NBL 'Three in the Key': Off-Season Disaster? Part 3
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.
In relation to Boti Nagy's "The $7million solution the NBL rejected" article, did the NBL get it wrong in declining Larry Kestelman's offer of $7m+$7m injection of funds to gain control of the league?
Dean Zardo: 100% they missed the boat, they have lacked in both the marketing and funds departments and Kestleman proposed plenty of help in both areas. As it said in the proposal, the time is now. The league had been building nicely for a couple of years and needed to take the next step. Instead the opportunity was missed to take advantage and now it looks to be back to square one again.
Steve Chalmers: Have to agree with you there Dean. While the negative side may have been that Melbourne/Victoria didn't get a second team because the big boss of United was running the shop, that's just a sacrifice the league (and Melbourne) would have to make.
I would much rather see a Melbourne team play in a competitive and STABLE league thanks to backing (one that even has a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!) from Kestelman than watching two Melbourne sides play for a year or two and then one of them folding.
He has history of success, selling his previous company for $200m, plus is an aggressive investor (something which has made him his $$$) and therefore the $14m investment into the NBL must obviously have some merit. No one would throw $14m at something knowing they don't have a good shot at creating success.
Marketing, direction and stability are the three main pointers which stand out as to why the NBL missed the boat. The on-court production is great, the beginning of 2014/15 season was the time to change the off-court culture.
Looking at the domino effect, Brisbane would be in the league 2015/16 season, Wollongong/Townsville remain (due to the debt factor) and we have AT LEAST a nine team competition next season with the future looking bright.
Grant Richardson: Hindsight is of course 20/20 but it definitely seems like a golden opportunity that went begging and I'm sure there were backers aside from Kestleman that were game.
The marketing side is what jumps out to me- an area in which the NBL (and to a lesser extent Channel 10 and ONE) failed miserably throughout the season.
Steve Chalmers: Are we looking too far into this situation just because of the season outcome. Maybe preseason morale was high, CEO Fraser Neill had grand plans which seemed like the NB was on its way back up.
The TV deal was probably near in place, or at a point where the board were pleased at what the outcome could potentially be.
I think we have to remember that there was a lot of hype before the season, believing that this season was going to be a success.
There probably were even more factors that was involved in the decline of this move. However, maybe we all have are far too simplistic look at it all now seeing we know the outcome.
Dean Zardo: I think the reason we are looking so far into it, though, is because they didn't take the deal. If the NBL had've bought into Kestleman's proposal, I highly doubt we would be having this conversation.
The hype was even more of a reason to put the foot down and take advantage, rather than sitting back and thinking it would all just fall into place due to its natural course.
Grant Richardson: And it is that idea of allowing things to progress along their natural course that is one of its biggest problems. A change as drastic as dumping the NBL for a season would hopefully shake the administration out of that way of thinking but a determined effort to fix the product needs to be, at the very least, their short term goal.
Here ends our three part series of NBL 'Three in the Key' Off-Season Disaster?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, the passionate NBL fans, the regular TV watchers, the NBA die-hards or even just a parent who takes their children to play in a junior competition. Everyone's thoughts are vital in this testing time for Australia's national basketball league.