NBL: Childress' new Kings deal marks new heights for competition
|Steve Chalmers||Jul 2, 2015|
The Sydney Kings had NBL fans across the country in awe today when the team announced the re-signing of NBA stalwart Josh Childress.
After last year's electric season which saw him score All-NBL First Team and club MVP honours, Childress' signature to the purple and gold marks a new stage for the competition's progression.
Sydney's franchise star averaged 21 points per game, as well as 9.2 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists per game, playing a vital role before suffering a season ending injury.
Childress didn't just bring an on-court product to Sydney fans, as his presentation off the court could be argued as far more influential. His name in the bright lights was a draw card alone, with juniors scurrying to spend time with the competition's most famous international player.
He has made a positive impact to the credibility of the NBL, encouraging both the standard of competition as well as how the 'down under' is a homely place (Take note general managers, he planned on bringing Al Harrington down here last season).
While the introduction of the international star at the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign was one huge inclusion; the next chapter, retaining his services means even more for the competition. The NBL can now service as a premier competition for elite international athletes to settle into and perform, rather than your run of the mill 'one and done' marquee.
The league has begun attempting to shed its old tag and break into a new lease, and this progression is exemplified by retaining services of players such as Childress.
Other NBL clubs are heading down the same path, with the Cairns Taipans expected to welcome back Scottie Wilbekin if his NBA Summer League performances don't land him in the big time.
Brian Conklin's name may not have as much credibility on the world stage (compared to Childress, Wilbekin), however the Townsville Crocodiles are trying to pull out all the stops to retain the league's most valuable player. Coming out of the New Zealand NBL, Conklin has become a revelation up north and has become one of the most invaluable imports. View image | gettyimages.com A full crux of 'imports' are well and truly on the way, with all of the eight NBL franchises bursting at the seams to announce their next big signing.
While the new trend of imports currently looks towards stashing youngsters recently drafted in the NBA, each club does have two import spots to fill.
You never know, the other may just land a long term marquee.
The proof will be in the pudding, as Josh Childress is helping the competition in more ways than you'd expect!