faired with our Australian fauna and flora, in particular in tropical North Queensland. We have heard of the grown man who would not unpack his bags for fear that a gecko would make a home in one of his pockets. And there has been the renegade cane toad that has held the odd player hostage in his own home simply by standing on the front step.

Well finally,…there has been a legitimate ‘attack’ and there culprit has left a mark as proof.
Galen Young was recently awoken from his sleep after a spider decided to make an assault on his abdomen. Galen was only too happy to show off the resulting war wound.


Derek said...


Thanks for your support of my comments and I wish you success with your blog.

Opinions are always varied on the state of the NBL but my comments regarding basketball being dead were relative to the Sydney market and not Australia wide. However, my comments in relation to the necessity to make tough decisions in the basketball industry WERE relevant to the whole country.

A quick survey of the various cities around Australia will illustrate the disparity in popularity the game currently has in this country. Perth, Cairns, Melbourne and, to a lesser extent, Brisbane and Townsville are travelling decent to average. The situation gradually worsens from these locations however. The relevance of basketball in Sydney is atrociously embarrassing and it is time for hard decisions to be made which will begin to implement processes which will gradually change the state of the game in the country's most populous city. I was fortunate enough to work in the front office of the Kings for 12 months and was shocked by numerous things I experienced there. Nevertheless, the game has to go on and I applaud the staff at the Sydney Kings for ensuring that events always proceeded in an orderly manner irrespective of the situation.

I could go on for pages but will end my comments there.

Good luck this evening JR and best of luck with your own opinions.


JR said...


Well finally something has the world of basketball talking. Good/bad or right/wrong finally some ink for the NBL.