Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We Have A Competition People

All thanks to some people who know people, I have a couple CD's (current Top 40 artists) to give away to the person that can come up with the best caption to the photo below.

The competition closes on Tuesday the 7th of October at 6.00pm.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ruffling Some Feathers

GOAT (greatest of all time). Last week it was Melbourne, this week New Zealand (insert own joke) but for more on it read Boti Nagy articles below.

It seems that my column I write for the Townsville Bulletin has ruffled a few feathers around the NBL circles.

First, Cairns Taipan Martin Cattalini replied via the Cairns Post calling me an 'idiot" and I have spent too much time in "Clownsville".

I showed him who was boss as I contributed a crucial 3 points in our come from behind win over his Snakes.

Now The Daily Telegraph has given my comments a run. ( I wish one of these mainstreams would give http://www.johnrillie.com/ a plug as they quote me!)

I would just like to make one thing clear from this article. They are now the Sydney Spirit so my approach to this franchise is a whole lot different as to if it was the West Sydney Razorbacks.

I was an original member of the Razorbacks so I have a soft spot for them.

As for the Spirit, I do not see them as the Razorbacks at all. Just as I'm sure many original Razorback fans have a different feeling about the Spirit team.

By no means am I backing down from my comments made about the current franchise in Sydney.

Sydney needs a franchise that has a presences within the community and I'm not sure if the Spirit has that selling power.

On the otherhand I did mention (not sure if it was published) that Mike Wrublewski has a proven track record in this situation and has probably made a wise decision in not competing in this year's NBL.

Wrublewski will use this time away from the game wisely in structuring a franchise that can have an impact on the people of Sydney.

There is no doubt a lot of water has to go under the bridge before the next national competition tips off but I'm speculating there will be a new franchise in Sydney when the new competition rolls around.

Time will tell, in the meantime I better see who else I can rub the wrong way.


- Coach Brendan Joyce gets away with a warning. Here is the press conference in audio. Another article from the West about the outburst.

- Boti Nagy's week in review. Nagy interviews (video) Jacob Holmes. Another article from Boti.

- Blaze not scoring. We all have that problem sometimes.

- 36ers to expose Breakers defense.

- Young Melbourne blogger weighs in on basketball's future.

- Exclusive - Shawn Kemp is afraid of the dark.

- Looking for some hoops blogs to check out, here is a solid list to start with.

- Tully Bevilaqua unsure about future.

- A good read about Perth girl Natalie Burton. 6'5 Burton is attending West Virginia University.

- Andrew Bogut is looking for the Bucks to improve.

- Former NBA player Jonathon Bender helping those in need.

Can anyone explain to me what Martin Cattalini was doing after Corey "Homicide" Williams dunked on him? Did he forget you have to inbound the ball?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Complete Wrap Of Round 2 & News

A composed Brendan Joyce here. Read below to see what Mr Joyce did in Friday night's press conference.

Round 2 Games

Adelaide 99-89 Sydney recap
New Zealand 120-111 Melbourne recap
South 89-91 Townsville recap
Perth 94-80 Gold Coast recap
Sydney 112-105 Adelaide recap
Townsville 100-96 Cairns recap

Click here for ladder

NBL News

- NBL brand is damaged so it needs a new start.

- Sydney Spirit get the franchise its first win at home (if you call Canberra home!), while Brett Maher is denied victory in game 500.

- Gold Coast Blaze coach unleashes on Western Australian journo.

- Shane Heal is ready to take on old team, the South Dragons. He comments on the Dragons spending and how he did not get to reap the benefits of playing the youth during last season last year. This game should make for interesting viewing this Thursday on the Coast.

- WNBL pays "petrol money".

- 36ers import Mark Tyndale's poke to the eye hurts Adelaide's winning streak. A crowd of 1322 showed up in Canberra to watch home team Sydney Spirit get their first win. I think they just used my stat line against Cairns to come up with this figure, 1-3 fgs, 2 assists, 2 steals?

- Slingers have new signing for clash against Darwin.

- Breakers are ready for 36ers clash this Thursday.

- Paul Henare's son in horrific accident.

- ASternWarning gives us his Round 2 review. I love the Homicide reference.

NBA News

- Power rankings of all NBA teams over the past six seasons.

- Trevor Ariza to start and Lamar Odom to be the Lakers sixth man? Phil Jackson thinks it might just happen, sooner rather than later.

- Jamaal Tinsley will not practice with the Indiana Pacers while they try to trade him.

- Shane Battier to miss four weeks.

- New York Knicks roster will stay the same for training camp.

- Golden State Warriors still undecided on how they will deal with Monta Ellis and his mo-ped mishap.

- Cav's owner speaks out about LeBron leaving Cleveland.

- Gilbert says "No" to media and pays the price.

- Jason "White Chocolate" Williams calls an end to his 10 year NBA career. For a better insight into the colourful career, check this out.

- For bits and pieces from around the world check out WorldHoopsBlog. Paulie's site is looking very professional these days. Nice job!

Gaze TV - Episode 2

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shaping Up As A Great Home Opener

The "Birdman" is ready for a big performance against his former team.

Thanks to an article I wrote earlier on in the week, the people of Cairns have flared up like a pack of hemorrhoids.

I made reference to the chance of Cairns being a franchise that may miss out when professional basketball gets a face lift next season. A headline of "Croc provokes Taipans", was splashed across the pages of the Cairns Post yesterday.

Then to top it all off my old teammate Larry Abney chips with this comment via the Cairns Post, "JR (Rillie) has been around the league for a long time, so when he speaks, people listen but I think it’s more about JR being JR, trying to get something fired up."

Wow, what a response from the franchise from the far north. I feel like I've hit a nerve or are they just trying hard to rally their fans for this fierce rivalry we have going in the north?

Time will tell how all storylines pan out on this one but it is less than twenty four hours before we can settle the score of one of them.

I cannot wait for tip off tomorrow.


- Adelaide 36ers captain Brett Maher will play game number 500 tomorrow against the Sydney Spirit. Only the ninth player in NBL history to achieve this but Maher played all his for his home town team. Quite an accomplishment for the triple Olympian, especially in the professional sports climate we play in today.

- Sydney Spirit's Kiwi international centre Tony Rampton is willing to test his dodgy back tomorrow night against the 36ers in Canberra. Yes, Canberra, a home game for the Spirit.

- New Zealand Breaker Tony Ronaldson puts his and his team's performance against the Melbourne Tigers into perspective. Congrats to "The Bear" for passing 9500 points last night.

- If the Cairns Taipans fired up about my article (read above) they better not read this one coming out of Melbourne. Herald Sun's Grantley Bernard reports it may start out as a eight team competition.

- South Dragons coach Brian Goorjian rips his team a new one. Please read as I cannot do his words justice.

- Boti Nagy questions whether the 36ers can continue on their winning ways. (Article also contains some video footage with Brett Maher and his 500 game milestone.)

- James Harvey is still trying to get a win in the west.

- Wollongong rookie gets his chance.

- I know Rosell Ellis will be ready to go. Ellis has been associated with the Crocs franchise for two years but has never played a home game. Due to a freak weightlifting injury last year, Rosell never played in front of the "Swamp" faithful. Nothing will keep him from missing tomorrow's game.

- Former King's owner Tim Johnston has not been hiding?

- Looks like the Perth Wildcats will get their first win. They are up 21 in the fourth.

- Q & A with Glen Saville. Nice job Asa.

- Nick Horvath article.

- Fast Facts for Round 2. Thanks Mark Slocombe.

JR Gets A Mention On Hoops TV

My boys down in Adelaide interview Adelaide Advertiser's Boti Nagy. Check it out. He even gives a shout out to "The OT" with JR and DJ Rod podcast.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Elite Competition Is Coming

Late last week an independent committee released their review of the current Australian basketball competition in Australia. This review also included recommendations on how to revive and sustain a national competition. Possibly the most interesting of these recommendations is the change in structure to a new elite competition, in much the same way A League soccer was born.

In reading between the lines in would appear that this new competition would have increased media coverage which, at the very least, makes the general public aware that Australia has a national competition.

In order that we will be able to call the competition ‘elite’, the decision has been made to limit the number of franchises to 10 which, one might assume, would just mean that it will continue as it stands right now. That assumption would be incorrect, however.

NBL franchises would continue to be found in Perth, Adelaide and New Zealand. I wouldn’t see much change on the cards for any of these three teams under the restructuring of the league. They have reasonable solid, established roots in their respective areas and will just continue to conduct business as usual.

In Victoria, I believe it would be safe to assume that the Melbourne Tigers are going nowhere and will be one of the two franchises penciled in for the Vics.

At this point you would also expect that the Dragons will be the other, if for no other reason than a complete lack of any other option in Victoria.

You have to give them credit for trying to pick up the pieces of last year’s disaster. They have made a huge step in the right direction by hiring Brian Goorjian to steer the ship. Providing owner Mark Cowan is prepared to run at a loss for a little longer, the Dragons should turn the corner if all goes to plan. The city of Melbourne will come out and support their teams.

Sydney, on the other hand,…not so much for a very long time.

Now, New South Wales has been also been allocated two teams in the new elite model.

My money will be on the reemergence of the Sydney Kings. The on-again-off-again and now on-again involvement of current Kings licensee Mike Wrublewski certainly means there will be work going on behind the scenes to restore the Kings.

He made the smart move by not making the desperate jump to try to keep the Kings in the league this year. He has a history of involving himself with good projects and has bought himself time with this one, to come back onto the scene with some pop.

The return of the Kings would inevitably put the Sydney Spirit/Razorbacks out of their misery. This club has been desperate to keep their head above water for years and, unfortunately, it just is not going to happen for them.

Now although the population of Sydney would lead you to believe otherwise, this city just cannot sustain two basketball franchises.

The other New South Wales franchise should remain in Wollongong providing they can show that their product has finally gained some stability. They are the only remaining franchise from the NBL’s birth (only their name – Illawara to Wollongong – has been changed).

That, then, leaves us up here in the Sunshine State where we have been the opportunity for three franchises. Again, one would assume that we would all go about our business as usual since we have three teams in the competition right now in Gold Coast, Cairns and Townsville.

I don’t think this is how the review committee see things happening. In most elite competition models, you would ideally have a team in each of the major cities. In this case, Brisbane would have to be in and one of the other teams would be given their marching orders. The question becomes who?

Townsville has been a model franchise ever since they came into the competition in 1993. You would have to assume that they will be going nowhere. Considering the current state of the league, they would be shooting themselves in the foot if they got rid of something that is rock solid.

Cairns have been in the competition for a decade now. They have had their ups and downs as a franchise in their short history so I’m not sure how what would be discovered once they were put under the microscope.

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if there may be something happening when you start retiring an active player’s singlet, as the Taipans have for Aaron Grabau’s at this season’s home opener.

That leaves the team from the sporting location flavour of the month, the Gold Coast. Every national sporting organization wants in on a team here. The obvious question would be whether the sponsorship pool will be able to support so many professional sporting clubs?

Early in the coming year some tough decisions are going to be made when the ten who are in the new and improved elite NBL competition.

I hope I am wrong, but I think there may be one Queensland franchise left wondering what happened to their “beautiful one day, perfect the next” lifestyle. I will be joining many others with interest in seeing just how it all pans out.

You can read my column every Wednesday in the Townsville Bulletin.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Episode 3 Of "The OT" Has Arrived

Episode 3 has arrived early. Click on the icon to the left to download the latest edition of "The OT".

In this edition we review and preview the games, interview a Rookie Head Coach, and my All-Disappointment team of the week.

Enjoy and don't forget to let us know how we are travelling.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here's The Daily News, I Need Coffee

I'm not usually a morning person but I hit the hay early last night so here is all the early morning news.

- Perth Wildcats are looking for their first win.

- Women's coach Carrie Graf believes Canberra is fit for a men's team.

- Perth are still thinking about action over six players on the court.

- Changes for the New Zealand domestic league.

- New Zealand Breaker's Kirk Penney receives first Player of the Week honour.

- Brett Maher will become the 9th player in NBL history to play 500 games. Too bad he is on the road we he achieves this milestone.

- Can the Melbourne Tigers stay undefeated as they take on the Breakers?

- China's national competition (CBA) extends to 18 teams.

- Gold Coast Blaze import Luke Whitehead is trying to beat the injury clock in time for clash against the Wildcats.

- Wollongong Hawk Cam Tragardh is over his groin injury.

- Bench to be a success for the Hawks.

- Townsville basketball legend Kevie Sugars to be honoured.

- ASternWarning breaks down the NBL games for Round 2.

- WorldHoopsBlog has your morning fill of NBA news.

- Yes, we did watch this horror movie.

- TheSportCount takes a look at the daily diary of the injured Gilbert Arenas.

I need my coffee so I will get back to you when I have landed in Melbourne. White with one if you wanted to know.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What Happens After A Bad Loss

Read below to see how and where former King/Croc import EJ Rowland is playing.

Always a popular question asked by fans, "What do you do at practice after you get flogged?" when you have had a bad loss.

Nothing on the practice floor really changes. We practice for the same length of time (2hrs) as we normally would and guys stick around afterwards and work on their game individually.

We haven't all of a sudden forgotten how to play the game, plus we practice hard all the time anyway. If individuals tried to take the easy road, they will not be playing for Coach Trevor Gleeson for too long.

There maybe some suttle changes made during practice because the coaching staff has picked up on something during the game. An example of this is when our offense is starting out too far from the basket. We may be getting forced out further than what we want to be.

It is amazing what a difference a few feet can mean to being efficient on offense.
Where there is an actual difference in our daily schedule is the amount of time spent watching film.

We always watch film, win or lose but we come in for some special attention when we play like we did the other night.

Today we watched film for close on an hour and a half. We needed it. As a teammate said, "film doesn't lie".

And it didn't. We were good at times but when we were bad, it was disastrous.

Film can be a beneficial tool as you get to see first hand what you are doing right or wrong. You don't always get as clear a picture when you are running up and down the court trading baskets.

As you can see the result of a game does not really effect our day to day routine. Just a little more TV watching but in this case it is not a rewarding exercise.

Mad Monday Night with the Links

- After last night's loss to the South Dragons, Perth wants the NBL headquarters to take a look at the video tape. Apparently the Dragons had six players on the court at one stage, late in the fourth quarter. If this is correct, it will be interesting to see how the NBL front office address this matter. We have seen the AFL take a strong stance on issues like this one.

Ben Knight comments.

- Melbourne Tigers Ebi Ere feels they have "raw talent". Something that his previous teams in Brisbane and Sydney did not have.

- Gold Coast Blaze coach, Brendon Joyce, feels like his team will be a major player in this year competition. Although getting out of the blocks slow, 0-2, he feels once James Harvey is full fit and import Luke Whitehead returns from injury, they will be a force.

- Rob Beveridge wants to see a NBL team return to his home town of Canberra. If you live in the nation's capital, you better show your support for the Sydney Spirit this weekend when they take on the Adelaide 36ers.

- Adelaide Advertiser's Boti Nagy lets us know how he feels about the new Sydney team and his weekly NBL wrap.

- Seria A League in Italy to chance import quotas for 2009/10 season.

- France and Italy in dog fight to reach European Championships in 2009. If France doesn't qualify, does that mean Tony Parker drops album #2?

- EJ Rowland interview from Germany. My former teammate is in Germany for his second season, but with a new team. Boxscore from his 1st game this season.

- Take a look at where the NBA might look to expand, internationally and domestic.

- WorldHoopsBlog is giving us his Top 10 Pro Basketball logos. Who is #10?

- A Stern Warning tells us how to climb a mountain, Celtic style.

- The Professor likes Penney's shooting display.

Townsville's Talkin

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Thoughts On Your Comments

Don't forget Episode 2 of "The OT" with JR and DJ Rod can be downloaded right here.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed an increase in comments. I'm not sure if that is a reflection on my writing and/or topics but I welcome ALL comments.

What I've done tonight is highlight a few that have come in over the last week that I will comment on.

Anonymous wrote, " Rill's. Sick and tired of NBL coaches and CEO's throwing the line out there that there are 30 guys without a job/team from last season. What a load of crap. Every Singapore guys are still playing and getting paid. If they chose to leave that team becuase of the move out of the NBL, then that was up to them. For the Kings, the only guys from last season's teams without a job are Kendall (probably the most high profile on the list) and BJ Carter. From the Bullets the only guys without jobs are Mick Hill, Rhys Martin, Justin Brown. Bradshaw went to Europe. The rest are guys who couldnt get contracts Rigby and Mottram. So I have 7 reputable players who were in some way effected by the collapse of these teams "direectly". If you throw Dench, Campbell (Blaze), Hunt (Perth) who probably effected indirectly. Subtract retirements (Dmac, Copes, Castle, Stiff, Trahair, Shanahan, Pepper). How does that up to 30 guys without a job as being reported consistently around the country?? The Perth situation with Dowdell & Garlepp is just a selfish one. They opted to take on Knight knowing the points, in fact they got rid of Hunt to get the team they wanted in the first place! There are probably more players on the fringe of programs affected by the YAP rule, then those out of work by the demise of the bullets/kings. And lets face it, besides Kendall - who on that list is a front line NBL player of the future??"

I agree with what you are saying here, "Anonymous". The NBL has certainly not lost 30 players due to the off season happenings.

As you mentioned there are only a handful of players that have been affected by the three teams folding. In fact the Young Australian Player (YAP) would have had more of a bearing on this more than anything else.

I cannot fathom how Luke Kendall is not playing in our league right now. To think that the last guy cut from the Olympic Team cannot get a contract in his own domestic competition is mind blowing.

Somehow I think some CEO's and coaches have commented without really thinking about what the result really has been.

Dodge Taylor wrote, "Singlets wise I have Nique, Timmy (which I got him to sign), KG with the Wolves (one of my friends lost it), Steph with the Wolves, Reggie, my boy Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a Georgetown Iverson and Nash from his Dallas days."

Kelthoctor said, "The only NBA jerseys i own are Nuggets #20 (Ellis), Lakers #9 (Nick Van Exel), Celtics #5 (Bill Walton, yeah, its really old)".

On the jersey front, I have to admit to sporting my share in the day and still rock my "Miller" jersey down at The Strand.

My collection started with a Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan uniform. Man did I think I was "pimpin".

Next, I added a "Big Game" James Worthy jersey. If only I could finish the break like he did!

Then the jersey club became exclusive. I have about 6 or 7 Reggie Miller jerseys in my closet, still. Anything from Pacers to Team USA. Miller Time will live on forever.

As for no Moses Malone attire. My own brother tried to rip me off on the sale of a sweet 76ers Malone jersey.

My names Rillie not silly.

Glockers wrote, " Yeah let Luke Martin play for goodness sake. Though I would just ditch Dann since he has never taken the next step and Reed is an adequate back-up at the three spot. That way you can fit Luke in."

I'm not sure if all the backlash helped but Luke Martin has got his wish and is playing for the Sydney Spirit.

Glockers, I agree with you regarding Greame Dann. I'm not sure how many teams will keep taking a punt on this guy's untapped potential. He has skills but does not handle advice to well.

Keep the comments rolling in. I will begin to highlight the comments of the week and respond.


- The final game of Round 1 was tonight and it allowed Brian Goorjian to taste success in his 700th game on the sidelines. A late technical foul on the Perth Wildcats allowed the South Dragons to get away with a 91-87 road win.

recap boxscore

- Both the Melbourne Tigers and the Cairns Taipans have got out of the blocks fast. Each team has started 2-0 in Round 1.

- Brian Goorjian talks to The Age's Stephen Howell about success.

- Goorjian on Andrew Gaze.

- New Zealand Breakers take deep breath as new reform has them pencilled in.

- Sydney Spirit Coach Rob Beveridge said, " the state of basketball in Sydney, it's red alert." Courtesy of Foxsports.

I agree with Beveridge. We cannot just think all will be right when the league revamps itself next year. We have a season to play and I believe it will impact how the sport is perceived now and in the future.

- Michael Hill (not the jeweler) believes that Brisbane needs to be included in the NBL.

- 36ers looking for 2-0 start to season.

- Shane Heal has nothing to prove.

- NBA training camp is just around the corner. How will the Rookie's fair?

The NBL's only quadruple overtime game (1994). Brisbane Bullets vs Perth Wildcats

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When You Don't Deliver

Can anyone tell me if Sam MacKinnon was wearing this outfit under his uniform when he was involved in a scuffle tonight?

Many fans will look at our game against the Adelaide 36ers last night and think blow out. Despite the final scoreline that read 108-82 in the 36ers favour, we/I had a chance to stamp a little authority on the game.

Half time saw it a two point ball game to the 36ers. Held scoreless in the first half I came out early in the third and got a cheap layup. I thought this was the "cheapie" that would get me going.

I always feel that a few easy baskets allow you to get into a groove rather quickly. With the game in the balance early in the third I was thinking a few back to back triples would arrest the momentum into our favour first time in the game.
Plan and simple I came up short. If I can remember the action properly I launched three three's in the next few trips down the court as I felt I would open the game up for the Crocs if they had of dropped.

As a game breaking type player I always feel I have a run in me at some stage of the game. The other night I came up short and disappointed is a mild way of putting what I was feeling after the game. These are the moments and game situations I live for. Being able to open up a game with some "daggers" is truly a great feeling.

Sure I left the Distinctive Homes Dome with my tail between the legs but the good thing is I get to practice for a few days before I get to right a wrong as we take on South Dragons on Thursday and Cairns Taipans in our home opener on Saturday.

Ah, to have a shooters mentality!

Tonight's NBL Results

Melbourne Tigers 92-76 Gold Coast Blaze recap
Wollongong Hawks 111-99 Sydney Spirit recap

Other Hoops News

- Tomorrow over in Perth, Brian Goorjian will coach his 700th game in the NBL. This is quite a remarkable achievement by anyone's standards. Congrats to Goorj on this milestone.

Here are a few articles related to the topic:

Goorj wished he had Grace. Goorj getting close to all-time coaching mark.

One more...contains some of his stats.

- Reform is on its way. Word is the NBL will be a revamped 10 team comp with franchises having to re-apply for a license. It seems that Queensland will have three franchises up for grabs. This will become interesting if Brisbane put their hand up as Gold Coast, Cairns and Townsville are currently part of the NBL.

I will be looking into this a little more over the next few days so I can make a honest and clear minded evaluation.

- Sydney Spirit imports need to shape up. Life as an import has just begun for Derrek Low.

- Aussie Andrew Bogut should be ready for Bucks Training Camp.

- Joe Ingles is like Bogut?

- This blog is a little old but I felt it was worth posting. It mentions how Pat Mills may catch up with Andrew Bogut as Australia's face of basketball.

- If you are like me and need to catch up on all things basketball in the USA, check out WorldHoopsBlog. This guy sleeps less than me.

- Former NBA player Doug Christie and his wife have a theory on how to ease the economic crisis happening in the USA.

- TheSportCount has its Roster Rater on the Golden State Warriors.

- GlocksOnHoops re-lives the Fab 5 via You Tube. I loved the Jalen Rose/Chris Webber interview.

- With the college hoops season just around the corner, here is a look at some transfers that will have an impact.

- Kenny Boyton Jr is a highly touted high school baller in the States. See how he handles the pressure of choosing the right school.

- What is former Temple Coach John Chaney up to? Rick Brunson is probably wishing he taught him to shoot a little better.

- NBA rookie Mike Beasley admits to having a hand in some dodgy behaviour. Costs him $50k.

- ESPN's Steve A Smith tackles the behaviour of the Mav's maverick Josh Howard. And Ron Artest weighs in as well.

- Gilbert Arenas tells us all about his knee injury, firsthand.

- 36ers fans will be happy to read this. Julius Hodge ready to make the New Jersey Nets as a point guard.

- A group of Adelaide 36er fans have launched a few You Tube videos over the past couple days. Below is their best for mine. An interview with 36ers owner Mal Hemmerling and Tigers boss Seamus McPeake. I'm waiting BOYS!

Dead Set Shocka

Last night we (Townsville Crocs) opened up the season in Adelaide against the 36ers. An absolute disappointing effort on my behalf. I will give you a better post later on today, after I have finished licking my wounds.

Adelaide 109-82 Crocs recap
Cairns 85-75 Gold Coast recap
New Zealand 114-93 Wollongong recap

In the meantime, if you haven't heard the 2nd Episode of "The OT" (podcast) here it is.

See you later today!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Episode 2 Of "The OT" with JR and DJ Rod

DJ Rod and myself have churned out Episode 2 of "The OT". Click here or on the icon to the left to listen.

In this issue we look back at the first three games and preview the rest of Round 1. We have a special guest drop by as well as our All Time NBL "Ranga Team". Did you make the team?

Enjoy and please leave a comment about how we are going.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dragons Win, Crocs Have Game Winners and News

Is Pero thinking of adding sauce then taking a bite?

Tonight saw the South Dragons record their first win in the Brian Goorjian era. 97-81 was the final. Both teams play again on Sunday in Perth.

recap boxscore

My weekly Townsville Bulletin article has been moved to Wednesday during the season. Enjoy!

Tip-off on Friday night in Adelaide will mark the start of my fifteenth NBL season and some things never change. I still have a mixture of both excitement and nervousness when that that first ball goes up.

I think it would be time to give it away if I didn’t get pumped for this time of the year. What keeps me ticking along day in and day out and fuels my desire to keep working during the off season is the opportunity to win another championship and to compete against the best Australian basketball has to offer.
I am a competitor and it is my job to do everything I can to win. However, the way I go about ‘winning’ and the focus of my game has changed as I have evolved and grown as a player.

When I was young and trying to establish a reputation for myself in the league, I not only wanted the team to win, but also wanted to personally have a stat line with all the big numbers. If I didn’t accomplish both tasks, I often went home with a feeling that I had not fulfilled my objectives I had set for myself. I guess it is all part of being young and feeling invincible.

If you fast forward and compare my approach now, I will be the first to tell you that I still want to drop fifty points every time I hit the court. I just have a patience that comes with experience. I may only have twenty and they may all happen in the fourth quarter. Or it may not be my night to score, but I will be happy to quietly contribute seven rebounds and five assists to a solid team win.

This leads me to the topic of just what Croc fans can expect to see from their team this season. This year’s team may just be one in which any number of players could step up on any given night.

For instance, there will be many occasions where teams will struggle to keep Corey Williams in front of them. However, when there is a team that finds a way to keep him contained, it will be Kelvin Robertson’s night to light it up for thirty plus.

Michael Cedar has very quietly turned himself into a potential game winner for our team. “Juice” has the ability to peel off 20 points in a quarter and open a game up in a hurry.

Brad Williamson also has that ability. And, for a little extra trivia on Williamson, he currently holds the NBL record for most three point baskets made in one quarter with eight.

Of course on most nights, Rosell Ellis’ work ethic alone will get him over the line against most opponents. So it stands to reason that you should expect to see a very impressive stat line when it becomes his night to shine.

A rejuvenated Russell Hinder has already shown that he is thriving on the added responsibility give to him by Coach Trevor Gleeson. He had back to back twenty plus point games in the preseason and neither Rusty or I could remember the last time this had happened.

That leaves Daniel Egan, Cam Tovey and Steve Costanzo. We have become accustomed to Egan’s ability to ignite a team with one of those timely tip dunks that have become a sort of calling card for the Fan Man.

Tovey, on the other hand, is the guy that will come up with some timely plays on the defensive end of the court that the team will feed off of. His long fame allows him to make plays that most of us could only hope for.

Costanzo is a work in progress but there will be points scored this season off the back of a great screen from the big young local talent. Or there will be that chance for him to reel in a crucial rebound. Once he finds his feet opportunities will be waiting for him left and right.

I know it may seem blindly optimistic to believe that every player on a roster has the ability to produce a game winning play. Maybe it is the paternal side shining through from my years of experience. I will say that I haven’t had to dig to deeply this season to find a strength in each and every member of this year’s team. And this is something I can honestly say has not always been so easy in my 15 years.

The Crocs take on the 36ers in Adelaide on Friday, then return home next week for our home opener.


- The West Australian “I do remember what happened last time and it didn’t sit well,” Mark Worthington said. “Shawn (Redhage) plays hard and I play hard, so something has to give.”

Worthington and Redhage are worth the price of admission and a quote.

- Video of CJ Bruton talking up the Breakers chances.

- James Harvey named Gold Coast Blaze captain.

- Wollongong Hawks feel they should have better odds.

- The Daily Telegraph "Within the first five possessions coach Jim Calhoun said 'This is a no-brainer. This kid is special.'" University of Conneticut Coach Jim Calhoun talks about Sydney prospect Ater Majok.

- Shane Heal has a weekly column on the Gold Coast.

- 36ers will be entertaining?

- Aaron Bruce talks to his local rag.

- Gold Coast Bulletin "I take it with a pinch of salt -- what he says is what he says," Pero Cameron said. "If you talk about yourself, I think there are a lot of areas I could be better in and you work at it during the season."

Blaze Coach Brendan Joyce wants Cameron to slim down into game shape. Good luck to Joyce with this. Pero will never be a slim man.

- Townsville junior looking to impress.

- Mark Slocombe's Fast Facts for round 1.

- Crocs coach Trevor Gleeson eyeing a top four finish.

- If you love The Glove (Gary Payton) and the Reign Man (Shawn Kemp), this is for you.

- Has basketball become boring? Join in the debate with A Stern Warning.

- Ronny Turiaf and Rod Benson seen together!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just A Fan Of The Game

Moses Malone...was my main man as a kid.

I have to admit this post was inspired by WorldHoopsBlog. As I was giving his blog my daily look in, it got me thinking about my favourite NBA team.

As a youngster growing up in the metropolis of Toowoomba during the 70's and 80's basketball captured the imagination of a group of us future wannabe NBA players so debate would centre around why your favourite team was the best.

Most of the group, like anywhere in the world at that time, debated about the Celtics and the Lakers. Sure, both teams were great but that bandwagon was full and I was that kid that liked to be different.

My team was whoever Moses Malone played for. He is my all-time favourite NBA player (I wrote him a letter when I was 13 asking for a pair of his shoes.) and rather underrated, if you ask me. (I'll leave that for another day.)

Malone was the guy that got the 76ers over the hump in '83. Dr J needed the help of the MVP Malone to get his NBA championship ring.

As Malone moved from Washington to Atlanta to Milwaukee and then the Spurs my hat collection got rather large but I remained loyal to Moses and whatever team he was on at the time. Geez Milwaukee sucked then.

Once Moses retired it was time for that relationship to end but start another fresh. At this time my own professional career was just beginning to take off and an article was written about me and the titles was "Separated at Birth". The picture had an umbilical cord running between Reggie Miller and me. Thanks Tim Morrissey.

I ran with it so the Indiana Pacers but more so Reggie Miller had gained a massive fan. I ran with it so much I changed my jersey number to 31.

Following Miller through those great playoff runs against the Knicks and the championship series against the Lakers gave me great inspiration come playoff time in my own career. For the story's purpose Brendon Joyce is my Spike Lee.

Since Reggie has given it away (He teased me last offseason.) I still watch just as much NBA as ever, just ask my wife, but I have not attached myself to anyone like I did with Moses and Reggie.

Kobe is probably the closest I have come to replacing these legends but I'm certainly not on the same level with him as a fan. I have no Kobe merchandise to speak of.

Is there any other fans out there that follow players more so then teams?

News of the Day

- "But winning teams have a swagger about them. It's something we talked about last year but this year we want to try to improve on. And you don't just give yourself that label, you have to earn it and get the results to do it." New Zealand Breakers Paul Henare talking to Fairfax Media.

- "It was up in the air (returning to the Breakers). But we were talking about it constantly from the time I got injured. They wanted to make sure I was healthy and I told them in 12 months I was going to be here and here I am," Rick Rickert said with his trademark toothy grin. Courtesy of Sportal.

- "Last year there were a lot of unknowns there, I do feel more confident and I've got more belief in some of these guys," Wollongong Coach Eric Cooks said. Courtesy of Sportal.

- Slingers CEO Bob Turner talks about Darwin joining them in Asia.

- A very brief article and audio on Aussie rookie Adam Tanner making his debut for the New Zealand Breakers on Thursday.

- Hawks Matt Campbell to slow scoring machine Kirk Penney. Hope the groin holds up "Soupie".

- Some Irishmen who are double sportsmen. Drinking is not one of the sports and Seamus McPeake is not one of the athletes.

- Adelaide 36ers feeling good heading into Friday's game against the Crocs.

- Brian Goorjian already talking must win game.

- Size does not matter for Crocs.

- Perth coach wants roster extended to 15.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Let's All Shut Up And Play Ball

Leave Ebi and his Tiger teammates alone. Lets play ball.

The season has started and all I continue to read about is how the Melbourne Tigers are cheating the salary cap. Everyone needs to let the NBL do their job and police it as they can. Play ball.

Why this subject gets me fired up is, coaches around the league talk about their roster in the preseason and how all the players on there are the guys they hand picked to make the club a better organization.

Well, if these players have been chosen by you and you feel like they can help you win a title, why are you worried about the Melbourne Tigers and their salaries. Payroll has nothing to do with it once the ball has been thrown in the air.

Right now I feel the league overall should be concentrating on the season at hand and their own teams. Promoting the positives would not be a bad idea either.

Some of the positives I feel the league has (just off the top of my head):

- The competition will probably be the most hotly contested in league history. I'm thinking that many of the top six playoff spots will not be decided until the final week of the regular season.

- The men's national team just finished 7th (in the scheme of things not too bad) at the Olympics and seven of those players play in our competition.

- We have record numbers playing in the USA college system. They will not all play in the NBA and Europe. I believe the next wave (generation) of great players is not far away.

- With Andrew Bogut and Nathan Jawai playing in the NBA and Patrick Mills becoming everyones "darling" right now, kids have someone to aspire to. Two of those kids are indigenous to boot. I feel there is a positive message there for the sport.

As you can see there is plenty good about our sport at the moment.

The trouble is, it is the Aussie way to worry about another man's business instead of your own backyard.

If we are as good as we all say we are, no amount of money will help the Tigers once the ball is thrown up.
Lets play ball, please!


- Ebi Ere fits in like clock work.

- Gold Coast Blaze player Casey Frank sick of training. You could probably put any name in here from the NBL except Ebi Ere.

- "That's not a technical foul in my book," Brian Goorjian said after the game.
"It's a time-out. I didn't swear when I went on to the court. I'm not saying if the referee's right or wrong." Full article courtesy of the Sun Herald.

The way I read it Brian, you are saying the ref is wrong!

- Cairns Taipans Coach Alan Black praises their defense for win over the South Dragons.

- Brett Maher and Mark Tyndale shine in intra squad scrimmage.

- A nice piece on young Aussie Nate Tomlinson (son of Bill) who will be playing in the Big 12 at Colorado this year.

- Knicks Jamal Crawford has become a blogger. In his first entry he talked about working on his shot selection. In a summer league game in his hometown of Seattle, Crawford dropped 118 points at Bally's Health/Fitness Club (small court I heard). I would like him to comment on how his shot selection was in that game.

- Shaun Livingston, coming to a team near you. Portland are favourites.

- No Magic, just Monkey King please. Lakers Chinese signing Sun Yue talks about his preferred nickname.

- My Philly friend, WorldHoopsBlog has an obsession for Skins. Wait until he tries a pair, he will never take them off.

- If his much loved Portland Trailblazers continue with their run of injuries ASternWarning may get to suit up for them.
Delonte West - pretty funny guy

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lots Of News & More Links Than A Snoop Dog Chain

Episode 1 (podcast) of "The OT" with JR and DJ Rod can be found here.

- This afternoon the defending champion Melbourne Tigers got their 2008/09 season off to a solid start . They came away from Sydney with a 112-102 victory over the Spirit.

The Tigers got out of the blocks quickly and ended the first quarter up nine. The rest of the way it was pretty much a stalemate although the Tigers got out by 17-18 points at different times during the game.

Ebi Ere has not taken long to introduce himself to his teammates. He led the game with 31 points including 5-9 from "down town".

Meanwhile it seems that the NBL has come to its senses and okay'd Luke Martin to suit up for the Spirit. The little "buzz saw" hit the court for seven minutes.

- Boxscore from the Cairns Taipans/South Dragons game.

- I've had some good feedback from the podcast, thank you, but it seems the accent of the voice-over girl we used has sparked some interest. This mystery woman and her accent is a little muddled, but she is American born and has been residing "Down Under" for the past nine years so cut her a little slack. I'm sending her to speech classes as we speak.

- NBL diehard fan Matt MacQuade gives an in depth team-by-team preview for you.

Fellow blogger A Stern Warning has his own preview. Part 1 and Part 2 so far.

While on bloggers who show love to the NBL, American blogger WorldHoopsBlog wants the fashion police to tap South Dragon's Adam Gibson on the shoulder and have a little chat.

Young Melbourne blogger BestOffGround gives another NBL preview.

- The Age: "That's arguably the best starting five in the history of the NBL. They've got three MVPs on the floor", said Sydney Spirit coach Rod Beveridge.

Almost "Bevo", the Tigers have two league MVP winners. Chris Anstey a two time winner and Sam MacKinnon has one to his name. Maybe the Spirit coach felt Ebi Ere should have won it last season? Article here.

- Spirit import Derrick low tells the SMH, "We were the worst team, we were the doormats (talking about Washington State University). When I went in as a freshman it was like the Spirit - no one knew us, everyone thought it would be easy to play us, and it was like that for a couple of years. But then we started winning and by my third year we turned the program around and made the 'Sweet Sixteen' [finals series]. I went into the program when there was nothing there and leaving it in the position it's now in is a great feeling."

- From The Age. Cairns Taipans get win after a slow start.

- Darwin All Stars and the Singapore Slingers to play a two game series in December. Even talk of Darwin hosting a NBL preseason tournament.

- Slingers and Jason Castro find themselves in a sticky situation. The Filipino point guard fled Singapore when they pulled out of the NBL. Now Castro's people are trying to trade two other players to fill the void left by Castro. Bob Turner must be wondering what he has got himself into.

- CJ Bruton talking up his Kiwi teammates. Have they not told him New Zealand is not in Europe, yet?

- "We've worked hard in the pre-season. Rectifying our defence was something we knew we had to do. We're not a glory side, coming and slamming in 40 a game but I'm confident we now have 10 players who can defend the hoop." Wollongong coach Eric Cooks talking to New Zealand's Sunday News.

- A great article on Andrew Bogut. He talks about how you used to rock a Darryl McDonald jersey. I preferred the Wayne Carroll Giants replica.

- TrueHoop weighs in on how things are going to go down this year in the NBA. They are suggesting the Denver Nuggets are headed for turmoil.

- Cleveland Cavs lock in guard Delonte West for a few more years.

- Trailblazer Raef LaFrentz to have shoulder surgery.

- It only took Oklahoma City five days to sell out their season tickets. Here is their phone number ( 405-208-4800) in case any team the other side of the Pacific would like to know how they did it. 13,000 tickets sold in 5 days.

- Shaq O'Neal will retire after 2009/10 season.

- Rookie Mike Beasley looking for a new agent already. My money is on Aaron Goodwin to land the job.

- This is funny. A goodbye letter by Ball Don't Lie's J.E. Skeets. Blowtorch has responded, well.

- TheSportCount has the lowdown on Ben Gordon. Nice one Boys.

Kobe On Kimmel Live