Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ustream Is Where It's At


Australia's David Anderson is heading to the NBA.Photo: Peter Meecham (source..The Age)
Interesting...looks more like Matt Nielsen to me.
Well people, I have been playing around with a new media tool called Ustream. I thought I had mastered the concept but after checking out what I thought would be the final product, I hit delete.

I will use the weekend as a self help training seminar so hopefully we can do some live streaming next week where fans can ask questions a I answer them live.

I'm looking forward to making this into a totally interactive segmenton a regular basis.

In the meantime,sorry about the lack of blogging while I explore my new toy. Here are some news links to keep you occupied.

News

- Fox Sports to cover at least 50 NBL games this upcoming season. An added bonus will be the coverage next month of both the men's and women's national teams. Fans will be able to check out the Boomers and Opals from their living room when we take on the Kiwis in August.
- "It's closer for Perth than going to Sydney and it's closer to Sydney than going to Perth." (courtesy of the NT News)
Stanford grad Andrew Vlahov had me thinking about this wording for quite some time, but I think I got it.
Darwin is closer for both Sydney and Perth, than each other?

- NBL boss believes that Sydney and Brisbane will be back in next season.
- Basketball Australia's CEO Larry Sengstock likes the Wollongong Hawks model.
- Look out, it's the Perth Hardcats with Rob Beveridge at the helm.
- It's official, Rich Melzer is a Cairns Taipan. Did someone hint at this a little while ago?
- Oregon Duck assistant coach Mike Dunlap still shopping in Australia.
- Gold Coast Blaze sign their first import, Michael Joiner.
- Former Adelaide 36ers Brad Davidson gives a brief review of Game 1 in China. There is an Aussie All Star team touring with Andrew Gaze as the coach.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shaq Hosts WWE

Stevie Wonder saw this one coming, but it is worth it. Shaq has WWE skillz.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everything Via A Link

Gaze.com.au journo Daniel Eade believes I have been linked to Perth, Wollongong and Cairns. Mr Eade here are the things that I have been linked to today. Enjoy!

Check out the latest from the blog world.

- Former South Dragons media guy Ed Wyatt has his own blog. The full time American/part time Aussie rants and raves about everything sport, and he has a sports show on radio.

- New basketball blogger
Litres of Ink looks like he will provide some interesting reads through the NBL season.

- Thanks to
Scibz' Spiel for the recent hat tip.

- My man Mookie and his
A Stern Warning blog has a good article on new Perth Wildcats import Kevin Lisch.

- Brad Davidson is currently in China with an Aussie team that is playing against the local National team. Might be worth dropping by
his blog to see how the three game series pans out.

News

- St Mary's bound Matthew
Dellavedova's career is moving forward at a rapid rate.
-
Adelaide 36ers sign import John Gilchrist for the season. The former Maryland Terrapin has produced the goods during his two week trial period.

- Cairns
Tiapans are trialling an import. Former Ball State combo guard Julien "Skip" Mills will have to prove he can fit the team "dynamic" during his ten day trial.

My former ballboy Adam Morrison does his bit for charity.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Under 23 Rule Continued


Thank you Luc Longley for choosing college over the NBL - Michael Jordan.
Yesterday I started to blog about the under 23 rule the NBL has ran with over the past few years.
Today I will continue to elaborate and expand one why I think this rule needs to be scrapped.

Still using some of the material from Boti Nagy's article, lets take a look at this quote from someone from within the hallways of the NBL office.

"The whole rationale behind reserving one place for a young Australian player within each team's 10 contracted roster positions was to offer an alternative pathway for athletes looking for elite competition to the U.S. college system."

News alert. Gone are the days that young Aussie hoopers are happy to dream of pulling on the jersey of their home team (providing they have one). There is a bigger picture that has been created by the likes of Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Andrew Bogut and Pat Mills' success at the college level.

Aussies are running to the US college system in record numbers in the hope that they can keep working on and improving their games with the hope that the moneytrain called the NBA or Europe comes calling after a period of time.

Sure, over the past few years we have seen Joe Ingles and Brad Newley forgo the college route to stay home and develop via the NBL, but they have now been lost to our game. (It would be interesting to see if either of these guys would reconsider their path taken.) Plus they are the exception to the rule.

If basketball in Australia wants to provide a pathway for juniors to the pro level in this country, they need to cultivate a better system than the current.

Basketball needs to find it's "cash cow" so each NBL franchise can implement (something similar to the NRL) an u/23's competition in conjunction with the NBL.

Although this sounds good in theory, I'd still debate whether there is enough junior depth to support such a concept but if we are to change the landscape of our sport something like this has to take place.
It would be great to see the development of the likes of Brock Motum, Cody Ellis and Jorden Page right before our eyes instead of heading across the Pacific to college. But the simple fact that our sport does not have a system in place to stop this exodus we cannot throw rules in to make it look like we are developing youth.

Go through the NBL rosters and look at the u/23 player at each team. Please let me know who you think will have a productive 10 year career in the NBL. My pencil is still very sharp.

Tell me what last year's Young Australian Players Steven Broom and Zac carter are doing now?

The best option for kids right now is to head to college in the USA and continue to develop their game, while getting an education as well.
There is no doubting that I'm in favour of the college experience. I'm a great example of this path as there is no way I would have achieved what I did in the game without spreading my wings and heading to the northern hemisphere for college.

I hope the NBL has an overhaul of the age rule rather soon so we stop penalizing kids that are simply taking the best career path on offer right now.

News

- Joe Ingles is close to signing in Europe with CB Granada. (you will google translator)

- Townsville Crocodiles sign Mackay junior Todd Blanchfield.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Under 23 Rule & Bad Promos

I feel your pain Brad (Davidson).

I have had many an animated discussion with various people in the basketball fraternity, so it is time to share my thoughts on this topic.

First and the most obvious point to me is, the NBL is a professional league and has to be striving to put the best available talent on the court. By restricting one of the ten available roster spots per team, every year you are going to lose talent just to fulfill this age limit obligation.

Let's use the Adelaide 36ers as an example to highlight my point. It looks as though veteran point guard Brad Davidson is going to lose out so the 36ers can make good on filling a roster spot with a wet nose kid who has not earned his stripes.

I'll highlight this example a step further. Final game of the season and the 36ers need to win to make the playoffs. No playoff birth for the 36ers and Head Coach Scott Ninnis is out of a job because someone in the front office believes they underachieved with the roster they have put together.

Does Ninnis feel more comfortable looking down his bench and seeing Brad Davidson or some kid who has the right date of birth (that allows him to squeak a year or two out in the NBL until he turns 23..another point I will get to later) when import John Gilchrist fouls out of the game?

The answer is a no brainer.

I use the 36ers as purely an example. I can go through nearly every other roster in the NBL and make a similar case.

For now I will end this post here because I have just wound myself up just writing about this topic. Sorry, but I have a passion and desire for this game to succeed in this country. When basketball has the audacity to call it "professional" sport but we put so many restrictions on players, it really leaves me shaking my head.

If I have cooled down by tomorrow, I will express my feelings on the AIS/US college part of this argument.

News

- Australian Boomers name squad to tour South America. There are six new faces that will pull on the green and gold for the first time. Young guns Jason Cadee and St Mary's bound Matthew Dellavedova will make their debut.

Washington State grad Aron Baynes has decided green and gold is more to his liking than black and white. another win for the Aussies over the Kiwis.

Utah Ute grad Luke Nevill gets his chance to impress Head Coach Brett Brown.

New Adelaide 36ers centre Matt Burston has done well to overcome some horrific injures and get the chance to represent his country.

Last tour's captain James Harvey and Washington St bound Brock Motum were not selected due to injury.

- Former assistant coach of the South Dragons,Guy Molloy, to head to Ballarat.

- Former St Louis Billiken Kevin Lisch is bringing his defense to Perth.

If he brings more defense than offense to the west, the janitor at the Wildcats practice facility will not be changing the nets too often. Between Lisch, Brad Robbins and Damien Martin, someone will need to put points on the board.

Oops, I forgot Martin Cattilini has returned to the west.
- Look for former New Zealand Breaker import Rich Melzer to be teaming up with a fellow Minnesota native on an NBL roster this season.

- Just sniffing around You Tube and found these two Aussie NBA stars (Andrew Bogut and Nathan Jawai) shooting some interesting (low budget) commercials.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Your Daily Links

Running a little late this morning so I will just provide you with a handful of links at this early hour.

Enjoy your Friday.

- Boti Nagy makes a good point about age/college. I will be expressing my thoughts on this over the weekend.

- New Zealand lose to Estonia in European tour opener.

- Cairns Taipans Head Coach Aaron Fearne starts putting in his philosophies.

- Shellharbour, NSW the next hotbed for young Aussie hoopers?

- Cleveland Daily Banner speaks to Darnell Mee about his future.

- Dallas Maverick Nathan Jawai feels extended court time with the Australian Boomers will help his NBA cause.

- Catch the latest news from the Boomers Sydney camp with Nathan Jawai and assistant coach Shane Heal.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

That's Gold

For those people who are not NBA followers, the defending LA Lakers and power forward Lamar Odom have stalled in the contract negotiation stakes. Some may say it has been very quiet from Odom's side.

That's not the point here though.

I stole this You Tube footage from A Stern Warning but the credit for this master piece has to go creator A Royal Pain.

Congrats with the great creativity Royal. You now have another reader.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

David Andersen To Be A Rocket

Let me clear this up. Since I have posted about NBA bound David Andersen signing today, people have been saying it is old news.

The old news was that David Andersen's right were traded last week from the Atlanta Hawks to the Houston Rockets.

It was only today that the dual Olympian Andersen signed a deal with the Western Conference team.

So the deal is for 3 years at $2.5mil a season. The third year is the Rockets option.

Andersen's former European team Barcelona will receive around $500 000 from the Rockets as a buyout.

Here is an article from a Houston paper.

Wollongong Hawks Kicking Goals Off The Court

Will it be the year of the hawk?

The Wollongong Hawks may have scratched and clawed it's way back into the NBL I'm not sure how many times, but the "Steel City" is now kicking goals off the court.

Sure, with only half their team signed (look for an import signing today) I'm not sure how games the Hawks will win, but right now they are leading the competition off the court. They have just released a social networking page "I Am A Hawks Fan", which should see many a basketball fan drop by and add their two cents in.

I will be interested to see how many clubs jump on the bandwagon and join the Hawks in the cyber social networking sector.

Well done Wollongong, but I cannot stop thinking, Gordie McLeod and 80's porn when I see some of those pictures.

News

- SlamOnline provides us with a Corey "Homicide" Williams piece. Here is just a little taste.

“Australia has been good to me. Guys play in a lot of places, and I’ve jumped around a lot of places, but I’ve never had as much success as I’ve had here. So why leave? You find your niche, you stay there. It’s working for me, and they’re good to me, so I’m staying," Williams told Slam Online.

- The NBL's resident pest, Brad Davidson, is on the outer with the Adelaide 36ers all thanks to the u/23 rule.

- Dwayne Vale is back with the Cairns Taipans.

- Victorian junior Brett Seljak is heading to the USA's college system.

- Scott Cook remains unsigned despite putting up big numbers in the ABA.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fox Sports Are Back

Steve Carfino and Andrew Gaze will be in your living room twice a week this season.

NBL fans should be dancing in the streets thanks to Fox Sports.

I'm hearing that the NBL will be announcing that Fox Sports will be back on board to the tune of two games per week. (A very big improvement on last year's coverage package.)

Round 2's Wednesday night clash (30th September) between this season's heavy weights, Melbourne Tigers and the New Zealand Breakers, will kick start the 2009/10 season's viewing on the idiot box.

Along with Big Wednesday on most Saturday night's you will be able to sit in the comfort of your lounge chair and catch a live NBL game.

Perth Wildcat fans will be happy to know that Fox will be packing up their cameras and heading west at least five times during the regular season. A much better deal for the wild west fan this time around.

If this is the final deal (the two parties have been at the negotiating table for some time now) that has been done between the NBL and Fox Sports, fans should start to be getting excited for the upcoming season.

Now I will start to get a little greedy and hope that an announcement of a major sponsor is not too far behind either.

NEWS

- The Cairns Post remembers Darnell Mee.

- Phill Jones and family make the move north.

- Corey Williams is looking to bring a title to Townsville.

- Wollongong junior Daniel Jackson is back with the Hawks.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Morning News

Anna Bligh showing here shooting ability while in Cairns. Looks like netball is more her go.

Here is the latest and greatest news in the world of hoops while you enjoy your morning coffee. Like me, news is a little lean.

- New Zealand Tall Blacks to tour Europe with a seventeen year old to make his debut.

- Luke Schenscher returns to practice with Adelaide 36ers. Do not get too excited 36er fans, he is just getting in some workouts before he heads into the next Australian Boomers camp.

Schenscher is still looking to head to Europe for this upcoming season, otherwise the New Zealand Breakers may make another run at him.

- Anna Bligh and the Queensland Goverment get into bed with Snakes.

- Former Western Kentucky product Darnell Mee will move on with life.

- Looking to read material by a budding Ausssie sports journalist? Check out 17yo James Wong and his articles that are on Bleacher Report.

- There were no Aussies involved in yesterday's Vegas Summer League.





- Look for the Townsville Crocodiles to sign young Mackay junior Todd Blanchfield as their Development Player. The former AIS graduate is currently playing for the Mackay Meteros in the Queensland Basketball League.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is David Barlow Heading To Spain?

IS David Barlow heading to Spain?

It is amazing what you can dig up on the internet these days. As I was deciding on what to blog about today I just happened to stumble upon this rather interesting piece of news.

If I'm reading this right and getting the gist of the Spanish language, it seems the Melbourne Tiger guard David Barlow could be heading to CAI Zaragoza in the Spanish ACB League.

What I have done for the beauty of the English reader is provide a link to the Spanish article while providing a loose translation into English. I think you can get the picture of this story from the translation.

"Queremos cerrar a Barlow cuanto antes" is the title of the Spanish article which comes courtesy of diarioequipo.com.

Here is the article translated into English thanks to Google.

"We want to close sooner Barlow " Negotiations between the club and David Barlow Aragonese are becoming closer to closure

CAI Zaragoza has almost tied to David Barlow, but has to wait for the final confirmation, because "nothing is signed," explained sports director fell, Willy Villar, who was cautious about the details of the negotiation.

Villar recognized that "there is much interest in this player, we are on it and we will try to close as soon as possible", so in the coming days we could have confirmation of a new addition to the template club pink. The fall sports director warned that "it is a matter of formality" failure to ensure that the CAI Barlow played in the upcoming season, and that until everything is still closed "you can undo what we have come so far."

David Barlow, 25, is a wing of 2.05 meters very versatile, plus their English passport would leave the door open to players who occupy the seats outside. The player has a great curriculum in the Australian NBL, where he has three titles and good statistics. In the last season with the jersey of the Melbourne Tigers managed to half of 15.7 points, 5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, showing a good hand from the three point line, with a hit of 39%.

Barlow is one of the major players in the Australian selection, providing minutes of quality peer level Andrew Bogut and David Andersen. He moves well for jobs with good movements and external good hand, as well as take your height and strength to help near the rim. If it closes its recruitment is one of the key objective for the promotion."

As this has only been fresh on the net for an hour and I have heard nothing off it beforehand, I endeavour to chase the validity of this story up.

I guess the beauty of this for the Tigers is they have an import spot up their sleeve or maybe a spot for a Aussie veteran.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Uniforms, Interviews & Photos


Today the Townsville Crocodiles released their new look home uniform.

Are you a fan of the new black dominant look?

As soon as I saw the design I immediately thought of the New Zealand Breakers though.

I do like how they are going with Townsville on the front of the away uniform.

- Billy Baxter from Basketball Australia caught up with new Houston Rocket David Andersen. Click here for the audio interview.

- Brad Newley is now coming off the bench for the Houston Rockets at the Vegas Summer League, but he put forth a solid performance. 9pts and 3rebs.

- Former Sydney King import, Dontaye Draper is lining up for the Denver Nuggets in Vegas.


The Stanford graduate has proposed that the Northern Territory host an eight team NBL Pre Season Tournament.

Great thinking Andy. Players always enjoy playing in these type of deals (Unless you are Melbourne Tigers Sam MacKinnon and Perth Wildcat Martin Cattalini. They just come along for the meet and greet, whack some ice on their knees and watch from the sidelines.) especially when they are at a location such as Darwin.
I hope this gets over the line as it will be good for basketball in the NT.

- Adelaide 36ers are deciding whether to go with youth or experience.




Andersen A Rocket & Former Falcon Johnson Making It In Asia

Andersen was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks 7yrs ago without playing a game, now he will suit up for the Houston Rockets.


*** David Andersen will be in a Houston Rockets jersey this season. Yesterday his rights were traded to the Rockets by the Atlanta Hawks and it seems that the Australian born Andersen will be seen in Rocket Red instead of his Barcelona jersey.

It has been a long time coming for Andersen as he has become a proven performer at all levels in Europe for many years.

- Former Newcastle great Michael Johnson seems to be making a name for himself in Asia.

Johnson originally headed to Asia with Bob Turner to Singapore to help run the now defunct Slingers of the NBL (Australia).

Read the article (courtesy of sports inquirer.net) below to get some type of idea of what Johnson will be getting himself in for. I get lost in the banter a little but maybe you can get a better idea than me.

"NO WAY WILL HE allow Fiba-Asia secretary general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock to be involved in the Asian Basketball League.

This was Mikee Romero’s strong reaction when I asked him to confirm a tip from his Singapore-based friend Paul Monozca.

Paul said Dato Yeoh of Malaysia will be on top of the ABL and it will be Yeoh’s group that will run the technical aspect of the league.

* * *
Mikee said that was the initial plan of the organizers—to install Dato Yeoh as head of the ABL’s technical committee.


“But I protested. I told them that if they push through with this plan, I would pull out the Philippine team. They reconsidered. We are giving that post instead to Michael Johnson, a former player of Australia’s NBL.”

Mikee said the ABL is a professional league and should, therefore, be independent. It’s not true, he clarified, that the ABL board is composed of Fiba-Asia officials.

“It is the team owners who will sit on the board,” Mikee said.

* * *
Mikee reminded me of his unforgettable experience with Dato Yeoh two years ago.


“I may have forgiven him but I cannot forget the incident in Jakarta where he did not allow Sam Ekwe to play for our national team.”

Mikee recounted that the RP-Harbour Centre squad flew to Jakarta to compete in the Seaba qualifier to the Champion’s Cup.

“We didn’t think that we needed any other additional documents for Ekwe, a Nigerian, since Julius Nwosu, who is also a Nigerian, had been allowed to play the year before without any specials papers required,” Mikee said.

But Dato Yeoh did not agree, he said.

“He would not allow Ekwe to play unless we secured clearance from the Nigerian Basketball Association. At that time it was already too late to get that document. We were caught flatfooted.

“We were practically begging Dato for consideration, based on the fact that Nwosu was allowed to play in the same tournament the year before without presenting a clearance from Nigeria.”

* * *
Mikee said this particular incident had prompted Patrick “Pato” Gregorio, then the
executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, to resign from his post.

For three days in a row, Pato made an appointment with Dato Yeoh, Mikee said.

“For three days in a row, he did not show up at the appointed place and on the appointed hour. We never got through to him. Consequently, Ekwe never got to play,” recalled Mikee.

The Philippines was forced to play All-Filipino without Ekwe, who was entered as an import.
“We ended up in second place. We were the defending champion,” he said.


Mikee said he cannot allow things like these to happen in the ABL. That’s why Fiba-Asia will not have a part in the new league, which he said will be formally launched on Aug. 8 in Singapore."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Spell Check On E-Bay Please


They were some serious socks!
It has been brought to my attention by one of my regular readers, that there is a trading card of mine on E-Bay and it's going price ($1) is performing none better than former teammate and now Adelaide 36ers Head Coach Scott Ninnis' did. (The good thing is my Mum has time to fix this problem. She will as high as $5 + postage.)

But, after laying a keen eye over this stellar limited edition Coca Cola Futura NBL Future Forces card, the owner of the card has absolutely butchered my name. I know for a fact that John Aille does not possess as deadly a jumpshot as yours truly.

If the seller, "modelcarsv8", wants to get top dollar for this very sought after card he better amend the spelling of my name to John Rillie, quickly.

There is still 6 days and hours left on the bidding, but do not leave your run too late. I would hate to see you miss out on this great piece of memorabilia. Buy it and I will personally sign it for you, for free.

Happy bidding.

- The "Save The Sixers" Consortium has worked hard over the recent off season to keep the Adelaide 36ers alive.

Now they have entrusted the franchise to new CEO Ben Fitz-Simmons.

Check out this A Current Affair piece and see how this young local punter has gone from fan to top dog in his own backyard.

- Former Maryland Terrapin John Gilchrist impresses during his first practice session with the Adeliade 36ers.

- Minnesota native turned Aussie punter Dusty Rychart has arrived in snake territory. Rychart has become a journeyman in the NBL, now joining his fifth team, the Cairns Taipans.

Monday, July 13, 2009

V8's & Robbie Fowler

Sir Robbie Fowler will have a happy snap with anyone.


I have never been one to fully appreciate motor racing in any capacity but my perception has changed all thanks to the V8 Supercars. An absolute magic weekend up here in Townsville as the city hosted it's first ever V8 event.

I was fortunate enough to invited along to enjoy some corporate hospitality on Sunday. I did not know what to expect but the minute I entered the circuit and smelt a few petrol fumes, I was in.

It did not hurt that my seat was in full view of a Hair Pin Corner (not sure about the terminology), so the day was full of scrapes and nudges as the cars tried to navigate the corner at speed.

Besides the racing, I was lucky enough to meet the latest sporting legend to make his way to Townsville. English Premier League God Robbie Fowler was enjoying the same hospitality as I. As you can see he does not mind posing for a happy snap.

Like motor racing my knowledge of soccer, yes soccer, is very limited but I will make my way out to Dairy Farmers stadium to catch the North Queensland Fury in action.

If I learnt anything on the weekend it was you can appreciate something without having to totally understand the finer points.

I wish Robbie and the rest of the Fury the best of luck for this coming A-League season.

Back to the racing. I included the video footage so you could hopefully get a taste of the noise these machines produce.

Unlucky for Jason Bright (18th) and his team that the day was not a little more successful. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Bright earlier on in the week so he become "my guy" to follow. As well, he runs his own team so a few local companies come on board as sponsors so it added a local feel to it.

Maybe next year with a little more support from the north, success with find Mr Bright and his Fujitsu Team.

I was always happy for Townsville to host an event of this magnitude because it is great for the community to gain such exposure but now I cannot wait for next year to roll around so I can smell those fumes and rubber burning again.



"Homicide" Williams Is A Croc & Aussies In Vegas

Dunk you very much. Twitter confirms "Homicide" will be back in Townsville.

I'm sure if you read my latest post you may have still had a little uncertainty as to Corey "Homicide" Williams was returning to the Townsville Crocodiles this season.

Well, I'm here to tell you that "Homicide" must be a regular reader of this blog because he did drop the news of him signing with the Crocodiles via
Twitter yesterday.

These two messages in succession on Corey's Twitter page are enough for me to believe that he is a Croc for next season.

Here is how "Homicide" broke the news via Twitter, so you can make up your own mind.


"it's green and yellow one more time!!!!! Da Ville here we go again" from web (@chomicide)

"I AM THE FACE OF THE NATION YOU CAN'T HAVE CROC NATION WITHOUT THE FACE OF THE NATION CROC NATION STAND UP! GREEN MACHINE LETS GO BABY" from web (@chomicide)

News

- ``I said I'd need to see (tape of) someone pretty impressive to change my mind about going (to Las Vegas) and John (Gilchrist) is that player,'' Scott
Ninnis told the Adelaide Advertiser. ``He's just knocked our socks off."

Adelaide 36ers Head Coach Scott Ninnis talking up the prospect of former Maryland Terrapin point guard John "don't call me Adam" Gilchrist.

I wonder if Ninnis was wearing the popular 1990's tube sock when he made the decision?

- While on the 36ers, former import Julius Hodge is trying his luck in the NBA again. Over the summer he will join the Chicago Bulls at various Summer Leagues.

During this
recent radio (am850 the Buzz Sports Radio) interview, Hodge talks about how he is ready to rejoin the NBA.

He mentions how his "jumper" is ready.

My two cents worth on Julius' jump shot. It will be ready when my shotblocking abilities are NBA ready.

NBL fans take note, Julius believes that the French league is a little better than what Australia (NBL) has to offer.

- Brad Newley entered Day 2 of the
Vegas Summer League looking to put forward a better performance from Day 1. His Houston Rockets had a win over Nathan Jawai's Dallas Mavericks.

Newley
was solid in his performance with 9pts (3-6) and pulling down four boards.

Jawai did not play in this game.

- Fellow South Australian Joe Ingles was in action as well. Ingles had a quiet night shooting the ball (
1-7 for 3pts) but he chipped in with 8 boards.

- North Queensland product Aron Baynes is playing for the NBA champions, LA Lakers in Vegas.

He was solid without being eye catching yesterday with
4pts and 4rebs of the bench.

- And just in case you missed it, Pat
Mills will miss the entire Summer League circuit because of a broken foot.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Corey "Homicide" Williams To Make Decision Via You Tube?

No wonder "Homicide" wants to come back to Australia, he does not have to live out of the boot of his car.

It seems that New York streetball king Corey "Homicide" Williams will be bringing his NY swagger back to North Queensland for the upcoming 2009/10 NBL season.

On Friday night local television station WIN(Ch 9) hinted that Williams will be heading back across the Pacific very soon. The Townsville Crocodiles are staying mum on the topic for the time being.

I'll build on the speculation by contributing that I believe you will be able to see "Homicide" Williams make his announcement via You Tube in the near future.
If I'm making an announcement of my "franchise" player via cyber space I'm going with the new and hip microblogging forum, Twitter. Twitter is the here and now. It is now the Beyonce' of the world wide web, whereas You Tube has slowly faded to the Destiny's Child.

Here are a few examples of how Twitter has created headlines over the NBA offseason to date.

Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love informed everyone that Kevin McHale would not be back as his head coach this upcoming NBA season.

Then Twitter junky Charlie Villanueva lets the world know he is no longer a free agent and signs with the Detroit Pistons. I wonder if new Pistons Head Coach John Kuester will mind if Charlie tweets at half time?

I know Corey is a colourful and an imaginative character, so I'm expecting something special if he is going to use the cyber world to his advantage when he makes an announcement regarding his playing future.

"The 50 Cent of Streetball" As Previously Seen On You Tube

Thursday, July 9, 2009

V8's Hit The 'Ville & Newley Is Smart


How is James Harvey linked to this model? Read on to find out.
The V8 Supercars are upon us here in Townsville for the first time in history. There is a fantastic buzz around the town and I cannot wait to go out on Sunday and be a "petrol head" for a day.

So in honour of the V8's I've found the best eight links from the day.

- I was glad I was lying down when I heard Houston Rocket James White describe Brad Newley as "smart". White actually
pays Newley a great complement in this interview.

- Former Michigan St championship winning teammates Dave Thomas and Adam Ballinger make the news for different reasons today.

First Ballinger.
The red head has become an Aussie today. For his American friends that read this, as of today Adam will be known as "Bluey" down under.

As for Thomas, it has finally become official that
he joins the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL.

This means that he rejoins CJ Bruton, an old teammate of his with the Canberra Cannons.

Do you remember them?

- The Wollongong
Hawks have asked the students of the local University of Wollongong to help them sell out game one.

I'm sure if this becomes a success story, we will see more clubs follow suit.

- Ever heard of model Siobhan Parekh? If you haven't, join the line I was standing in before I came across
this article.

Gold Coast Blaze's James Harvey was the first in a long line of athletes to date the bikini model.

Boy, do I have some questions for James next time I bump into him.

- The young and the not so young in the NBL make news.

Cairns
Taipans have re-signed speedy local Kerry Williams for the 2009/10 NBL season.

I'll be interested to see if Coach Aaron Fearne hands the 22 year old the keys to the team or he uses him as a spark off the bench.

On the other side of the ledger, elderly Perth businessman Jack
Bendat has joined the Basketball Australia board.

- Jordan
Crawford dunked on LeBron James. But as we find out, we will never see how it went down.

LeBron flexed and everyone in ear shot shivered.

WITNESS.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Emus Remain Undefeated, Artest Tribute Song To MJ

Cadee, Harris-Tunks and Hodgson cheer on their temmates as they advance to the final eight while Salecich is getting ready for a little Wiggles "HotPotato" action.

The stars of tomorrow in Australian basketball have remained undefeated at the World Championships for the u/19 men.

Let's look through the boxscore of their great win against previously undefeated Croatia. I'm concentrating on the kids heading to the USA college system next season.

Captain Matt Dellavedova who is heading to St Mary's came up big down the stretch of this one. He led all scorers with 17pts but 15 of them come in the crucial fourth quarter.

Again I will say it. He is an honest player and does a lot of things good and plays with an intensity that Head Coach Randy Bennett will love.

Cody Ellis who is suppose to be heading to Rick Majerus at St Louis had another solid performance chipping in 14pts and 4rebs.

Centre Brock Motum who is on his way to Pullman, Wa to play for the Washington St Cougars reached double figures with 10pts, but only 1reb to go with 5 to's. That will not please Head Coach Ken Bone.

Another guy heading to St Mary's is PF Mitch Young. A solid performer who is in the Diamon Simpson mold contributed 10pts and 4 offensive rebounds.

Ryan Broekhoff had a quiet one (3pts from the stripe) by his standards. Heading to Valpo I believe Broekhoff could be the sleeper of this bunch. He has a great stroke and if he has the work ethic, he will be able to add to his game.

Jordan Page (Mills II) who is heading to St Mary's has been splitting the point duties with Jason Cadee. Page was again solid with 8pts and 2 assists. The student section in Moraga is going to love this kids speed.

I know there are a few others that are attending college on this squad, but in this edition, "they did not trouble the scorekeeper".

Don't forget to check out the Emus live on Friday at 6.30pm when they take on France in a quarter final match up.

Highlights of a recent game against Argentina can be found here.

Ron Artest (Michael, Michael) has a tribute song to Michael Jackson. Interesting lyrics, especially when he says "I hope to see you next year".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer League & Other News

I look for Psycho T to have a huge Summer League but his stats will diminish once the regular season begins.

- The Orlando Pro Summer League started today but I'm sorry to say there are no Aussies on any of the rosters. Click here to check out the days boxscores.

- The Australian Emus moved a step closer to securing a spot in the medal round of the World u/19 Championships. The Emus defeated Argentina 76-65.

He is making me a believer these days. Cody Ellis led the Aussies again with another solid performance of 16pts and 8rebs. Point guard Jason Cadee and Brock Motum also had 16 apiece.

Next up is Croatia.

- The New Zealand Tall Blacks are targeting Cairns product Aron Baynes (via Washington State) for their national team.

If I'm Baynes and I have international aspirations, I go for it. Australia is loaded at the forward position with the likes Bogut, Andersen, Nielsen, Jawai and Schenscher.

- Ian Crosswhite has re-signed with the Cairns Taipans. Crosswhite produced some solid numbers after the Taipans lost their Coach Alan Black and several key players due to their financial troubles.

- It is now official, Stephen Hoare has signed with the Townsville Crocodiles.

This blog hinted at this happening quite some time ago.

- Thanks to Twitter the world discovers Charlie Villanueva signs with Detroit.

- Shawn Marion to the Dallas Mavericks?

Turn back the clock: Newcastle vs Geelong 1984


Monday, July 6, 2009

Pepper, Andersen & Chinese Shooting Guru


Is David Andersen ready to swap his Barca uniform for the NBA?

I'm just going to add my own little flare to the Ben Pepper story. Following him getting drafted in 1997 by the Boston Celtics in the second round, Pepper made his Australian Boomers debut on a United States tour.

Remember those days, when we played in winter and the national team toured in the summer.

Back to the tour where I was lucky enough to join Pepper on tour and spend some time with the Geraldton junior.

On this particular night we had travelled to Champagne, Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini at Assembly Hall and the student section had decided to make Ben Pepper public enemy number one.

If the students had done any research on our previous games, they would have noticed that Pepper did not trouble the scorekeeper too much. Instead, they had studied that year's NBA Draft.

For the entire game Pepper sat parked at the end of the bench listening to the educated Illini students.

"Pepper are you the guy the Celtics drafted?"

"Celtics must have needed someone to peel the oranges this year."

To the students credit they had done some research as that final comment is not one that Americans use very often.

I felt for Pepper as he could do nothing to ease the chants reserved for him.

Coach Barry Barnes left Big Ben on the pine to watch and listen. There was no proving the Student Section wrong on this occasion.

If I felt bad for Pepp in that situation, this next on really takes the cake.

Our last game of the tour was against the Maryland Terrapins. While most players are looking forward to heading home, Pepper would have been as toey as a Roman sandal for some court time.

The Boston Celtics were in the house to take a look at their fresh faced second round draft pick.

The closest Pepper got to showing the storied franchise what he was made of was with his hand shake after the game.

Pepper met both Don Nelson and the legendary Red Auerbach after the game right outside our team lockerroom.

I thought Barry Barnes could have found a few minutes for Ben as the tour had wound down and two of the game's greats had come to check out their goods.

News

- Speculation is running wild regarding another Aussie who was a second round draft pick in 2002. It has been reported that David
Andersen is very close to joining the Atlanta Hawks for this upcoming season.

It would be great to see Andersen take this step. He has proven that he can be a great European player, so all that is left is the NBA.

Get him in a pick and pop situation and Andersen will show you he has NBA talent.

Good luck with it all David.

- Australian Emus take care of Kazakhstan,
87-54 at the World Championship for u/19 men.

The Emus take on Argentina tomorrow at 11.30am. You can follow all the action right
here.

- Looking for a new blog to read? Former South Dragon import Bakari Hendrix has started one. Check it out
here.

- Talking of blogs, Brad
Davidson has had his up and running for some time now. Drop by and see what the feisty guy has to talk about, but be careful because you may find yourself buying a house if you spend too much time there.

- If you can read Chinese please let me know. I would love to hear what they are saying about Brian Goorjian's right hand man Nick
Popovic and his skinfold taking ability.

- The Australian Uni Games Team that is competing at the World's, has been knocked out of medal contention.

The Aussies went down to host's Sebia,
84-66.

Cameron Tovey was the best performer for the green and gold with 21pts and 5rebs. St Mary's Ben Allen was next best with 12pts and 9rebs.

Australia will play China next as they fight out for the minor placings.


This is the definition of miss spent youth.



Ben Pepper - Getting Some NBA Love

Only a face the Boston Celtics could love - Ben Pepper

Thanks to Dime Mag, former Boston Celtics second round pick Ben Pepper is getting some love.

Here is what they said.

"Only a few second-rounders from the 2009 NBA Draft justify the “slept-on” label. DeJuan Blair slipped to the Spurs at pick No. 37 (of course), and Outback trailblazer Patty Mills plummeted all the way to No. 55 before getting seized by the Trail Blazers (of course), and also respect to Sam Young and Jermaine Taylor.

As for the rest, “carry-on” is probably more appropriate — before you get too attached to your second-round additions, you should get to know the second round:

It’s been 20 years since the perpetually grinning David Stern & Co. consolidated the NBA Draft into a two-round format. Who cares? Sherman Douglas, Toni Kukoc, Rashard Lewis, God Shammgod, and, of course, Ben Pepper. These five players represent the impact potential of the second round: a journeyman (Douglas); a legit role player (Kukoc); an All-Star (Lewis); a cat whose name you might recognize at a party, without realizing that he played only 146 minutes in the League (Shammgod); and a guy whose name you’ll never recognize, knowing for sure that he never logged an NBA minute (Pepper).

And before you start screaming about legit game-changers like Agent Zero or Ginobili — picks No.31 and No.57, respectively — consider this: Of the 453 players plucked in the second round from 1989 to 2004, more than 65 percent were bounced from the league in three years or fewer, about 30 percent never made an NBA roster, and only two percent became All-Stars. Unlike the NFL Draft, in which a first-ballot Adonis like Tom Brady can slip to pick No.199, the round-to-round player potential in the NBA Draft is pretty predictable, which makes your prayers for finding gold in the second round about as realistic as me securing a tryst in Saint-Tropez with Giselle.

But here’s what it all boils down to: Year after year, there are only about five bona fide contributors drafted in the second round, which means about 85 percent of the players selected in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft will be busts. What makes a player a “bona fide contributor?” According to my consigliere, aka Frozen Chozen, a player’s minutes can offer a quick and dirty gauge. Enter Haywoode Workman.

Workman was drafted in 1989 and played eight seasons in the League for five teams. He had a few serviceable seasons (8, 5 and 3 in ’90-’91). Most importantly, he logged about 7,000 minutes — a barrier which, after looking at the careers of second-rounders taken from ’89-’04, appears to be a solid minimum for eyeballing whether a player had/will have a career worth remembering.

Which type of player did your squad snag last week? Almost certainly a God Shammgod or a Ben Pepper — duds. If you’re lucky, you might’ve broken the piƱata with a useful but sluggish hustler like Eduardo Najera (he’ll clear 10,000 minutes this year).

As for me, I’m a Timberwolves fan, so I’m accustomed to getting stuck with hapless donkeys, year after year. As described by an editor with the excellent CanisHoopus.com, we Wolves fans are like Charlie Brown — no matter how many times we fall on our ass, we keep trying to kick that damn football. It still remains to be seen whether new GM David Kahn is another Lucy."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

NBA Thoughts, Emus & Uni Games


No more fighting from these two. Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu will be teammates in Toronto.
- Let's start with Ron Artest heading to the Los Angles Lakers.

It is amazing how championship teams can get better overnight because players or agents lose perspective and try and bite off more than they can chew.
Trevor Ariza has not been the first or nor will he be the last player to give up something good because the player feels there is better things to come. I loved watching Ariza in the playoffs and to me, he became the James Posey of this year's championship run.

But, you cannot buy into the hype when you become a successful role player on a very good basketball team. For crying out loud, the Lakers offered him $33 million for his services, the same as what he received in Houston.

Instead, someone from within his "family" got all puff chested and tried to prove a point. Backfire, big time.

Enter Ron Artest to LA and Ariza to Houston.

Still on Ariza for now. Still only 24 he has time to fix this problem. If he plays out this contract with the Rockets, he will be young enough (but hopefully learnt a lesson) that he will appreciate what he had and be able to put himself into a better situation to finish out his career.

Now to Artest. Talk about spoon feeding a guy his ideal situation. "Tru Warrior" can now show everyone he is a winner. He will do this in his sleep because he will go out and cause trouble (dirty work) on both ends of the floor and be happy to watch Kobe close out games.
Slowly but surely Artest will show people he can play the game without the craziness that has plagued him for most of his career.

Add in that Kobe has to be loving the addition as Artest will take some of the tougher defensive assignments off his hands and allow Bryant the excel as an off the ball defender.

All around, the Lakers get better and Trevor Ariza will learn a lesson the hard way.

- Hedo Turkoglu has turned his back on the Portland Trailblazers and seems destined to land in Toronto.

I never saw Turkoglu fitting in with the Trailblazers anyway. Brandon Roy is the man in the Northwest so where would have that left the "Turkish Delight"?

Hedo has won me over with his clutch play throughout the last season but he was not going to waltz into Portland and take the reins off of B-Roy.

There is no doubt Hedo will assist Chris Bosh win a few more games in Toronto (Hedo's wife prefers Toronto, so that's where he ended up) but they certainly do not become an instant contender in the east.

I ask, why didn't Hedo try (a little harder) and stay in Orlando to make a legitimate run at the title and Bosh needs to call Pau Gasol and ask the now champion Laker what it is like to play second fiddle but win a title?

- The Australian Emus have advanced to the Final Eight of the World Championship for u/19 men being held in New Zealand.


They will play Kazakhstan in their quarter final game on Monday at 3pm.

The Australian World Uni Games team has not been so lucky. They lost their opening game to the Greeks 89-72.

Townsville Crocodile Cameran Tovey led the team with 20pts and 7rebs. Ben Madgen who plays his college ball at Augusta State was next best with 15pts and 5rebs. Perth Wildcats rookie Jesse Wagstaff chipped in with 12pts and 4rebs.

Their next game is against the host nation, Serbia.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Newley & The Rockets Plus Emus Win


Last time Rolan Roberts dunked in Australia, it did not end well.
*If you're wondering what former Townsville Croc turned European superstar Brad Newley is up to, click here.

I like Newley's thought process of trying to get to the next level in Europe before cracking the Houston Rockets roster.

Newley has been progressing nicely in Europe but he does need to take the next step over there if the NBA is to become a reality. In saying that, if Newls goes out and has a great Summer League, all is forgotten and his NBA dream becomes a reality, sooner rather than later.

Could we see a Newley/Joe Ingles match up sometime during the Summer League play.

*The Australian Emus (u/19 national team) opened their World Championship campaign in new Zealand with a 88-77 win over Canada.

Cody Ellis has continued with his great form to lead the team with 25pts and 6rebs. Washington St recruit Brock Motum went for 22 and 8 against the Canadians.

For a full boxscore click here. Next up for the Emus is European powerhouse Spain.

*The Townsville Crocodiles have caught a few people off guard (especially this guru) with the signing of import Rolan Roberts.

Roberts has been playing mainly in the France Pro B league since leaving the shores of Australia after a dunking mishap during the All-Star Game.

*It is now all official, Phill Jones is a member of the Cairns Taipan.

*Flamboyant NBA player Ron Artest has expressed his thoughts too much on Twitter?

Comedian Aries Spears Picks On Shaq and Sir Charles