NBL 'Three in the Key': Off-Season Disaster? Part 2

Welcome the first ever Pick and Roll NBL Round Table, where you are joined by three of our NBL experts in Steve Chalmers, Dean Zardo and Grant Richardson.

With so much happening within the NBL world at this point in time, the three writers thought it was the best time to introduce the ‘Three in the Key’ series to the NBL. This is so fans and our readers can get a quickfire hold of all three opinions in the one place.

The ‘Off-Season Disaster’ series is a three part series consisting of three current topics. Part one can be found here, while Part 2 is shown below:

"With the rumours circulating that the Perth Wildcats are searching for a new league to play in, what are you thoughts regarding this situation?"

Grant Richardson: I can't find too much info on this rumour, for instance whether Perth are only looking to move if the NBL isn't around for 2015/16, but there would be a major hole without the Wildcats in the league.

They have been by far the most consistent side, making the playoffs every season since 1987. Crowd attendance was over 10,000 in all 14 of their home games whereas that number was reached just once outside of Perth. The Wildcats would leave a significantly larger hole in their absence than either Townsville or even Wollongong, despite the Hawks being the last side remaining from the league's 1979 inception.

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Dean Zardo: I don't know a lot about this either, but if they're planning to move while the league is still running then that's almost the final nail in the NBL coffin. Even just the fact that there are rumours that the biggest and most successful club wants to distance itself from the NBL is a sign of where the league is at.

Steve Chalmers: But is it truly just a distance thing away from the NBL? Or are they hedging their bets? Maybe they know that they're 14,000+ strong following isn't going to go anywhere if the NBL shuts shop. They can then use that massive following to play in Asia and keep up with the big boys up north.

That, and then if the NBL stays put for another year, there's the possibility they can play in both leagues. And hey, double the basketball in WA! Who in Perth wouldn't love that?!

I revert back to the A-League/Soccer example, top A-League clubs play mid-week games in the Asian Champions league while continuing their season fixtures in the local competition. NBA clubs play back to back, even 4 games in 5 days, travel and all.

What's stopping Australia's biggest club playing 3 games in a week?

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Dean Zardo: That makes plenty of sense but if they are trying to hedge bets it shows the faith in the NBL is probably running pretty low right now.

Steve Chalmers: Listening to Nick Marvin speak on WA radio, his comments are directly targeting mismanagement of NBL clubs. While that may be a stab at his opponent's administrative staff, while possibly gloating about his success in Perth, the following comments certainly don't speak positively about the NBL (not direct quotes):

  • It's closer to play in Singapore and Philippines than Cairns and New Zealand.

  • We're looking at capital city teams anyway rather than teams playing out of places such as Townsville and Wollongong - We've paid out about $1m worth just to keep these clubs alive in the recent past.

  • For someone so highly regarded in having the NBL at least standing on one foot right now, don't go and shoot down your respected knowledge because of an ego pitch because you know Perth could survive post-NBL.

Grant Richardson: More power to Perth if they believe they can compete in two leagues at once I suppose. Would the fans still flock in their thousands if they were playing in an Asian league against, at least initially, players and teams that were unheard of?

View image | gettyimages.com

Want to comment on what you’ve read so far? We’d love to hear from you, tweet us at @OzBallPnR or directly at @cp_chalmers, @dean_zardo and @granto1990

Here ends the second part of ‘Off-Season Disaster?’, stay tuned for the third and final part released shortly.