NBL: It's been a big week!
What a week it's been in the NBL scene! News galore. Not just the usual player signings, there's been a franchise sold, players released and then signed elsewhere, imports looking to make their way back to the competition, head coaches on the way out and the hope of a new franchise all tied into seven days! There's a lot of news to get through so let's not waste anymore time.
Second NZ franchise hinging on rapid investment
According to stuff.co.nz, a second NBL franchise in New Zealand can be included as soon as the 2016/17 season; that is, as long as they receive their significant investment by next month. View image | gettyimages.com With the current figure being NZ$1.2 to NZ$1.5 million to be invested into the franchise, in reality for the club to enter the competition, $2-3million will need to be found by the time the 2016/17 season kicks off.
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
"We need $2-3 million initially, but we don't expect that from our foundation investors but at least half of that is required to make a decent business case of this thing," Wallace said. "We've started approaching people and we'll get them together as soon as we've got responses and I expect that to be next month."
With a second New Zealand franchise on the cards for the NBL's four team expansion, look for this to successfully get off the ground with the right investors, currently being led by Bill Wallace.
Gordie 'Gong, new head coach to come
Gordie McLeod's six year tenure in Wollongong has come to an end. After recently fighting off the voluntary administration tag, the Hawks will now start season 2015/16 with a clean slate. View image | gettyimages.com From Wollongong's statement:
With all players, staff and coaches needing to be recontracted following the voluntary administration process, a revised offer has been turned down by Gordie after spending the last two weeks weighing up his options.
Having no players on their list and now no head coach, Wollongong start even further behind than the rest of the competition than they already are. Can the historical club recapture their past success and continue to fire in the NBL?
Wilbuckets re-commits, Steindl re-signs; Walker heads West
Moving towards more positive news towards the competition, star import Scottie Wilbekin has according to reports re-committed to the Cairns Taipans if no NBA deal arises.
Clint Steindl has gone even further than that, having put pen to paper with the Townsville Crocodiles, re-signing for a further year.
Steindl wants to fill the gaping hole left by Todd Blanchfield's departure, paying back head coach Shawn Dennis' initial faith in the local swingman.
“I really wanted to come back and take another step in my game under SD. He’s put a lot of confidence in me and as a player it definitely helps when your coach does that because you can go out there and be aggressive,”
“We saw how well Todd played last year and it’s left a big hole. There are points to be scored, there are rebounds to be grabbed, and I can see myself continuing on from my form last year and continue building. I feel as though I can fulfil that role,” said Steindl.
Lucas Walker's time in Melbourne is up, having dwindled out of the squads rotation throughout last season. Waxy spent no time finding a suitable replacement home, with the Adelaide 36ers offering the former Australian Boomer a new deal. Walker will be joined by ex-Melbourne teammate Matt Hodgson in the coming weeks.
Most recently, New Zealand continue adding to their solid core, now nine players signed for the season after Nunawading SEABL stalwart Shane McDonald signing with the reigning champs.
From the Breakers release:
The 6’2” Australian comes to the club not from the usual basketball pathway, the 30 year old has for the past ten years combined his basketball skills with studies and a fulltime teaching career but has turned his back on that for the time being to take up an offer he says he would not have entertained from any other club.
Head coach Dean Vickerman has a long history with McDonald, having previously coached him in the under 20's Australian Championship.
“When it was understood we were unable to retain Rhys Carter I reached out to Shane, a player I had coached before and won an Australian U/20 Championship with. That title was a long time ago but I always hoped I would get the opportunity to coach Shane again because he plays the game the right way and enjoys passing the ball as much as scoring." - explained Vickerman.
Keeping on the Adelaide news train, the 'Save Our Sixers' consortium has sold the license to a new ownership group ready to take the franchise to the next level. View image | gettyimages.com From the NBL release:
"The Adelaide 36ers Basketball team will be operated by a consortium of prominent local businesspeople chaired by Bruce Spangler, the current Chairman of Arena Stadium Management, which operates the Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide, home of the 36ers.
The new management of the National Basketball League believes this group, with their financial strength and vision, will bring long-term stability to the club and ensure it is as strong off court as it has been on the court.
A new level of professionalism will be introduced to the club with support being given by the staff from the Titanium Security Arena management team. The owners and management of the arena are excited to be embarking on this journey with an iconic South Australian brand."
Homicide, Lisch looking from outside in
Corey 'Homicide' Williams believes he has 'unfinished business' in Townsville when speaking to SportzfanRadio.
“Like LeBron coming back home to Cleveland,” said Williams, who added he would “one hundred percent” return in a quest to bring the Townsville Crocodiles a long overdue first championship.
Unfortunately for Williams, it begs the question whether or not Townsville will use one of their two import spots on a 37-year old who is well and truly past his career best form.
Someone who has more of a chance to return to the NBL however, is the league's 2011/12 most valuable player Kevin Lisch.
With Lisch interested in returning to Australia to play, his previous team in the Wildcats don't seem to have the room to fit him in the roster. This opens up the possibility of Lisch fielding offers from the other seven clubs.
Front runners are currently those in NSW, with the Lisch stakes just waiting to heat up.
Australian Uni Games squads selected
Final squads of 12 players have been announced for the Australian World University Games men's and women's teams. View image | gettyimages.com The NBL is well represented with five players named in the men's team, as Shaun Bruce (Cairns), Corey Maynard (Cairns), Mitch Creek (Adelaide), Mirko Djeric (Townsville) and Hugh Greenwood (Perth) head to South Korea next month (July 4-13).
With the team coached by Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis, the team has high expectations on the young squad heading into the tournament.