Sunday, June 8, 2008

All Things Jawai and Kings Can Share Sydney

There is enough room for both these food groups in Sydney and the NBL!

The 2008 NBA draft is fast approaching (June 26th) so I thought I would step up my updates on Aussie hopefuls Nathan Jawai and Aleks Maric. Until the draft is done I will keep a daily spotlight on these guys and provide sufficient information to serve your Jawai/Maric sized appetite.

Nathan Jawai:

Kings (Sacramento) works out the Bamiga product.

Suns will be Nate Dogg's next workout.

Bleacher Report - check out pick 17 by Raptors!

Aleks Maric:

Below I have listed Maric's scores when he tested at the Orlando Pre Draft Camp last week. Without boring you with stats, he was neither the best or worst in all categories.

Vertical Jump (no step) - 23inches Vertical Jump (max) - 28 inches

Bench press (185lbs) - 15times Lane agility - 11.76sec

3/4 court sprint - 3.35 sec

Maric works out for Pacers.

Hoopsworld has scoop.

Now to the NBL and Mike Wrublewski saying that Sydney should have only one team in town, and that team should be the almighty Kings.

Well Mike, if the NBL season was to start tomorrow, that one team would be the West Sydney Razorbacks and not your beloved Kings. The purple and gold that you bleed is doing its best imitation of a "Violet Crumble" as we speak unless you can save the "Purple Rein".

Now that I have that off my chest I will try to speak some sense about this situation.

I believe there is a place for both teams in Sydney but they cannot be living in each others pocket.

West Sydney looked at playing at Penrith but the latest has them moving back to the $hitlam Centre. I call it that with much respect as I am a huge fan of the facility and look forward to making the drive out the Hume Highway and lacing up the boots for another game there. Talk about home court advantage!

If the Pigs remain out west I cannot see how this will impact the Kings and the marketplace they are trying to attract to their games.

I praise the Pigs for moving back to the Whitlam Centre as now they can really work on maintaining a bigger fan base. Homebush may have seemed like a good move at the time, but as we have seen the crowds struggle to find their way to the Olympic site.

By moving back to Liverpool you have a residential hub (170 000 pop) to draw from and the fans do not have to waste half their day travelling to and from the game.

Sure the Whitlam needs a little TLC but the size of the arena is ideal for where the sport of basketball is at in Sydney.

It will be interesting to see if the Razorbacks can find new corporate money to inject into the franchise. I believe that they will see an increase in fan numbers by moving back to Liverpool.

I honestly believe the Pigs are on the right path to capturing their slice of the Sydney market by moving back "Home".

Now the Kings. Providing the NBL board approves Mr Wrublewski and his people the Kings will definitely see and increase in corporate support. Wrublewski has a great track record in this area and I'm sure that trend will continue.

Where I see the Kings having to improve is their complete game night presentation and you must start with your oncourt team.

The Kings used to sell out the Entertainment Centre regularly when they had zero titles to their name. Why is this? They had characters!

Everyone remembers Dwayne MacClain (D-Train) and Steve Carfino for their flashy play and breathe taking moves. But to go with this, they had the "hard nuts" in The Dalton Gang, Tim Morrissey and Three O (Damien) Keogh.

Why I highlight this point is Sydney is a fickle market. You have to have some style and swagger about yourself so people will take notice and attend.

There is no doubting that Brian Goorjian led this franchise through its most successful period (3 titles in a row) on the floor but there was no one there to witness it. (This goes back to a previous blog, where I talk about measuring success in the professional sporting world.)

I feel the Kings fans could never get a read on their team as they always had a high turnover of personal. There was no intimacy between fans and the team.

I ask you, would Sydneysiders have a better recolection of little used pint sized guard Brad Rosen or three time championship winner Brad Sheridan?

What else needs to happen for the Kings is they need to find a better sized facility. The Entertainment Centre can play host to the bigger drawing games while a 4-6 thousand seat stadium would be ideal for the majority of teams that come to town. (The Tigers play out of a 3500 seat arena and make it work.)

The facility cost would be one of the biggest expenses incurred by teams so when your true crowd numbers are low, that is a lot of money that cannot be recovered. I hear all you Sydneysiders, where to then Smartass? Good question, and I do not have the answer. State Sports Centre is the best size venue I know of but has turned into a white elephant and its location I question.

There is no doubt Sydeny has the toughest job as far as getting the recipe of success right but with Wrublewski at the helm again I hope they can turn their fortunes around.

Sydney is more than capable of providing two successful teams in the NBL and I feel with the respective moves each franchise is making this can happen in the near future.

NBL News:

NZNBL playoff teams are set.

Razorbacks fire back to Kings comments.

NBA News:

Gasol needs to lift his game.

Scoop Jackson on Paul Pierce's worth to the C's.

Terry Porter is Suns new coach.

Del Negro is on the Bulls radar now.

Preview to Game 2

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