Years ago

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I just can't handle the product anymore - the NBL is weak and outdated.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.

Topic #13382 | Report this topic

Years ago

I'm not sure that consolidating teams is the solution. West Sydney fans aren't going to move on over to supporting the Kings. And there are a lot of old Magic/Titans fans who would never support the Tigers. Arguments might be made for removing Singapore and New Zealand, I guess, but again, neither of those will result in a better concentration of fans amongst the fewer teams.

Fewer teams, but similar crowds and a similar salary cap would mean reduced salaries for players and we could see many try their hand in Europe. Plus, though we might see stronger rosters, you still have to squeeze them into 48 minute games - great to have a Liam Rush as your second or third sub off the bench, but how many highlights will you get if he's playing 15-20 MPG instead of 35?

Reply #156086 | Report this post

Years ago

Well first of all how much are ticket prices at games. If they are expenive they need to be dropped down. But to be honest with you, theres only one last resort to attract big crowds. Answer? Dont show the games on Fox to the city of the hometeam playing. Then people will come knowing that its there only way to see it. because alot of people prefer to pay NO MONEY, sit in their own lounge, eat the foods they want without paying heaps of money while watching the game. If they go to the game they have to pay for the fuel to the game, the ticket prices, any food inside the venue etc. Also bring the games earlier forward. Instead of starting at 7.30 start at 7 or 6.45

This way families will be inticed to go knowing their kids wont fall alseep at the game or that they wont be past their bed time

In conclusion:
1) dont show games to the city of the hometown playing-prevents them from watching game from home-makes them come to actual arena to watch
2)Bring games to an earlier time and try the idea of day games-woth a try!
3)Try to make the admission prices as cheap as possible

With these points u have to ask yourself. Is the NBL itself as well as team CEO'S doing enough to ensure the success of the League


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Years ago


Reply #156095 | Report this post

Joe M  
Years ago

A few things - .

I don't believe removing side from the NBL competition is the answer because IMO we have enough talent in this country (and New Zealand) to stage a competitive competition with the amount of team we have. If the NBL front office policed the salary cap and point cap so it was fair and even for all side, fans (and neutral observers ) of the game would see a much better spectacle and become attracted to the game again.

The Australian government commissioned an independent review of Australian soccer (the Crawford Report) and one of their recommendations was to remove the cultural element to the old NSL clubs. The European culture the NSL clubs were linked to was allegedly keeping the fans away; this is not a problem in Australian basketball. That was the primary reason the NSL was scrapped so changing club names, colours and logos will not fix the problems the NBL is currently facing.

Basketball may be played on the entire globe but it doesn't have the same financial windfall as soccer does. The one saving grace the FFA (Football Federation of Australia) had was the potential $4 million dollar carrot by making the WC every 4 years, basketball doesn't have this luxury. The NBA in the US is a money making machine but that doesn't or hasn't transferred onto a world stage yet.

Getting 90,000 fans to a WC qualifier at the MCG or Telstra Stadium every couple of year will keep a dying code in the spot light; once again basketball in this country doesn't have that luxury. The NBL should be thinking outside the square as to how we can increase the popularity of the sport to the general fan. IMO Basketball Australia (BA) should be working over time to get some sort of agreement in place to stage a pre season game (or 2) against the Boomers every NBA pre season. Play Milwaukee or any NBA side because the NBA should be looked upon as a meal ticket to greener pastures. Let's build a platform on their success and re build the popularity off of that.

Anyone who was a fan of basketball in the 1980s should remember the Russian sides that came out in the 80s to play a few tests against the Boomers. Play the game in Sydney or Melbourne (or even Boondall) and utilize that NBA popularity by getting 15,000 fans to a game (even if it's not our own product).

Money and lateral thinking will solve a lot of problems basketball faces theses days. Basketball in Australia is broke (or they are not willing to spend any). We (the basketball community and lover of the sport) need a Frank Lowy type person to takeover and over see the day to day running of the sport in this country. We need someone who had and is willing to spend a 10's of millions of dollars over the next decade on the sport to highlight the features and benefits a competitive league can achieve.

I was watching the NBA game today (Miami Vs Detroit) and I was thinking how inept the coverage is with Carfino and Casey. This is usually the face of the game as it's the only media the sport gets. Fox Sport should be congratulated for giving the NBL some coverage but there NBL production needs to lift.

Reply #156096 | Report this post

Years ago

If you look at the current NBL players a large number of these players, about 20, come from players born 1983/1984, these are the kids that were brought up when basketball was at its height of popularity, age groups after this group have far fewer reps and have not done as well as this group who won world junior title, included Andrew Bogut, so if NBL is going to continue with age groups coming through it needs to attract and keep players now. The NBL will not have the players in the future if the profile is not raised now.

Reply #156098 | Report this post

Years ago

A league $12 a ticket?
NBL $25 a ticket?

shake that

Reply #156104 | Report this post

Years ago

Dudes, every time one of you comes on here and rants about the A-league it frustrates me.

The damn thing is 2.5 years old, and if trending this season is any indication, is looking at a 10-15% drop in crowds for the season. Perth is in trouble, Sydney's crowds are fickle and Queensland are drawing average. Newcastle, Central Coast and Adelaide do not have scope for massive crowds. All a-league clubs have recorded losses in their first two seasons despite the highly touted foxtel deal....

Last years crowd average (0ver 13k) was massively propped up by Melbourne Victory, who built an average of 33k+ (see based on a couple of 55,000 crowds but this year have not managed more than 26500 to a game and are not riding a wave of top of the table popularity. That alone will hurt the a-league.

Everywhere in the world outside of the NBA basketball draws relatively small crowds to home/away league play - get used to it.

Reply #156110 | Report this post

Moses Guthrie  
Years ago

I don't go to NBL games because of cost. Admittedly, I'm a tight-a*se but with 4 kids, c'est la vie. The tickets are way too expensive, esp when compared to AFL etc.

Reply #156112 | Report this post

Years ago

IMO if you get kids watching, playing and supporting the sport and they will be fans for life.

Reply #156113 | Report this post

twenty four  
Years ago

me, what are you talking about? I went to the soccer a couple of weeks ago and paid $20 for a GA ticket. Gold tickets were $25. I think that is the price as 36ers?

I just want to point out one thing that really annoyed me about the first post in this thread. To bring up how the A-League is attracting big name players and whatnot is unseless in this case. To be honest, half of the players that do come over here, I've never heard of at all.

And in the NBL's case, we know that NBA stars (hell, even decent role-players) won't be interested in leaving the states to finish there career. So the only players we can attract are players that most would never of heard of (Hawkins, for example). The places where decent players go if the NBA doesn't work is Europe. I think that we probably are getting the best players we are capable of getting.

So, the general public wouldn't care who we bring in in most cases, as I don't care who the A-League brings in half the time. But, as we know, there are more soccer fans in this nation (converts or not) than there are basketball fans.

Also, the part about luring back players 'for the good of the sport' I don't think will ever happen. Maybe when guys hit 30 or so and have accomplished every thing they have set out to do - Olympics, Euroleague, NBA, etc - then they will come back here, but I think it is naive to believe that guys will return and miss out on potential miilions of dollars and a chance to play at the highest levels.

So what can be done? Bogut didn't do anything, the Opals haven't done anything and of course guys like Anderson and Nielsen doing well overseas doesn't register on our shores (which is bull, but it just isn't on many peoples minds).

Obviously marketing helps, but I guess if we haven't any money, we can't spend it.

For me, the only way for basketball to well and truly get back on the radar is if the men medal at Beijing. If we are able to bring home medals in both the womens and the men, then people WILL take notice. Because, lets be honest, most Australians are bandwagoners. I'm sure there could quite an argument made that A-league wouldn't be where it is today if we didn't manage to make the world cup.

And I truly believe that we can medal, as long as we have everyone avaliable and Goorj picks right (no Kendall...).

Then if we do manage to get that medal, it kind of is all or nothing, so spend money, make sure poeple know that Bruton, Anstey, Mac and the like are playing in the NBL and you can see them every week in the flesh. And hopefully we can at least become relevant again.

Reply #156114 | Report this post

Years ago

Well said 24!!

Reply #156117 | Report this post

afroman jnr  
Years ago

very well said, although as much as it hurts me to say, joe m does have a good point in there aswell.. he mentioned not showing home games in that state, thats what happens with afl, and it would work. people like me can tbe screwed getting up and going out to games anymore when the games on tv. dont show the game and get people to go out to the games

Reply #156126 | Report this post

Years ago

Yeah Kendall sucks.

Reply #156132 | Report this post

Gruff nuts  
Years ago

I am pretty sure the A-league got a $10-$12 million windfall for qualifying for the world cup a few years ago, plus the government injected huge dollars into it.

Have the Boomers ever qualified for any tournament of the same type, e.g world champs or similar? I don't know if they have, and that is all part of the reason-public interest.

If the NBL could have the type of injection that soccer has had then I feel we would be back on track.

The marketing that the soccer does in conjunction with its clubs would beat the NBL by at least 10-1.

Its all about dollars. I cant see that the NBL will dig its way out of this one.

I fear our top B ball action will be local ball in a few years.

Reply #156139 | Report this post

Years ago

Gruff Nuts,

You are seriously on a basketball forum asking if the Boomers have ever qualified for a major tournament? They've missed qualification for one major tourney in the last 20 or so years - the 2001 worlds. (Mate, in case you didn't know the opals are the world champions and our two guns, Penny and LJ, were both WNBA All Stars this year.)

The difference is there is no windfall at all for just making the world champs or olympics for basketball - in fact it costs you to go.

Soccer got about 10 mil from the Australian Government when they reformed four years ago. They got around 4 mil from FIFA for just qualifying for the world cup. $4 mil would almost be Basketball Australia's whole revenue for a year.

Soccer has done next to no marketing this year on a league-wide basis. In fact, since the "Its Football - but not as you know it" splurge in the first year of a-league, very little has occurred.

Reply #156166 | Report this post

Years ago

I can't see a medal in Beijing rejuvenating the league to be honest. The sport has slipped off the MSM radar in most cases (especially Sydney and Melbourne) and the new battle is at a local level.

In Adelaide, we get excellent coverage in the paper. We get fairly decent coverage on local TV. The battle is getting bums on seats like we used to, attracting back old fans (hard when the team is losing), attracting new fans (same), etc.

Teams outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane need to start finishing in the top four and winning championships. Winning in Sydney does little. A win in Perth, Townsville, Wollongong or Adelaide would help so much more.

To that, the money in those three big teams (forgetting Cairns for a second) is not helping at all. A lot of the best Australian talent is locked up in those cities. In Adelaide, for example, we have one top tier Australian player who is nearing retirement, and maybe a second or third tier player in Davidson and then it drops off.

Reply #156178 | Report this post

Years ago

Adelaide United pre pay
Adult $17.00
Child $5.00
Total $22.00

adelaide 36ers pre pay
Adult $20.50
Child $7.50
Total $28.00

27% more expensive to go to the basketball. that is what im talking about.

Its far from the only reason, but its damn relevant and unless we encourage the kids to come (and to bug their parents to bring them,) then the future is not bright. When we have a 1/2 empty does not do anyone any good, lets make it, buy 1 adult ticket, get a kid ticket free? do something to involve the youth, or kiss goodbye to a national comp.

Reply #156458 | Report this post

Years ago

Hard to make changes during the season without pissing off Members Tickets holders who are likely to be the most loyal fans who deserve respect.

Could still go after the tertiary student market with back row tickets for $10-15 perhaps?

Reply #156461 | Report this post

Years ago

Going to watch 36ers play at the arena: $20
Drinks, Hotdogs and refreshments: $10
Watching from the living room of your house: Priceless

Reply #156656 | Report this post


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