Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Confused....I Need More Help Than The NBL

Will the NBL ever witness 15000 at a game again?

Sometime early this morning my phone began "blowing up" with text messages. "Have you heard what is going on?" was the common theme of these messages.

So if you have not heard the Sydney Kings are still in trouble about player payments while the Brisbane Bullets are still owned by Eddie Groves after the "new" consortium led by businessman David Kemp decided it was not for them.

I have wasted a few hours reading and listening to all what has transpired during the day's action and I'm confused. I can only imagine what Chuck Harmison's head is feeling like right now.

(I will list all relevant articles on these topics below.)

Lets take a closer look at the Kings first and see if I can make anything of their situation.

It has been rumoured for months that this franchise has been forgetting to pay their players on the 15th of every month. Until Jason Smith decided to take this matter future who knows when the bleeding might have stopped for him.

Supposedly Smith has now been paid something, just enough to keep the Kings heads above water for now. Although May has nearly ended he is still owed for this month.

As for the players who remain contracted to the Kings they live in hope for now. One player has as little as a few hundred dollars to his name right now.

"I have few hundred in the bank and I have no idea where our owner is and whether he gives a s--- to pay us," said one player. (The Age)

Mark Worthington may find himself in court in the near future.

"Mark Worthington is being sued for breach of contract by the Firepower owners. Worthington, now with the South Dragons, is destined to fight the matter in court as current Sydney Kings players fumed about their poor treatment by controversial owner Tim Johnston." (The Age)

While former teammate Russell Hinder is hopeful of seeing his cabbage.

"I am hopeful that I'll get paid," Hinder said. (The Age)

This has to be hard on the players mentally. Many NBL players cannot afford to go a month without pay let alone several. With families and mortgages that need to be looked after skipping a pay can send absolute chaos into the family dynamic.

I'm very thankful that I can rest my head very easily tonight.

Hopefully for the Kings players sake this issue can be resolved and the franchise can move forward. Is this wishful thinking?

Now the Bullets. Talk about taking something for a test drive.

The Kemp led consortium has been looking over things for quite some time now (about 1 month) but have decided the Bullets are not for them and their cash.

This means Eddie Groves is the owner, again. (Yes I'm confused to, but you have this thing called "due diligence" in business and the Kemp consortium exercised their right. They got out of there quicker then Pero Cameron to a buffet breakfast once they realized work had to be done.)

Bullets new/old owner Groves freely admits that the consortium has every legal right to do what they did, but he just questions the time frame they worked under.

I'm hearing Eddie here, as you would think a few phone calls early on in the buying process and you would realize what sponsors and cash flow are going to be looking like.

I will leave that side of this story for Eddie and his people to figure out and hopefully find a new buyer in time for the Bullets to remain in the competition.

June 30 seems to be the deadline for a new buyer. (If you are an interested party I can russell up the Bullets number for you. If that is not your style or just a little out of your price bracket, this wonderful site might be the right place for you to market your business!)

Where this situation has me baffled is what happens to the players that signed a contract under the Kemp consortium?

I use Greg Vanderjagt as my study case.

Vanderjagt has signed a two year deal with the Bullets franchise. When he signed, it was under the banner of the new but now defunct consortium.

Now if Groves was correct in what he said in his interview (it can be found below and it is worth a listen), Vanderjagt is not his responsibility. If he is not Eddie's responsibility he must be a free agent, surely.

Why I throw this out there is NBL CEO Chuck Harmison reminded franchises today about tampering with contracted players. Is Vanderjagt contracted?

If he is, the NBL needs to take some responsibility in this situation. The NBL has allowed the Kemp consortium to go and sign players when he (Kemp) has never officially signed off as owner of the Bullets.

Is it Greg's and his agent's responsibility to know that this ownership group has a chance to say no to Eddie?

If it is, how can the NBL office sign off on Vanderjagt's contract.

Wow, time for an aspirin or 250 and then bed.

I'm going to dedicate tomorrow morning to finding out more on this situation, then the afternoon will be spent with a tooth comb and my contract.

Oh and by the way Greg, hope you had a happy birthday today.

It is interesting times ahead for these franchises and the sport of basketball in this country.

While we talk about the bad all the time, there are some very successful franchises out there (Townsville being one I can think of) that give this league a good reputation world wide.

Also remember Australia is ranked 2nd in the world so it cannot be all dome and gloom for the sport.

There is no doubting though that the ship needs to be pointed in the right direction so the game can compete in the Aussie sporting marketplace once again.

Articles of Note
Fired up Eddie Groves audio interview..worth a listen
Harmison audio interview
Kings fear for mortgages
Kerle has "No comment"
Boti and his view on the days play.
Hawks safe......could Sav return?
Kings players begin to comment
Groves, Eddie not Cortez worried about NBL's future.
More about the Bullets and Kings.
Singapore bound Castro wins MVP again.
NBL CEO comments
36ers finances are OK.
NBL not in crisis

In the NBA today the Pistons tied up the series at 2 apiece. The series heads back to Boston for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Pistons/Celtics Game 4 Highlights


Snoop Wogg said...

Hate to say it, especially when it'll mean you'll be singing for your supper, JR, but I agree with Boti. Blow it up and relaunch. NBL administration and BA have no idea how to run a chook raffle, let alone the NBL. p.s. - Keep your eye on the Comets, Sucker D and Lox have those boys playing great ball - almost "Tainer" like...

djrod said...

Sydney will be fine for now but how embarrassing will it be if they fold halfway through a season?

Brisbane are gone... Pretty crap timing for Fush!

GREAT comments from Smythie!!!

worrying times ahead though - are you worried?

Anonymous said...

It is very nice of Ian Smythe to pat himself on the back for the great job his predecessors have done before him.

As for basketball and the NBL being in 'better shape than it has ever been'..yes, he obviously has his fingers on the pulse.

No, I think those are the type of comments people who really know the story roll their eyes at.

djrod said...

comments like yours would be taken seriously if you had the guts to put your name to it!!!