Monday, May 11, 2009

Interviews Galore

This was Andrew Gaze and Mark Worthington earlier today.

Melbourne radio station SEN has been very busy today promoting the sport of basketball. Some very interesting interviews have come of this extra coverage dedicated to the sport.

- First up was South Dragon captain Mark Worthington. During the interview Andrew Gaze calls into the show to correct Worthington on a few matters. Once Gaze starts it becomes a gloves off affair between the pair.

Great stuff boys, I love it.

- Next up is Melbourne Tigers part owner Seamus McPeake. He drops the bombshell that the Tigers will not be part of any type of basketball season right now. An interesting comment to come out of this for me was, it was the first time in five years that the club did not make a profit.

- Later in the day dual Olympian Jason Smith voices his opinion on all the issues affecting basketball at this point.

- Perth Wildcat CEO Nick Marvin tries to pump up the faithful out west.


Anonymous said...

Wortho missed a VERY good opportunity to tell BA how they have shut themselves down and how bad the new NBL board has handled the communication side of things... but he 'ya know' went on 'ya know' and named called and 'ya know' did not get his point across.

Good to see Gaze have an opinion for a change tho!

Rach said...


What exactly are these generalisations about BA you refer to- do you have something specific you could elaborate on for those of us that actually have been involved in specifics?
It's very easy to sit there and knock when you're not sure what's going on- a bit like Wortho himself and other players who don't know but jump on vague bandwagons.

Rusty said...

Were Wortho and Drewy like two rhino's making out? That's awesome.

Anonymous said...

For starters - involve the players in the process! Without their support, you don't have a league.

Secondly - Make a decision and let the thousands of ppl connected to the league prepare for the season or move on

Thirdly - Stop moving the goal posts. I'm sick of hearing a decision is going to be announced and then it gets put back OR the salary cap is being reduced ETC


Andrew said...

Wortho came across very poorly here. He needs to understand that while he may be a good player, he does not have the experience nor possibly the intelligence to get involved in the business aspects of running a professional league.

ClintDogg said...

Now that's a Basketball radio show that i would listen too, and in its entirety as well.

Good voices, and not Nerdy and Geeky comments and tangents.

Eric said...

Yes, this is appalling.

Aside from Worthington giving BA a spray, there is no overview of what the key issues are. He got all puffed up like a bullfrog and came out guns blazing.

"Not as far as I know" is not an acceptable answer from someone who has just called BA "idiots" neither is accusing Gaze of "he doesn't know what is going on" when Worthington simply throws mud in the water for the purposes of explaining the issues at hand.

Without some eloquent spokespeople coming forward and outlining the key issues succinctly, the public is going to get increasingly frustrated with the NBL. You can guarantee if this was the AFL, there would be a well delineated thread of the issues at the core of the matter, or at least an attempt to.

Rod - agree that you have to involve the players in the process - but if Wortho is an example of some of the minds behind it....need more be said.

Anonymous said...

I think he came across like that because a) he's a moron and b) all he has to go on is 2nd and 3rd hand information.

Players have been left out of this process for 6 months now

Peter said...

Lots of discussion here about people not in the know in this area. To be honest that is the whole problem with BA. PEOPLE DON'T KNOW!

They have made no attempt to show us where they really are towards achieving their initial goals here and claims that they said must be part of a new league. They should just be straight up with players and clubs and say "We don't have a sponsor, nor do we have televised coverage. We think it would be wise to wait and move the season back to winter like we have discussed than push forward" instead of constantly delaying and trying to put out the forest fires rising from people whose lives revolve around this league.

If you owned a team and were losing money waiting for an administration to show they have it under control (when they clearly don't), would you want to keep pouring money into it?

Big MIke said...

Definitely not. However I'd be the first to throw the doors of transparency open if I was an owner. At least if I am going to disappoint my fans, I'm going to give them the entire picture as to why.

Anonymous said...

"Were Wortho and Drewy like two rhino's making out? That's awesome."

Touching tips but in the wrong way... actually, is there a right way?

Rach said...

Ok Rod, so you want the players involved in the process- how do you propose that?
When a business is restructuring itself completely, do they come and tap you on the shoulder and ask you and the other hundred people around the country that work there, for your feedback?
Players already have been involved in the process- they always have been- they also have the NBL Players Assoc which frequently takes concerns to them.
Most players want a crapload more money and want to contribute nothing to the development of the game for that to happen.
How will that work?
Yet another white knight?
I don't sit around waiting for a white knight every year, so why do they?
They hold one of the buggest keys in their hands and they choose not to use it, then complain.

'Just make a decision', yes, it's that easy!
What happened to listening to feedback, because all the clubs are whinging about something different and trivial and digging their heels in at various stages of the process, so you want them to listen to them and simultaneously not negotiate, just make a decision?
Sounds like you don't want them to negotiate then?

The only ones moving the goal posts are the clubs who voted in reform and continue to dictate terms as though it's their position to do so, much of which are trivial and not in the best interests of the game, but in the best interests of THEIR club.
It's hard enough to manage and liase with one unreasonable ego that can't run their club like a proper business dictating terms, try 9 of them!
See how quick you can get things done!
I agree the process has taken time- it was always going to, but nobody had a crystal ball to foresee and anticipate how many and how often individual clubs that cannot see a picture outside their own selfish wants and needs would make the process two steps forward, one step back.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The part I will agree on is when a date lapses, and they can foreseee an unreasonable negotiation/ power play/ ego trip/ control issue is taking longer than what they wanted, they need to advise people before the current deadline lapses- I will agree with you on that, rather than finding out days after the existing deadline has passed that there is a new one, but as for the reasons of this and exactly who is moving the goal posts, that is quite debatable.

Peter, you're yet another fan that has no clue and isn't interested in getting one.
The most pressure that has been on BA to push ahead has been from the clubs and players themselves unwilling to accept that in reform it might be wise to have a layoff of a year- only now are they reluctantly waking up to that now that so much nonsense has come out of the woodwork and the sport has been rubbished by ex-owners and players who have no idea what they're on about on radio and only succeded in rubbishing the sport further- they very sport they want to earn a living from.
If I publicly shit on my employer, I don't expect to have a job for long, nor does it show that I have much respect for my job or authority whether I like them or not.
So there's a few things for you to think about, if your ignorance allows it.

Eric said...


Are you at all surprised that people are on here spouting misinformation when they don't have a conduit to any credible source of knowledge? Most media reports to date have been vague and shoddy. The product of some fairly lazy and uninsightful sports writing.

If you do have a solid grasp on the issues, which it appears you do, break it down for us. Calling people out solves very little. However I have not yet seen a post saying "Here are the key issues at stake" from both sides of the fence. I would LOVE your input on this if you have it.

What are these "selfish" wants that the clubs are after? Which clubs and what specifically are we taking about?

At the same time a bit of empathy for some of these guys would be warranted. Comments like "Most players want a crapload more money and want to contribute nothing to the development of the game...." are not constructive at this point. I don't see JR sitting on the couch saying "give me money" just "let me know". It's a completely understandable sentiment from someone who is facing the prospect of their career being suddenly over. This is about more than just teams and fans, lots of lives and families are being affected in a big way and I think you'd be positioned to know this better than most.

Peter said...

Go back and read it again Rach....

Personally I coach basketball so I am not overly worried about the NBL, more worried about getting my guys into college. That said, watch the video JR put up and then try to say I am wrong about the league needing to keep people involved. They say it should be a business plan, they are right and having good employees is part of it. Whilst some have been acting poorly, BA hasnt exactly been fostering a good relationship with people by being closed mouthed to all the players about it (again go watch what JR said if you think they are).

Wortho was stupid for shooting his mouth off without knowing anything but I can see it coming from frustration and he is correct in one thing which is it is all beginning too late. If they wanted to run a new league this soon, things needed to begin much earlier. How can you expect Sengstock (an excellent appointment) to make the necessary change in such a short time.

Like I said initally, the league said the right things with what it needed to achieve to become a successful league business wise, they have sadly not given themselves the time to implement it properly and haven't been open about it.

Greg said...

In the words of Andrew Gaze (via verbal spar with Wortho) - I think you are being 'grossly unfair' to the players, Rachel.

I think you may have exaggerated your estimation that 'most' players want more money for nothing. I am aware of a number of players (JR and Mat Campbell immediately come to mind although I trust there are a host of others) who are very proactive in the POSITIVE promotion of basketball in this country.

Making that blanket generalisation is no more positive for relations between players, clubs, and BA than Worthington ridiculous rant about BA. You just happen to see one side of it.

I agree with Eric. Maybe JR would set aside a post for you to outline just what you know and go from there. It may be helpful in opening some lines of communication???

Anonymous said...

Rachel - now who is generalising?

"Most players want a crapload more money and want to contribute nothing to the development of the game for that to happen."


Now if you seriously want players input, get them involved right from the start and KEEP THEM INFORMED. You don't just consult them and forget them. How many times in the past 2 months have the players' assoc been contacted?

If the owners were the cause of the shifting goal posts, here is where BA should have shown leadership! Set the rules and say if you don't like it leave. It finally happened with Dragons & Tigers but it took 2 months to get there, putting the whole process WAY behind.

Which brings me to my next point, this process should have started way before the season ended to give EVERYONE more time.

One more thing: "If I publicly shit on my employer, I don't expect to have a job for long"

The same thing works the other way, if your employer treats you like shit and doesn't consult the workers, they won't stick around through the tough times will they?

Rach said...

Don't assume I don't have empathy for the ones that have their heads screwed on properly- many have been in a similar situation before over the years and you'd be surprised at how quickly some forget and get cocky again.
The ones that do nothing to nurture the sport, and my own ex-team are one of many who are guilt of this, do themselves no favours while they wait for yet another rich white knight to save them from what is for many clubs around the world, a decent income stream for 6 months' work.
I will even go as far as saying some are grossly overpaid, and still whinge they don't get enough compared to so-and-so.
You'd be surprised at what you get told away from the court and away from the cameras and microphones where there's a public image to protect, and over the years I've got to know many of them and butted heads over many topics- I spend my energy on the ones that don't claim they want things better but do nothing to fix it- they want someone else to make the sacrifices so they can reap the rewards- no progress comes without some sacrifice- you'd think they'd all know that, right?
But it seems many think once they've 'made it' the learning and sacrifices and ups and downs should stop- it doesn't for the rest of us and this sport is no different in that regard.
The empathy I have is for players who respect the fans and the fact that even in a global recession, there are basketball nuts who still want to donate their own hard-earned income into their pockets, while many don't want to give back to a game that has looked after them so well- coaching clinics, appearances, several of the criteria of a 12 month calendar of events has been met with contempt by nearly every club- funnily enough, this is what keeps money steadily streaming into the sport- not white knights and the see-saw effect they have for players, sponsors and fans.
The players hold the key to positively promoting the game- this is what I had as a kid that kept me saving my pocket money from household chores to take to Boondall every week and be in awe of this game and the heroes it created.
Unfortunately, it created a lazy and ungrateful culture for many that is now so entrenched in clubs that it is very hard to shift, because they've had it good for so long.
Do you know how many players who are negotiating contracts will tell their agents who are on the verge of signing, that if they get the development players to do the clinics etc then they'll probably sign.
Who the hell do they think they are?
The majority of the players the sports needs promoting it are the ones who feel they are now too 'big' to do more than train, play, lift weights, play x-box and go to the pub- the public doesn't want to see development players- they want the drawcards!
So the issue of a 12 month calendar of events and BA checking and enforcing it has been a HUGE sticking point for most clubs- it has taken so much negotiation away from important things.

Secondly, player payments as we know it will cease to exist and incomes will be linked to the ATO.
Now there are ways to rort that which I'm not going to go into, but these things are suggested and implemented for good reasons, not bad ones.
We complain about clubs that buy championships and the Dragons and Tigers spending $2.2mil on their roster, then whinge on the radio that the Chairman didn't come and see my play in the Grand Final- on all the days it was on, I went OUT- I didn't want to contribute my time or energy to 2 teams in particular who've learnt nothing from people like Eddy who think about today and not tomorrow, because when you buy a ball club that you privately run yourself the way you want, showing up to games and not engaging fans for the rest of that time, then holding your hand out for a financial donation from the public when you overspend, that's pretty ballsy... if you get yourself into the mess by ignoring key things that avoid the problem, then you can get yourself out- the public are not stupid and nor are business people with money who overwise might have got involved.

So in answer to your question, they are the main two sticking points because egotistical clubs don't want to lose control- the very thing they're not supposed to have over the League and other teams.
You should only worry about BA controlling it UNIFORMLY if you're dodgy, because the plans are good and there is little room for bullshitting the process- that makes some people uncomfortable, even though they voted for reform and part of reform is restructure and handing over control to ensure a consistent experience for everybody.

Anonymous said...

There is one thing I know about you for SURE - you do love basketball and are passionate about it's rise back up again.

We need more like you in charge of the game.

Rach said...

Thankyou Rod, likewise.
And I haven't watched JR's video to be honest.
I firmly believe we can get back to those days, but only if we kick out the cowboys- the McPeakes, the Cowans, the Geminders, etc because their mindsets and agendas are all wrong- they want control and pull their finance if they don't get what they want, so everybody goes running to pacify them again and the circle of stupidity continues, because the new criteria doesn't allow for agendas or cheating.

When people used to shit on Brisbane at the time of our exorbitant salaries and results, I used to get defensive when other clubs and fans bitched about us, but since then there are other clubs doing the same, so where did their wisdom go when they were serving it up to us?
It's time to get real and put aside how you feel about your own preferred club, because the problems have long surpassed my club vs your club- there'll be a day in the near future to return to that and keep the competitive juices flowing, but that time is not now because there are bigger fish to fry that goes way beyond your allegiance to your club that are crying out for attention.
People who say it how it is are not the enemy- we're on the same side but see things differently since we grew up and went into areas like Business and Management for a living- we see the hipocrisy and want it removed.
It would be like me telling JR how to nail 3's when it's not my forte- we provide constructive criticism not because we're assholes but because we see a lot of the choices being made with short-term gain and long-term problems like a car crash in slow motion- we say it so you can take heed and make a smarter choice- no other reason.

At the end of the day, people buy on emotion- that's rule 101 of Sales because at the end of the day no matter what you're doing, you're hoping for a transaction where money exchanges hands.
If customers and potential customers don't have an emotional connection with your product, (the players and clubs being the product/ service and the hardcore fans/ sometimes fans/ those that use to be interested then walked are the customers) they will walk and that's what many have done because they don't see the right passion in the players anymore- just an obsession with coin and big talking.
Fans get involved creating rivalries with other teams because it's what keeps them emotionally involved and connected- these things are healthy, so if you take that and stomp on it (irrespective of it seeming intentional or not- the outcome is still the same) and leave after a year for more money then they lose a part of that connection and if it happens for long enough they no longer see any value in parting with their money to put a butt on a seat- if it doesn't matter to the players, then why should it matter to the fans?
They learn what they see and the unspoken signal is: you don't matter to me.... anymore.

I remember what those days were like and I refuse to believe they are gone for good because if we did it once we can do it again but it will take a massive shift in consciousness that many people still won't accept- they want change, but only if they don't have to change anything about themselves to get it.