Saturday, May 9, 2009

An Open Letter From The South Dragons

South Dragons owner Raphael Geminder has come out with an open letter explaining their situation. I appreciate the honesty he speaks with. I'm sure there are a lot of people thinking the same thing.

The letter is courtesy of the Dragons website.

To our sponsors, players, staff, members and supporters,

The 2009 championship team, the Crazy Johns South Dragons have always been about aspiration. Our vision is about an exciting professional league, connecting with a thriving grass roots basketball community and in turn delivering a new level of excitement, to a sport that has lost its way.

We have achieved great things in a short period of time, the highlight being an opportunity to reform our league. The Dragons have remained committed and at the forefront of that process, in an attempt to achieving a meaningful reform.

Reform is never an easy process, its charter was to deliver financial stability, broadcasting of all games, government funding, a new governance and leadership group, a viable budget to connect with community and market the game, adequate player salaries to attract the best talent and finally playing a different period in the year. Sadly this basketball reform has run out of time and failed to deliver on any of its promises.

The Dragons have delivered on our promise, we have paid all our players and staff, we have paid all our debts and we will continue with a sprit of generosity towards the basketball community. We have built the strongest team on and off the court, but unfortunately we cannot tolerate a reform that takes the sport backwards. The reform group have done a good job, with the enormous challenges they have had, but the process has failed to deliver a meaningful change, and regrettably the league needs more time.

We urge Basketball Australia and the teams contemplating participation in a league compromised by its lack of vision or genuine reform agenda to step back and draw breath and let us all work together for 12 months to create something truly inspirational and worthy of our sport.

Minor reform won't revive this sport, we need major structural change and unless the leadership team is prepared to make the tough decisions, the Dragons will have to make the ultimate sacrifice and part company with a board that doesn't share our vision of greatness!

Thank you once again for your continued support. The Dragons have made an enormous contribution to basketball and hopefully with a meaningful reform, they will continue to inspire.

Raphael Geminder


Greg said...

I don't think you can fault the guy for having good business sense. He is not abandoning ship, just waiting for a safer port to dock. Can't say I don't agree with him to a degree.

Anonymous said...

now that the Dragons are out and now with the TIGERS also announcing they are out for 12 months I think Basketball Australia has no choice but to delay the league for a year.

You can look at that 2 ways:
* great idea - because it give the sport a lot of time to get it right.
* terrible idea because the players, sponsors, media and most importantly fans will not come back - there is a fair chance that this is the end!

Eric said...

Not to mention that at this point, If I were a player I'd be looking to secure my future overseas. All players should go looking for deals elsewhere.

JR, any chance this has been a consideration for you, or do you see your Euro opportunity behind you?

What about the northern NBL teams looking seriously at joining an Asian league for a short spell (or even long term if the terms are right). I'd think for Cairns and Townsville this would be a viable option.

Eric said...

Tigers are gone too:,21985,25454851-11088,00.html?from=public_rss

The most frustrating thing from a fan perspective is no transparency as to what the real issues are. JR can you get someone on the line from BA to give us some no-BS specifics of the issues. If they start giving Vlahov-esque answers, just kick them off mid show

Rach said...

It's a shame Geminder hasn't given you the full story- of course they're only going to publicly say what makes them look good and discredit BA when they claimed to be happy with the changes on Thursday and not on Friday. (blonde moment?)
Geminder was advised the Board replacement position vacated by another snake was not going to be available to him and not should it.
BA have learned their lesson of laying down with dogs that have selfish agendas and getting fleas.
This letter is little more than a PR spin designed to discredit a League that made the right decision- call it spite, call it what you want but please don't be so gullible and lap up whatever fodder they sell to you.

DAG said...

Whilst I do believe that letter had 'positive spin' written all over it, I have to agree with Greg to some degree.
If it was your money, would you not be nervous about things at this point? It does NOT appear to be moving in a positive direction, this point I agree with him on.

Rach said...

If I was there for the right reasons and it was my money, I wouldn't take my bat and ball and gone home leaving everybody in the lurch because I couldn't get on the Board on Thursday when my co-owner publicly stated everything was progressing fine on Wednesday.
I'd have my head screwed on a bit better than that and so would my business partner.

I was at the Bullets relaunch in September grilling these guys about how much better things need to be and the conversations I've had with them since then indicate they are doing so yet being impeded by kids who still want to play games.
They openly agreed with me that an owner or co-owner should not be on the Board- it is unprofessional and unethical particularly at a time where Australian basketball doesn't know who to trust because everybody claims to be the next saviour and simultaneously has their own secret hidden agenda they need satisfied- they don't know who the f to trust and have been burnt bad in previous years- they are still dealing with the fallout from McPeake resigning 2 weeks ago and making threats to convince others connected with support for the game to pull out too, which is not his place and incredibly childish. (I can't get what I want so I'm gonna take my friends with me- grow up!)

At the end of the day, BA have some tough decisions to make and I respect that- as a Brisbane supporter for 21 seasons to be staring down the barrel of a second season on the sidelines when the first one felt like 5 years, I don't direct my anger towards BA at all- the Brisbane contenders didn't have their sh*t together- much like most other clubs and that's not BA's fault- they knew what was expected of them a long time ago.

If they push ahead with a halfassed product, they lose credibility the first season from reform getting announced- for many that will be their measure of success or not.
If they delay (which they should- I said this the day the criteria was released after reading every page and I stand by it desite getting knocked) then in the eyes of players and club officials who are breathing down BA's neck to push ahead and not have anybody out of a job for a year, they will have blood on their hands.
They are dammed if they do and damned if they don't.
Consider what it would feel like to be on that Board right now making those decisions.

Anonymous said...

This would have to be Rachel from Basketball Australia I take it.
Take 12 months off, get some excitement back for the re launch with promotion over the next year at local stadiums and every other outlet possible, tv, radio, internet, newspapers. The board has been a let down and too slow. You cant start a league next week cause the board said its all good to go ahead this week, thats starting with a big fat fail. Get this right and relaunch it with a bang. Now you see why Derwin pulled the plug and jumped ship early. SLow and steady BA, thing about the long run, not just filling your pockets in the short.

Eric said...

Thanks Rachel, that's some good insight, and even for a fan who is disconnected by 16,000 km this sounded like an old school power play, except the reasons were not clear to us why.

So to the real issue at hand, is there a precedent of owners on a board in any other Australian sporting league and what are the pros and cons of this? Why is Geminder's non-appointment such sticking point for him? What would it prevent him from achieving? Surely in a democratic organization there can be other votes to counterbalance on person's allegedly selfish agendas?

Rach said...

Anon from BA, English must be your third language?
At what point did I suggest they not delay- can you not read?
I gave an opportunity for those who haven't (ie. people like you) considered two sides to do so.
That's what grown ups do- hopefully some day in the distant future you will develop that ability which is called integrative thinking, rather than jumping on a bandwagon and desperately clinging to it.
Next time try discussing something other that vague generalisations which we all already agree on and add some interesting angle to the mix, because a 5 year old could've come up with your 'pearls of wisdom' where you probably stayed up all night to come up with that.