Thursday, December 31, 2009

Henny At Halftime

Ron Artest's drink of choice when it comes to rehydrating at halftime...Hennessy.
Love him or hate him, Los Angles Laker Ron Artest knows how to keep himself in the eye of the media.
Weeks after "Ron Ron" admitted to taking a sip or two of alcohol during halftime when he wore a Chicago Bulls jersey, Artest has released a song "Henny at Halftime" with Reks.

I wonder how NBA Commissioner David Stern is thinking of handling this matter?

To listen to the track, click here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shaq and 3D

Ever wondered what happened to the lethal three point shooter named Dennis Scott. Here he is interviewing former teammate Shaquille O'Neal.

Enjoy, I did.

MasterChef Joins The NBL?

I love dropping by The Bball Scoop blog to see what colourful topic they have come up with.

The latest article talks about some "home cooking" in the recent Melbourne/Wollongong played on Boxing Day and how the reality TV program "MasterChef" has taken an interest in the country's premier basketball competition.

As I was in transit back to New Zealand, I have not seen the game so I cannot comment on this aspect of the article.

But what I do like is the humour in which the story is written. Not sure how the NBL head office views it, but I believe the Aussie basketball scene needs to promote this type of work.

My lack of ability to be creative with the English language (unlike The Bball Scoop) will not do the article justice, so click here to read.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Keep up the great work Bball Scoop.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Broken Toe, Dusty Style

Click here to see why this equation makes sense to Cairns Taipan Dusty Rychart.

Aussies Abroad

Joe Ingles had a Spanish Christmas to remember. Read below how.

Although many of us enjoyed a Christmas break, there were some Aussie hoopers that had no such luck.

Here is some information on how some of the Aussies are traveling abroad.

- Joe Ingles has had his Christmas wishes answered as he played big today. Ingles played all 40 minutes for his Spanish team Granada and rewarded his coach with a 23pt, 13reb and 6assist performance.

- St Mary's Gaels have been dubbed "AIS 2" and the argument can only get stronger. On Christmas Day the Gaels were in Hawaii eating turkey and taking on the locals.

The interesting story to me is, the Gaels played seven players in this game and five of them were Aussies. I doubt any USA college can lay claim to this type of stat.

Word out of Canberra is Gaels Head Coach Randy Bennett is asking AIS Head Coach Marty Clark to build the first ocean tunnel build from the nation's capital through to the Bay Area just to make the school's recruiting trips a little easier.

Back to the game, the best Aussie in the game was Ben Allen with 15pts and 3rebs as the Gaels got a victory over the Warriors.

- The Valparaiso Crusaders is home for two Aussies (Ryan Broekhoff, Cameron Witt) right now but their Christmas cheer was purely off court as they suffered a 20pt loss to Akron.

- David Anderson has been playing some solid basketball of the bench for the Houston Rockets. Today David and his team ran into a red hot Cleveland Cavaliers and lost by 25.

- Former Brisbane Bullet Spice Girl Wade "Gerri" Helliwell is still plying his trade in Europe. The lumbering centre plays in Greece for POAK as a backup big man.

Another familiar name playing over in Greece is Mark "Sparkie" Dickel. I would be interested to know what colourful language the Kiwi international has picked up in his time over there.

- Aussie, Swedish teammates Rhys Carter (1st in steals) and Neil Mottram (9th in rebounding) are performing solidly for their Gothia Basket squad.

- One time Boomer Daniel Kickett remains in Spain with Gran Canaria. Is still remains in a limited minutes role.

- Matt Nielsen and his Valencia team scrapped by with a 1 point win against Bilboa. "Nellie" turned in an all round performance with 12pts, 5rebs and 3assits.

- Former Perth Wildcat Alex Loughton was on the wrong end of a butt kicking. Loughton is currently playing in the Spanish Leb Gold league.

- Aron Baynes continues to play some solid basketball as he had 12pts and 4rebs for his Lietuvos Rytas coached by the legendary Rimas Kurtinaitis, heading into the Christmas break.

- Julian Khazzouh suffered a defeat at the hands of former NBL import Rod Grizzard in the top Israel league.

- Former Sydney Spirit forward Matt Knight is currently 6th (8.7/game) in rebounding in the Hungarian league.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Old School Sunday

I'm a little under the weather with my nose dripping like a leaky tap, but here is this week's Old School Sunday edition of You Tube highlights from the past. (Hope you like them Tom Abercrombie!)

Larry Johnson of the Grandma Ma fame gets top billing today. A little highlights package from his athletic Charlotte Hornets (remember them?) days.

Shawn Kemp was another high flying power forward. Him and Gary Payton made the Seattle Supersonics (remember them?) one of the most watchable teams during the 90's.

When talking of power forward with flair, I couldn't leave Charles Barkley off the list.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The NBA Scout Everyone Forgot - Jeff Nix's

Two years ago Isiah Thomas and the New York Knicks went into a tail spin, due to various reasons. And to this day the legendary basketball franchise is still trying to recover from those bleak Knick days.

Most of the staff involved in this dark period have recovered and moved on with life, but for Jeff Nix who was a long time scout for the Knicks is still paying the price.

I found this article (below) by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski a good read and it just makes you remember how so many people can be affected by some poor judgement made by others.

"Two years have passed on Jeff Nix’s testimony, and, still, so many old friends in the NBA don’t return his calls, his emails. It’s like he disappeared, like he’s dead to them. The irony is that no one liked Isiah Thomas, but he was still one of them, an NBA executive. Maybe they all think that Nix had an obligation to protect the New York Knicks president in that sexual harassment case anyway. Only, Nix refused. He told the truth under oath, and looking back, maybe it cost him a career in pro basketball.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo greets children participating in the Camouflage for Kids program.

“I guess the most disappointing thing is seeing all the people that I really knew and trusted, and thought I had a good relationship with, just putting me so far in their rear-view mirror,” Nix said the other day from his home just outside South Bend, Ind. “But do I regret what I did? Do I regret telling the truth? No, I’ve never second-guessed myself on anything. I knew what the consequences would be, and I can live with it.”

After 15 years as a scout, coach and front office-executive with the Knicks, Nix testified to witnessing and hearing of the harassment that Thomas had heaped on a co-worker, Anucha Browne Sanders. He told the truth to the lawyers in the deposition, repeated it in the trial and it turned out be some of the most credible and compelling testimony against the defendants, Madison Square Garden and Thomas.

Nix testified to witnessing Thomas hug Browne Sanders in a Garden corridor, and her pushing him away. When Nix asked her about what he had seen, she said that Thomas had told her that he loved her. Nix testified to conversations with Browne Sanders when she complained of “uncomfortable” and “unprofessional” encounters with Thomas.

For all the damage that Thomas’ regime leveled on the Knicks organization, you have to wonder: Who paid a steeper price than Nix? Browne Sanders won an $11.5 million settlement and landed an athletic administration job at the University of Buffalo. Most of Nix’s scouts still have jobs with new general manager Donnie Walsh. Thomas left in disgrace, yes, but with a $14 million buyout and a college coaching job at Florida International. Life goes on, but it’s been almost two years since Nix gave his deposition testimony and still nothing.

Around Madison Square Garden, the cutthroat culture demanded a code of silence, but Nix kept telling himself: How could I ever face my parents, how could I ever honor my small-town upbringing in Olean, N.Y., and protect my boss’ behavior with a lie? In Nix’s mind, this was true when he had a $250,000-a-year scouting director job with the Knicks, and it’s true now.

“A lot of people had the same opportunity to tell the truth there that I did, and they didn’t do it,” Nix said.

“They have to live with themselves. But, yeah, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I don’t ask myself why I can’t even get an email response back from people I had known a long time in the league. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it’s really disappointing. … Do I wonder if I’m blackballed in some way? Well, I hope not. I hope that’s not the case.”

Life is funny sometimes, and here’s the most amazing part of these past two years: Nix has never felt so needed, so worthwhile. Perhaps it spares him some bitterness, recedes some anger. Perhaps it’s taught him that things do happen for a reason, that a nasty ending in New York gave him a gateway to the most important work of his life.

Five years ago, Nix bought some tickets for an Air Force Academy game, where an old Knicks scout, Jeff Bzdelik, was the basketball coach and donated them to some military children at Fort Carson in Colorado. The kids had a blast and it got Nix to start thinking bigger: Let’s get more military kids, more coaches and schools involved with it. Eventually, they gave the program a name,
“Camouflage Kids,” and started to hold summertime fundraisers in Indiana with big-time college coaches.

Cam Kids started to get busloads of military families who had a father or mother away overseas at war, and got them onto campuses for basketball games. Now, there are hundreds of kids going to games on dozens of campuses.

It costs Cam Kids roughly $25 a child for each game. Each one gets a T-shirt, a hot dog and popcorn and a private pregame talk with a college basketball coach. Mostly, they get some joy in what can often be a gray, grim world for them. Most military families couldn’t afford to take their kids to the games in these economic times. They keep growing the experience with campus tours and motivational speeches – anything to keep those kids’ spirits up, to keep them going until a parent comes home again.

Tom Crean hosts games at Indiana and does fundraisers for Nix. So does Tom Izzo at Michigan State and Mike Brey at Notre Dame. Nix has taken two trips to the Middle East to bring basketball to the troops. It doesn’t pay his bills now, but it pays back.

“If I didn’t have this,” Nix said, “I’d be going crazy now. There are just moments with Cam Kids that keep you going. We just had an event at Michigan State and I asked a little 6-year-old girl if she was excited about Santa coming soon, and she told me, ‘I’m more excited that my dad is coming home in two weeks,’ and it just hits you so hard the sacrifice that they are all making. We’ve had a chance to visit Iraq twice and Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] and I’ve never seen spirit like this: Guys with legs blown off, complaining that they’re not running the 50 fast enough with prosthetic legs. … Imagine that compared to the [bogus] complaints you hear every day working in the NBA.

“Hey listen, I had a great run with the Knicks. I was fortunate to make two NBA Finals, coach in an All-Star game. I got to coach at Notre Dame. I’ve gotten to do so much, but this by far is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

This is a lousy time to be trying to find a job in the NBA because cost-cutting and video technology have decimated the scouting profession. Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy used to call Nix the best advanced scout in the league, but those jobs are fewer and fewer in the league anymore. Those who made good livings are begging for teams to assign them $100-a-game advance scouting assignments. Owners want a leaner bottom line and scouting positions are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Nix knows it, and that’s why he’s trying to find work in the college game, maybe administration, too. Crean has had Nix spend time with him at Marquette and now Indiana, and marvels over the way that Nix has thrown himself into Camouflage Kids the way that he did scouting and coaching.

“The one thing about Jeff Nix is when he commits to something, I really haven’t seen many peers in terms of his singular purpose in what he wants to accomplish,” Crean said. “The passion that he had in coaching and scouting, you just see it with our military families now. … What he’s done is absolutely remarkable.”

There are still tough days for Nix, still times he tries to understand what he did to become, in his words, “a black sheep in the NBA family.” Does it bother him that Isiah Thomas is coaching college kids now? “Yeah, it does,” he says. “It does…” It bothers him that he wrote to NBA owners and executives about possibly getting some donations of old summer league jerseys and worn-out sneakers to bring American soldiers in Iraq, and barely anyone beyond
Washington Wizards assistant general manager Tommy Sheppard, Chicago Bulls vice president John Paxson, New Orleans Hornets coach and GM Jeff Bower and ex-Nets coach Lawrence Frank took the time to help him.

Sure, it all bothers Jeff Nix. Sure, it gnaws at him.

And, sure, sometimes that all hangs over him until he has one of those Saturdays with Camouflage Kids, when the bus comes rolling into campus from a military base and all those tired, young faces come flooding out, come pouring into a gymnasium or arena, and suddenly brighten. He thinks about the fathers overseas, and how thrilled they’ll be to hear about it, and all that angst can wash away fast.

And, mostly, he thinks about his parents in that tiny town in Western New York, about lessons learned long ago, and it always comes back to this: “I wouldn’t change how it’s all worked out for me, and what I had to do. …I’d say what I said all over again.

“I can live with the truth.”

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone

What did you get for Xmas?

Just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I'm just spending some quality time with the family while I can so the blogging will be back in action tomorrow, plus I'm figuring out how to use the iPod touch.

All the best for the holiday season but don't forget there is NBL action on Boxing Day as the Melbourne Tigers take on the Wollongong Hawks at the Cage.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What's Making News Around The NBL

Adam Ballinger at the peak. He was awarded this month's NBL POM award.
Before I start to pack my bag and head for home (Townsville) to see me family over the Christmas break, I will get you up to speed as to what is happening around the media traps.

Yes, I know it is a lazy way of blogging but my day has been a tough one. After a team practice session this morning it has all been down hill since then.

An hour was spent on the massage table, and yes, they can massage bone. Following that relaxing time it was off to my local croquet club (I think I found life after basketball!) to enjoy the New Zealand Breakers Christmas party.

After an action packed afternoon like that you will understand that I'm physically buggered. Hence the major linkage to all the news articles but at least you will be up to date now.

- Adelaide 36ers captain Adam Ballinger and Gold Coast Blaze Head Coach Joey Wright have respectively taken out the player and coach of the month (November) award for the NBL.

- The New Zealand Breakers are running out of time if they wish to bring in a second import to fill the spot vacated by Awvee Storey.

- Gold Coast Blaze head in the Christmas break at the top of the NBL ladder.

- Just last week everyone was questioning if the Adelaide 36ers could win a close game. A week later everyone is talking about the resurging 36ers.

- Cairns Taipan import Rich Melzer is handing out the right advice to his teammates. Will Santa be so kind to the top of the north?

- One of the leading candidates for the NBL Rookie of the Year award, Wollongong Hawk Tim Coenraad will join the Mackay Meteors in the off season.

- The Townsville Crocodiles are happy to be at 10-8 at their Christmas break.

- Perth Wildcats Head Coach Rob "hand me a stiff" Beveridge was disappointed in his team's effort against the Adelaide 36ers on the weekend.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Old School Sunday

Once again Sunday has been a long travel days for the New Zealand Breakers. After touching down in Auckland and restocking the fridge I'm a little shagged and in need of beauty sleep.

Last week was the same scenario and I posted a few You Tube highlights from NBA players in the 80's.

Breakers young gun Tom Abercrombie loved it, so I've dug up a few more for Tom and everyone else to enjoy.

For mind this is still the best playoff game I have ever witnessed. Enjoy this Dominique Wilkins/Larry Bird match up. (I have watched this game so much the video tape has worn out.)

No one can ever get sick of this Tom Chambers dunk.

1984 Slam Dunk Championship

Friday, December 18, 2009

D-Wade Live

If you're a Dwyane Wade fan this is for you. Wade will be live streaming via Ustream starting on December 19th (USA time) at 12 pm.

He is giving everyone an all access pass into his life off the court.

I'm guessing this will go a little better than Stephon Marbury's off season experiment.

I'm tuning in, are you?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tywain McKee - POW interview

A little You Tube footage of Ty McKee being interviewed about his first Player of the Week award.

Besides the award, McKee talks about the return of Allen Iverson to Philadelphia and has he (McKee) been stealing soft drinks from a local burger joint? It's good to see the rookie import is still learning the ropes of being a pro as his teammates keep him on his toes.

McKee also took out this week's award making him the second player this year to take out the award on back-to-back weeks. Townsville Crocodiles Corey Williams was the other.

If McKee is to get his third consecutive award he will need to be on his game as the Hawks tackle Cairns and the Gold Coast on the road this weekend.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Aleks Maric Is Big Time

Australia or Serbia! Who you got Aleks Maric?

When you talk about the depth of the Australian Boomers frontcourt, names like Bogut, Andersen, Nielsen and Jawai roll off the tongue without a stutter.
But there is another Aussie "big" that is making a name for himself in Euroleague and just reminding Boomers Head Coach Brett Brown that all is not set in stone for the 2010 World Championship team.

Aleks Maric has just received his second Euroleague Player of the week award.

Maric who plays for the Serbian based Partizan club had 34pts and 16rebs as his team snuck past Turkish team Efes Pilsen in Round 7 of the second best basketball competition in the world.

But the most interesting point to come out of the success that Maric is currently enjoying, who will he support or play for in Turkey come World Championship time? (you may need google translator for the above article)

My understanding of the FIBA rule is Maric has to play for Australia because he has already represented the green and gold. But it seems if I translate the translator correctly, Maric may be able to suit up for Serbia if Basketball Australia gives him the ok. (I will endeavour to find out the ruling on this over the next few days.)

It would be a shame to see Maric suit up for someone else, but if Australia cannot find room on their roster for him, should you really be able to hold someone back from pursuing a dream?

I'm sure we will hear more about this over the next few days.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's Making News

Mika Vukona (#7) and Pero Cameron (#11) will be joined by fellow Kiwi international Craig Bradshaw (back) on the Gold Coast.

- New Zealand Breakers veteran Tony Ronaldson is hoping that fans of the Breakers will show up to our game on Thursday night against the fourth placed Townsville Crocodiles.

- Brett Maher believes that the Adelaide 36ers just need to be "calm under pressure" and they can turn their losing fortunes around.
- Inform Breakers centre Rick Rickett is in a race against time. Rickett has a burning desire to represent New Zealand at the 2010 World Championship's but it seems the clock may run out before he gets his official Kiwi passport.

While on the subject of the Tall Blacks, NBL MVP Kirk Penney will make a last ditch effort to convince his good friend Sean Marks to come back and play international hoops, one last time.

- Extra responsibility has been the key in the improved play of Cairns Taipan centre Ian Crosswhite.

- Kiwi international Craig Bradshaw is back in the NBL, but this time as a Gold Coast Breaker. He is in a race against time to be cleared to play when the Adelaide 36ers host the Blaze tomorrow night.

- Perth Wildcats Head Coach Rob Beveride believes Jesse Wagstaff will walk away with the Rookie of the Year award.

In other Wildcats news, import Galen Young seems ready to make his debut for the club as his paperwork is being finalised.

- Are you hyped about seeing an NBA game? Make it easy on yourself and join CJ Bruton on his NBA Hype Tour. You will get to see 5 NBA games will on tour.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Too It Than Meets The Eye

Julius Hodge would be a great addition to the grape stomping circuit. There's plenty of room for him.

I cannot let the Julius Hodge stomp saga die completely without me having a say on the matter.

The city of Adelaide was still a buzz a week after Hodge and his teammates left town with the win and a new found dance step dubbed the Mahercarena.

In my sixteen years being involved as a player in the NBL, I have never seen one single incident hold court like this one has in the media.

Here is my take on the situation.

At a quick glance it seems that Hodge has over reacted during an emotional time, which was sealed with a victory. Walk off the court with your head held high and fans may have to rethink their opinion of Hodge as a person.

Instead Hodge seeked out the signature of Adelaide 36er legend Brett Maher and proceeded to stomp until his teammates dragged him from the arena.

This is where I become somewhat confused with the whole situation.

If Hodge had some built up emotion towards the club, why not seek out the 36ers logo that is in the same vicinity of the court and give me your best grape stomping technique?

In my opinion on both occasions when stomping he seeks out Maher's "John Hancock" on the hardwood.

I have no personal opinion of Hodge as a person or teammate but it seems there is some "beef" between Maher and Hodge. (Hodge would not appear on his former captain's weekly Internet show if he was present. Phil Smyth was brought in to help Kevin Brooks interview the New York native while Maher made a coffee.)

To me there is more to this story than meets the eye. My life experiences tell me the truth is somewhere in the middle.

I'm sure like any incidents such as this the whole truth will never be known, but my hats off to Hodge for playing the villain to the best of his abilities.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some Old School While I Get Some Sleep

Sorry it has been a few days people but there was no WiFi available at our Adelaide hotel.

It has been a long day of travel back from the Croweater state so I need a little shut eye before I can come up with something half decent for you guys to read.

In the meantime, enjoy a little old school from the NBA.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Dagger

Once we drop a few of these (dagger), the Breakers season will be back on track.

For the second straight week, we (the New Zealand Breakers) have found a way to cough up great second half lead to be caught with our pants down when the final buzzer sounds.

Now, for a team that has found a way to get themselves into these situations there are a couple of ways this can go for a team.

Obviously, any team we play in the near future will rightly be playing on this trend. Opposition coaches will reinforce to his team and throw out phrases such as "they will let us back in the game" and "stay with it, they will give us a chance".

This will happen for sure. Sport is just as much a mind game as it is about physical prowess.

But I like to look at it like this. We have played and out played the two best teams (Wollongong and Perth) over the past week for the majority of the contest. This shows me that we are doing something right, most of the time.

There is no getting away from the issue that we need to discover a way of closing out games but with the makeup of our roster, I can see this issue getting resolved rather soon.

We have game winners and several guys that can deliver the dagger in tight game situations. We actually have options, something not all teams posses.

Until we show the rest of the league that we can close out games, the opposition will always feel they are a chance.

What we have shown is that we can hang with the "top dogs" of the NBL. It would be a different story had we been losing by a large margin.

I feel we are right on the cusp of turning our form into a winning streak.

The good thing is we get another chance Saturday against the Adelaide 36ers on their home floor.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Former NBL Star Dead

He was one of the hardest working players I have ever been associated with and the basketball world has lost a good one. Former Melbourne Tigers and Brisbane Bullets scoring machine Dave Colbert passed away on the 4th of December in a single car accident.

Colbert was a high school basketball coach at his Alma Mater, John Marshall High in Cleveland.

I used to love watching Colbert and fellow import James Bullock when they were teammates of Andrew Gaze at the Melbourne Tigers.

When he moved to the Bullets I began to hear stories about his legendary individual workouts. He was old school. He would be in an empty gym do shooting drills using chairs as defence and even getting the broom out imagining that Terry Dozier was closing him out.

Besides possessing a smooth jumper, the one thing that I remember the most about Colbert was, he loved to dunk of the wrong foot. Most righthanders will jump off their left leg to elevate upstairs, but "Colby" was at his best off his right.

I got to see his abilities first hand when in 1995 the Bullets called him back to fill in for injured import Chris Monk for a month.

Dave Colbert was truly one of the great scorers this league has seen.


Here is a little footage of Colbert when he scored the winning bucket for the Dayton Flyers in an upset win over DePaul.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

LeBron/Noah & POW Awards

Wollongong Hawks import Tywain McKee continues to have a huge impact in his rookie NBL season and he has been rewarded with this week's NBL Player of the Week award.

This week it was a two horse race between McKee and Perth Wildcat Luke Schenscher.

McKee once again took over the fourth quarter of a game as he led his team to a come from behind win of the New Zealand Breakers.

While I'm on about Player of the Week honours, Aussie big man AJ Ogilvy has received the award in the USA. Ogilvy plays for the Vanderbilt Commodores (NCAA) in the highly ranked SEC.

Ogilvy averaged 22pts and 6rebs as the Commodores took care of Missouri and DePaul during the week.

After a slow start to the season, Ogilvy seems to have found his groove. Great timing as conference play is just around the corner.

A couple of NBA stories to wrap it up.

Joakim Noah and LeBron James got into a little jaw jacking the other day and LeBron just danced it off in the end.

And check out the intro and Allen Iverson's reaction on his return to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hoops News ft Hurricane Hodge & PTT

- Julius Hodge and his stomping antics (see post below) have him splashed across all media outlets (great for the NBL). I have just linked all things Julius Hodge below.

A Stern Warning Kevin Brooks Boti Nagy The Age Fox Sports

- Pero Cameron is rumoured to be the player/coach in New Zealand NBL for the Wellington Saints.

I come across this article that mentions that Cameron is playing "coy" about the coaching situation and he "can't hide".

- Although a lot of attention has centred around Julius Hodge, the Adelaide 36ers should never have given Hodge the opportunity to parade around after the final buzzer.

The 36ers is not the only team guilty of this behaviour of the past week. My own New Zealand Breakers, we found a way to cough up a seemingly unbeatable situation to the Wollongong Hawks.

Along similar lines the Cairns Taipans surrendered a lead during the last sixty seconds of play against the Gold Coast Blaze on the road.

The ladder will show this season is tighter than myself. These are the type of games that can come back to haunt a team come the end of the season when you are scrambling for wins to make the playoffs.

Make a note in your diary to see if any of these results cost a team a playoff spot.

- The Cairns Taipans are once again "under the pump" with their financial situation.

- League leading Wollongong Hawks will have to stay focused during the holiday season. they have a tough schedule during this period, so there will not be too much Christmas cheer for Cameron Tragardh and his teammates.

- According to Townsville Crocodiles Head Coach Trevor Gleeson, it was a poor third quarter that cost the Crocs a road victory in Perth.

- After an impressive double double (22pts, 12 rebs) against the Townsville Crocodiles, Perth Wildcat centre Luke Schenscher feels like he is running into some form.

- Spend sixty seconds with Wildcat Drew Williamson.

- Former NBA ref Tim Donaghy has released a book. Here are some passages taken from the book. Interesting reading if you are a conspiracy theorist.

- The latest installment of "Pull The Trigger" is below for your viewing.

I have to thank host Cameron Tragardh for the "shout out". And yes what else is there besides the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Canberra Raiders and Texas Holdem Poker?

Since I'm so experienced in this field, my advice for Trigger this week is, don't be like Andrew Gaze and sit on the fence. If you are going to have a crack at somebody, let's say Jesse Wagstaff, don't try and put the vehicle in reverse once the damage has been done.

Trigger, I'm sure you will hear from the Perth fans next time you head west.

I have to admit it is a better episode than the last.

Doin The Julius Stomp

Yeah, I did it. What you gonna do about it?

Here is the footage of emotional Melbourne Tiger Julius Hodge doing his version of, "if you're happy and you know it stomp your feet". (Usual villain Mark Worthington apologised to the Adelaide community for the behaviour displayed by temmate Hodge.)

The only trouble was it was on the signature of club legend Brett Maher.

It has been reported that Hodge believes it would have been his name on the court, had he of stuck around Adelaide. Big call but I like the confidence Julius.

Too bad the Tigers have visited the South Australian franchise twice this year already. That could have turned into a pay-per-view event.

Friday, December 4, 2009

AI Has Emotional Return To Philly

Allen Iverson has returned to the place where he kicked off his NBA career, Philadelphia.

Very emotional about his return to Philly and hoops is a must see.

Crocs/Wildcats Clash Heating Up

Perth Wildcats CEO Nick Marvin is trying to get the Perth crowd in the mood for tomorrow night's game out there in the wild west.

This is what he (Marvin) had to say via Twitter moments ago, "Corey (Williams) not sure who would get more heat from the crowd - himself or PC (Peter Crawford) who returns to the Jungle in green for the first time."

Their clash against the Townsville Crocodiles is the first time that Corey "Homicide" Williams returns after knocking the Wildcats out of the playoffs last year. Here is a refresher for those with short term memory loss.

While there is no doubting the temperature will be blistering on court tomorrow night, the Crocs cancelled their practice today due to the 37 degree temperature in the west today.

In other Wildcats news, former Crocs import Galen Young has been confirmed as the man who will fill their second import spot. The Wildcats will push Sam Harris back to his development role within the squad.

Young will not suit up for the Wildcats in the much anticipated clash against the Crocs tomorrow night.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Perth Wildcats - Freestyle

I'm not sure what the viewer is suppose to get out of this Perth Wildcats video. I have never been the artistic type so I'm looking for help in finding out the angle the Wildcats were chasing.

Brad Robbins, Kevin Lisch and Stephen Weigh oiled up does nothing for me.

Please help me understand this art by dropping a note (and your explanation)in the comment section.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kendall Out For Season

Love him or hate him, you have to feel for Luke Kendall who has suffered a season ending injury.
This NBL season just seem to go from bad to worse for the Melbourne Tigers.

First, former league MVP Chris Anstey will miss a large chunk of the season due to a hip injury, point guard Nathan Crosswell misses a month due to "turf toe" and now starting guard Luke Kendall is done for the year after suffering a knee injury at practice.

Throw in Julius Hodge having to make a mad dash back to the USA and the Tigers could not be any more unsettled right now.

While all this is going on, the city of Adelaide has been preparing for the return of Hodge, the once loved player for the city of churches.

Chris Bosh & Free Agency

Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors will enter free agency when this current NBA season concludes.

Although most of the attention is directed towards LeBron James and his free agency situation, but Bosh will garner his far share of attention when the time comes.

Bosh discusses his feelings on the topic, but be careful, he may change his mind soon.

My tip is he ends up in Miami.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

News & Name Sake Means Nothing To Homicide

I need your help Vodafone. Read below to see why.
It's a little late here in Kiwiland so I'm just throwing some random stuff at you tonight.

- Aussie AJ Ogilvy has got his junior season off to a slow start as his fast starting (4-1) Vanderbilt look towards their matchup with Missouri. I hope he gets his season back onto a consistent track soon.

- The Perth Wildcats and the Gold Coast Blaze are $1500 lighter in their pockets due to their dance at the end of their game on Saturday.

- NBA players Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns, Rasheed Wallace of the Boston Celtics and Tyson Chandler of the Charlotte Bobcats have been fined over separate Twitter incidents.

The NBA have rules and regulations regarding times when players can and can't Twitter before, during and after games.

My understanding is that the NBL has no such thing in place. Can I be the first player on the NBL front to make this happen? Vodafone who is a Breakers sponsor I need your help. My current phone model and plan will not allow for this to happen. Can you help me out?

- Teammate Oscar Forman of the New Zealand Breakers has taken out the Player of the Week award for his great shooting display against the Cairns Taipans last week.

- Adelaide 36ers Coach Scott Ninnis will not be focusing purely on former player Julius Hodge. (No the crowd will stitch up Hodge.)

The Melbourne Tigers are the only team to defeat the 36ers at home this year, and that was without Hodge.

Can anyone in Adelaide let me know if Brad Davidson is attending this game?

- Adelaide 36ers centre Matt Burston is still battling injuries.

- "I'm not too worried about it", Cairns Taipan Gary Booknikoff tells the Cairns Post.

- Rome wasn't build in a day, and that's the approach Rolan Roberts and the Townsville Crocodiles are taking.

- Perth Wildcats point guard Brad Robbins is ready for Corey "Homicide" Williams and Peter Crawford.

- Corey Williams has no idea who his name sake Kerry Williams from the Cairns Taipans is?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rumble In The Jungle

There was a little bit of "handbags at 10 paces" for the boys after the Gold Coast Blaze inflicted the Perth Wildcats with their first home loss of the season.

Former Wildcats Chris Goulding and James Harvey "saluted" the Perth faithful, while Wildcat Stephen Weigh (he is on report) took offense to the antics displayed by the Blaze pair.

No doubt the question looms, "is this good for the sport?"

I did find it amusing that Blaze manager "Big Joe" was helping break up the melee with a t-shirt that read, "get in the game!".

I would love to hear your thoughts after you have watched to footage.

Pat Mills Interview

Pat Mills was in attendance at a recent NBL game and he lends his time for an interview with the Wollongong Hawks media department.

He talks about where he fits in the Portland Trailblazers plans, talks about dunking on Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh (well maybe) and supporting the NBL.

Jones Jr To Hoop It Up On The Gold Coast?

Roy Jones Jr may return to Australia to play hoops.
Roy Jones Jr is in Australia to fight Danny Green, but the do-everything-athlete has suggested he may come back next year to play some hoops on the Gold Coast.

Is this a case of a boxer pumping up his own tyres right before he climbs into the ring for another bout or does this statement carry some validity?

Jones Jr has played semi professional hoops in the States before and has even played in a game then gone and fought. You have to give him some credit for this unique combination.

I'm really not to sure what to think out this. It might be a great promotion for the game, but my money is on a one on one contest between Jones Jr and Anthony "The Man" Mundine.

I can see it now. Surfers Paradise, on the beach, bikini clad women everywhere and two of the greatest showmen ever, battling it out on a temporarily built hardwood floor beachside.

I will take Mundine in this contest as I have seen his hooping skills first hand.

Who you got?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wasting My Night Away

Well the Townsville Crocodiles and the Adelaide 36ers have just got underway. The only way for me to keep track of this game is through the live stats on the NBL website. So, to fill in my time in between "live" updates, I will link all articles that I read during this time.

- Australian basketball is not the only place finding it hard to get the required dollars necessary to start a new franchise. Southland in New Zealand are on the clock, in their quest to join the New Zealand NBL next season.

- Cairns Taipans were inconsistent against the mighty New Zealand Breakers.

- In case you have not heard, the NBL has come down heavily on the Melbourne Tigers after a courtside incident in last week's game at The Cage.

- "The Roar" blog gives us their option on how the Fox Sports television deal is impacting the sport.

Crocs up 18-15 at quarter time. Rolan Roberts has 7rebs for the Crocs.

- Gold Coast Blaze young gun Chris Goulding (Got it confirmed this week the "u" is silent so the Fox commentators are right in their pronunciation of "Golding".) has a whole lot of self belief.

- Boti Nagy weighs (not Stephen) in on the Heal/Groves saga. Here is some of the commentary that took place.

- Is the Cairns Taipans budget in trouble?

- The Wollongong Hawks are to do some "soul searching" before they head across the ditch next week.

- Another youngster ditches basketball for AFL shot.

- "They have some good ball-shooters like (Nathan) Herbert", Townsville Crocodiles Head Coach Trevor Gleeson tells the Townsville Bulletin as they prepare for the Adelaide 36ers tonight.

Crocs by nine at the half, 46-37. Crawford 14, Williams 12 for the Crocs.

- The Gonzaga Bulldogs headed to Hawai outside of the NCAA Top 25. After returning to the mainland as winners of the Maui Invitational, serious consideration must now be due.

- Check out Melbourne Tigers forward Mark Worthington and his "new edition".

- D2 Alaska-Anchorage defeated D1 school Nicholls St, 72-58. Besides being considered a huge upset, there where six Aussies in this game.

Crocs up ten at 3/4 time. Crawford 21, Williams 16 for the Crocs.

Charles Barkely and Jimmy Kimmel discuss losing weight.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Hawks View From A Different Angle

The Wollongong Hawks are trying to get creative in the way they market and make their team available to all media avenues.

Here is a look at what can happen during a game at the "Sand Pit".

Wollongong Hawks Vs Adelaide 36ers 251109 Canon 7D from Laww Media on Vimeo.

AI Retires, Pat Mills Siting

This just in. The greatest NBA pound for pound player Allen Iverson has retired.

In other NBA news, the Portland Trailblazers Pat Mills was a fan at last nights NBL game between the Wollongong Hawks and Adelaide 36ers. Below is a interview that Fox Sports Shane Heal had with Mills at the game.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crocs Hurtin'

It seems someone within the Townsville Crocodiles camp has either walked under a ladder or ran over a black cat.

Kelvin Robertson's Road To Recovery

Townsville Crocodile Kelvin Robertson suffered a severe season ending knee injury during the 2008/09 season. Robertson worked hard during the offseason so he could be ready ahead off schedule and in time for this season's tip off.

Check out the interview. (Beware, there is Kelvin Robertson humour in the video.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pull The Trigger - The Fully, Massive, Bloody Oath Episode

Episode 5 of "Pull The Trigger" has arrived. Now being honest, it is not my favourite episode but don't let me be the judge of Cameron Tragardh's line of thought.

Check out his poor impersonation of Matt Campbell, while Glen Saville seems to have refereeing as a career path in the near future.

The funniest part of PTT for me was (look around the 6-7min mark) when Tragardh's gag got no response from a punter. He was trying the old tap on the shoulder trick, but looked rather perplexed when he got no response from the young lad. You can see the look on Trigger's face as if to say "why aren't you turning around".

Trigger, you need to tap them on the shoulder, not the backpack strap.

One Hawks fan was not happy with Townsville Crocodiles Corey "Homicide" Williams performance in the Gong, not so long ago.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hoops Hot News

Click on the sweet 'do to the left to see other stylish locks of NBL players created by some artistic guys from the west. By the way boys, the wife loved the Vanilla Ice look.

- Yes, he's back. The NBL's MVP will be back on court this week. I can vouch for it as I spent my morning chasing him around at practice. Kirk Penney will be back in uniform when the New Zealand Breakers take on the Cairns Taipans this Thursday night.

I'm looking forward to teaming up with one of the premier perimeter players in the league.

- Adelaide 36ers Head Coach believes his team is nearly back to full strength which will allow him to go with his preferred starting line up.

- Melbourne Tigers franchise player Mark Worthington feels it is time for his team to "rip people's heads off". Read all his words here in the Herald Sun.

- Are the Cairns Taipans back after going 2-0 this past week?

- Gold Coast Blaze CEO Dave Claxton is calling the come from behind win, the best in the club's brief history.

- The Townsville Crocodiles are fired up about the officiating.

- Brad Newley continues to put up impressive numbers in Turkey. Although his team lost a close contest, Newley dropped in 33 points. He went 7-10 from down town. Newley is currently the 7th (17.8pts) leading scorer in the Turkish league and his team sits in 3rd place with a 4-2 record.

- Joe Ingles was solid with a 9 point, 6 rebound effort in his teams blow out win in Spain.

- Matt Nielsen had 10&5 as his Valencia ball club had a solid win.

- NCAA D1 Aussie performer of the day is Gold Coast native Christian Salecich. He helped lead the St Louis Billikens over Kennesaw St Owls 76-66.

Salecich finished with 15pts, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.

Fellow Aussie Cody Ellis should be joining him after the semester.

Check out this shot of the day by Kobe!

Hodge Responds

Julius Hodge thinks he is the male version of Anna Kournikova. Somehow I cannot see him pulling of a Speedo like this.

Melbourne Tiger import Julius Hodge has responded to the recent blog posted by former Adelaide teammate Brad Davidson.

Hodge down played the blog entry but responded on with a comment regarding Davidson's comparison of Julius with tennis glam girl Anna Kournikova.

He is what he had to say via

"She's very beautiful and I would like to give a thanks to Brad cause he did know that by far I am the most handsome teammate he's ever had. So, cheers mate."

Somewhere in Adelaide Rupert Sapwell is shaking his head in disbelief at this quote.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Crocs/Breakers Press Conference

Here is video footage from the Townsville Crocodiles/New Zealand Breakers press conference.

Crocs Head Coach Trevor Gleeson talks about early foul to key members of his team.

Meanwhile, Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis talks about a team contribution which allowed his Kiwi team to taste success on the road for the first time this year.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is Hodge A Good Fit?

Julius Hodge should probably be in the gym working on his jump shot instead of the beach if you ask former teamate Brad Davidson.

I've been surfing the net this morning just checking out all things basketball and this Brad Davidson blog entry is by far the most interesting read I found.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist talks about his relationship with new Melbourne Tiger Julius Hodge during their time together as teammates at Adelaide.

I will let you decide for yourself and come to your own conclusions, but it would be interesting to here from a Melbourne Tiger (hey Wortho, in between beers, give us a blog on Hodge) to see if Hodge has painted a different picture in Melbourne, than the impression he has left in Adelaide.

Here is Davidson's words, let me know what you think.

"Since Julius Hodge last left our shores in the middle of the 2008/09 season, I have said to a few people that he was the worst teammate I’d ever had on my team throughout my basketball career.

Is Julius a bad person? No he’s not. Did Julius give you everything he had on game night? Absolutely yes during his first season here in Adelaide, but the second season hmmmm - most of the time.

Julius mark 2 came in so much fanfare that you can see why he was so self centreed and deluded and I think a big factor for his attitude was he didn’t want to be here after being so close to fulfilling his NBA dream. The tech fouls, not getting back on defence and general attitude when things were going bad really hurt him in the face of the team. When a guy that really did like you say that you were a cancer for the team you gotta start to think it’s you mate, not the rest of the world that has the problem! I think the Adelaide 36ers were at fault to start the disintegration of the relationship but Julius was at fault there after but not once has he said he wished he’d done something differently so he could’ve stayed in this place that he claims to love so much. I’m pretty sure he was getting some bad advice from his American agent too (and not the first person that has had that, Schensch?).

I think it’s sad that Julius is back. He is easily the most talented player I’ve played with, but is he the best player I’ve played with? No but he should be. Make no mistake about it Julius is going to come back to Australia and put up big numbers and be in the top 3 players in the league. Do you know how good you have to be to score 25 a game and put up the numbers he does with that ridiculously bad shooting style and flat shot? It was like Anna Kournikova - her serve was the worst in women’s tennis but she was still in the top 10 in the world because the rest of her game was so good. I could say that Julius is like Kournikova and isn’t a winner but I never got a championship, so you know what they say about people in glass houses……

Everyone knew Julius and I didn’t quite see eye to eye as we are polar opposites, yet also surprisingly similar. We are both smart arses who liked getting a rise out of people. I would shoot and hit a few threes in a row and say to Julius “if you had this shot you’d be earning five million a year right now” and he would call me ‘mini me’ and enjoyed dropping some short jokes any chance he got. But that’s where the similarities end. Julius worked harder in the gym during his second season here and did spend time shooting, but this was after sitting out the parts of practice he didn’t want to participate in. I personally didn’t want to shoot with Julius after training because I’d already had my workout and didn’t need more fitness work rebounding all his misses. Besides, I would get up more game type shots in 30 mins as he would get up standing still shooting in an hour.

I’ll be interested to see whether Julius has learnt anything since he left and whether he returns with a better attitude. It will be interesting to see if he helps the Tigers get better or whether he still thinks the world revolves around his every move. Either way it’ll be good to watch!!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

What I'm Up To Today

Courtesy of the Townsville Bulletin, this is what I'm up to today.

"A FAMILIAR face strode into Townsville airport yesterday in the unfamiliar colours of the New Zealand Breakers.

Former Crocs skipper John Rillie, pictured, will take to the court tonight as the enemy in his new role as a bench player for the team from across the ditch.

The 38-year-old jokingly said he was expecting a 'standing ovation' from The Swamp faithful, but knows he may cop a bit of stick from his former fans.

But first and foremost on his mind is helping his club notch up their first win on the road for the 2009/10 season after they were beaten by 77-64 Cairns on Wednesday night.

''To tell you the truth I haven't thought about that too much after our lacklustre effort,'' he said. ''Obviously the team is a bit disappointed after our performance in Cairns. That's going to be an interesting feeling, going back there and playing.

''What happens, how it happens, I'm not sure. It's just going to be one of those things when you walk into the arena how your emotions go about it.

''We haven't tasted success on the road so right now we're just trying to get that monkey off the back.''

After earning his lifeline last week, Rillie has had time to adapt to the New Zealand program which is missing sharpshooter Kirk Penney (injury) and sacked import Awvee Storey.
Rated as one of the championship favourites at the beginning of the season, the Breakers are sitting outside of the NBL top four largely due to their poor road form.

Rillie said the club was heading in a new direction though and was confident they could get their maiden away win against his former club.

''The team's a work in progress right now, I think with the changes that they've made we're just trying to see where we're going and the direction,'' he said. ''We need a road win more than anything.

''Slowly but surely I'm coming along, I think last week was just raw emotion playing a part in at all,'' Rillie said. ''I think now playing a couple of games in a couple of nights, that will be the real test, just to see where my fitness level is.''

Rillie has played two games for New Zealand so far and scored three points against Wollongong and six points against Cairns - all three-pointers. He expected his role to be more of the same tonight but said if the shots start dropping, he could be in for a big night.

''The situation coming in, (there's) not too much expectation right now, I think it's a feeling out process,'' he said.

''I guess when I do get opportunity I've got to go out there and just make the most of it.''

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

JR & CJ Interview

I caught up with new teammate CJ Bruton before we head out on the road for a pivotal "Sunshine Swing".

Bruton talks about his time in Europe, oops, he meant New Zealand and how we are going to do on our trip to sunny North Queensland.

CJ also mentions that the weekend consists of both Saturday and Sunday, but he questions whether Head Coach Andrej Lemanis is in tune with his line of thinking.

Corey "Homicide" Williams loves competing against the best but CJ tells him he is the boss of the final ten minutes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Making The Most

Black does give a slimming look, doesn't it?

I have yet to really discuss how the opportunity came about for me to join the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL for my 16th season at the professional level.

It all happened all so quickly. A phone call from Head Coach Andrej Lemanis, a quick discussion with the wife and next minute I'm on a flight bound for Auckland.

After saying yes to the Breakers I had to make several phone calls to understanding bosses (at least I hope so) around the traps. I really appreciate the understanding these people had towards my situation in allowing me to continue playing the sport I love.

Once I landed in the land of the long white cloud (yes, this is true) the honeymoon period began.

Tuesday morning was my first practice (at this level since February) and although the team had returned from a loss in Perth, I was focused on bringing a positive energy to the group. (If there has been one thing that has been highlighted since Ive spent time away from the game, it is how lucky I am to have the ability to earn a living from something that I love to do.)

I didn't come into the group and do anything different than what I have not done at any other team I've been affiliated with, but sometimes when a team has a loss, you forget to keep the fun element in it. It is amazing what results you can achieve when there is an element of fun attached.

The first game against Perth arrived and I went into it without expectation. Hell, I have been out of the game for 9 months so what could I have expected? I knocked down a shot (I cannot believe Martin Cattalini went under a screen on me, but cheers), grabbed a few rebounds (despite what Daniel Eade said) and got the win. Everybody's happy at this point in time.

Now the honeymoon is over, it's time for us to go on the road and get the club's first road win for the season.

I head into the "Sunshine Swing" still with no expectation yet, as I'm still getting my feet wet with everything Breakers, all the while trying to get myself to a level physically that I will be happy with.

I certainly appreciate the opportunity given to me and I'm looking forward to making the most of this before I head back to the real world, whenever that may be.

I Have Internet

I'm sure you fans the other side of the ditch must have thought I was out shopping for Ugg Boots and the odd warm sheep skin jacket over the weekend, due to my lack of blogging.

Not the case. I was out of cyber world action over the weekend, but I'm back baby.

I'm not going to lie, I was sitting in my apartment with the heater on trying to guess my password to gain Internet access. The guessing game became an arduous task after a few hours of punching in a few hundred password attempts (I know now how Ben Wallace must feel at the free throw line...just hoping and praying) you can have before you think about throwing the Wi-Fi router out the window.

Give me a few hours and I'll be back to let you know what I've been up to.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's On The NBL Wires?

- - "He's a smart player and a good guy (me), " Andrej Lemanis (New Zealand Head Coach) said. "He's certainly helped already with the chemistry of practice and you can tell there's a fun feeling in the gym when he's in there talking some trash and having a good time."

- Check out one of my first interviews here in New Zealand.

- Wollongong Hawks pair take out monthly honours. Head Coach Gordie McLeod and point guard Tywain McKee have taken out the coach and player of the month award respectively.

- Diploma has officially become the Perth Wildcats major sponsor.

- Melbourne Tigers new import Julius Hodge is a comedian? Adelaide people may disagree with that.

- Adelaide 36er Chris Molitor. You have probably never heard of the 36er rookie, but here is your chance to learn something about him.

Pull The Trigger - Episode 4

In this episode Wollongong Hawk centre Cameron Tragardh chats with Iowa boy, Dave Gruber. Also, Tragardh kick starts his food drive for NBA players.