NBL - Time For A Shake Up?
I like everyone on here loves basketball and love the Aussie players and teams & it probably too late in the week to start this discussion but here I go anyways.
I just can't handle the product anymore - the NBL is weak and outdated. I think there are too many teams, too many teams that have no history and therefore have no following.
We almost all would remember the halcyon days of the mid 90s when basketball was booming, great players, great fans, great games, great rivalries - it was a great time to be involved in the sport. We could attract decent imports - and they would hang around. Good times!
We all now know how it has panned out - the NBL has made some crucial errors marketing and structurally to dilute the league and the teams.
The league is still pretty good, the players and coaches are still passionate ... I just get the feeling that the league is heading the way of the old National Soccer League.
If we as fans of basketball need any proof that a shake up could change things around for the better let's just look at Soccer and the A-League. How did they do it - the major thing they did was get rid of half the teams - make cities a one team town and promoted the hell out of it created passion for your home town team.
Teams that were getting 1000 - 2000 people to games are now getting 10000 - 15000+ a game (the victory get 40000+).
They are attracting big name players - not only Aussie like Aloisi, Agostino, Craig Moore, Laziridis, Colosimo, Archie Thompson, Elrich, Popovich but big international names at the tail of their careers Juninho, Bridges etc. You go to your own home games not just to support your team but also to go and see great players on other teams.
The talent pool in soccer as in basketball is finite - the best aussie players get lured o/s and leave the 2nd tier guys here. Don't get me wrong I think the 2nd tier guys (in both sports are players CJ Bruton, Anstey, McKinnon, Maher - but it is the 3rd, 4th and 5th tier guys that diluted the NSL cos there were too many teams and it is the same now with the NBL.
Easy solution - get rid of 5 teams - make cities one team towns and tighten up the talent pool.
Off the top of my head - get rid of South Dragons, West Sydney, New Zealand, Singapore and Gold Coast. Make a Central NSW team for Newcastle and Wollongong.
Try and lure back all the aussies o/seas - Newley, Neilsen, Andersen etc - not with money but "for the good of the sport".
Fox could then get rid of non-basketball guys (ie Casey - just cos I don't like him) and surround the league with ex stars.
It worked for Soccer - it could work for basketball.