Years ago

Is it a chance for Barlow & Nielsen return to NBL

An insider close to the Sydney Kings has mentioned 2 a couple of close friends that David Barlow and Matt Nielsen could be returning to the NBL in the purple & gold...

The Kings would have a real opportunity to win the competition at the very first tip off...

For those ppl commenting on Nathan Jawai returning home and playin for the Kings is not true there are talks with him continuing his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He'll probs back Darko Milicic from the bench next year if offered that extension

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LA Boy  
Years ago

i would imagine there to be a chance for Barlow to return.

Reply #272663 | Report this post

Years ago

Barlow & Nitro are hardly championship in the bag stuff. Barlow is playing Div 2 in Spain and Nielsen isn't exactly the player he was.

Reply #272665 | Report this post

Years ago

Timberwolves will over nate a contract his production on the offensive boards at times has been handy and when they get a decent scoring guard he would be useful with those off rebs

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Years ago

I would say it is a chance, Nielsen has been in Europe for 6 seasons and is now 32, while Barlow has stated he hasnt really enjoyed the city he is in.

But I dont think it will be next year, Barlow is in negotiations with Zaragosa (who look certain to move up to the ACB) for a new contract, and has said if they cant agree to terms he will look for another Spanish team, while Nielsen's Valencia is on the verge of qualifying for the Euroleague, and I think they would do anything to keep Matt who is the glue in their team and one of their most valuable players, particularly in Eurocup play.

I hope I am wrong though, would love to see them both back.

Reply #272677 | Report this post

Years ago

matt nielson is hardly the player everyone says he is. he did nothing in the olympics

Reply #272679 | Report this post

Years ago

Eurocup MVP two weeks running - yep, hardly a good player! He isnt as good as he was 2004-2006, but he is still a very good player who makes teammates significantly better.

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LA Boy  
Years ago

not sure when Barlow made the video (haven't seen it yet), but I'd think his stance may have changed as the league is now of national tv.

his main concern was league stability, that was the primary reason he left. now that the league is on tv things may very well change.

Reply #272682 | Report this post

Years ago

Hope so LA Boy, that would be great.

I think as the league continues to make steps forward, particularly public ones like the tv deal, and the economy continues to struggle in many European countries, we could see more players viewing the NBL as an attractive proposition again - TV, decent crowds, no culture/language barrier, fun style and high standard, $1million guarantee etc etc.

Of course, players like Barlow who are on excellent contracts also have that side of things to factor in, along with the challenge of succeeding in a league like the ACB, which is one of the few you would say is clearly above the NBL.

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LA Boy  
Years ago

personally I think this move on tv is what the NBL has long needed. obviously not the only change the league will require however will act as catalyst for money things that's to come. long term league success would be next to impossible without exposure to tv. so this move was critical.

over the next 5 years we're expecting increase in salary cap etc. so I think it will be matter of time before these big names return to Australia.

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Camel 31  
Years ago

u23 and 70points retricts us a bit.

Reply #272706 | Report this post

Years ago

Definitely true LA Boy, hopefully the new tv deal delivers what it has the potential to, when couple by smart grassroots marketing.

I expect though, that BA will move very cautiously with increasing the salary cap. I think they are moving towards 12 teams, which will be an increase in $4 million or 50% spent on players in itself (which will definitely help bring players back), so I wouldnt expect the salary cap to increase any more than all teams can definitely afford in the next few years.

Last season showed that you can have a great competition even with some of the better names leaving.

Reply #272709 | Report this post

LA Boy  
Years ago

yes definitely. they will be super cautious when handling salary issues.

in all reality one of the biggest problem the league has had is loss of talents. last season would arguably be one of the worse seasons in recent years due to the bigger names leaving. the game missed the 'excitement' and storyline many times.

remember just seasons ago with the name of Jawai, Newley etc. hanging around. there is no way their presence don't affect the league.

with all the negative said however, I really believe the league is on their way up from now on. with more stability and money I along with some coaches actually expects some big name signing over the seasons to come.

Reply #272714 | Report this post

Years ago

Yep, already some impressive talent looking to come home, and the history of Aussie players is that most look to come home after a couple of seasons in Europe anyway because the style of play and lifestyle here is much more enjoyable. For someone like Ingles, you would think once NBA interest dies down, unless he is at a top Euro club on massive dollars he would look to come home.

I disagree a little bit about the league this year though. The start of the season was very sloppy, mostly due to so many new players (almost half the league at a new club), but I thought the spectacle in the second half of the year was excellent. On top of that, I thought young players like Weigh, Goulding, Abercrombie, Wagstaff, Johnson etc gave the season some real life with their surprising performances.

I think we will see Allen, Webster, Pledger, Williams and Nevill give this next year a similar boost.

Reply #272717 | Report this post

LA Boy  
Years ago

I think that's why last season is one of the worse over the others of the decade.

1. no reigning champion
2. loss of Vic team
3. Ingles, Barlow
4. loss of most successful coach
5. no highlights on 9
6. no Sydney


when you consider all this, the league has done as good as it possibly could. but in comparison to the prior years this would've been the worse one. as to why it was sloppy? a big reason to it was the lack of stability; players and coaches generally didn't feel positive with the league thinking it might fold anytime.

IMO everything picked up a little bit after signing of Hodge. he was able to provide possibly the 'only' storyline to games between Adelaide v Tigers. Without the usual rivalries and final rivalaries, it made this series possibly the most anticipated one.

Reply #272720 | Report this post

Years ago

I really think the NBL need to increase sub stories...It makes the papers, gets on the local news, really adds spice...

I know they work on a restricted budget at NBL head quarters, but a decent PR manager, with the info in all teams could get the game into the top 2 or 3 news stories most nights, especially in the build up to games...

Neilson has been away for a long time and I would be happy to see him stay away, he is better than the NBL, but no where near NBA material...

Barlow is below that!

Reply #272725 | Report this post

Years ago

I actually think most of the reasons you have listed were not as important as they should of been because of the credibility hole the league was in. Not that many people really missed Barlow and Ingles, especially with the talent condensed over 8 teams. Losing Goorj and the Dragons was sad but mostly only for people who followed the Dragons.

The closeness of the league and the fact that no teams went belly up gave the league credibility for the season for mine.

I dont know how many times I have read or heard in media reports that this was the closest season ever, or that the league now has strict financial conditions for teams being in the league. Sengstock said last season was about starting to earn back trust, and those two PR lines were spread very well and helped achieve that.

Given many thought last season shouldnt have occured, to have a year that achieved reasonable press in the competing centres, hold crowds steady on what they have been for the best part of the decade, and hold tv ratings steady on the previous season was an outstanding result.

That is reflected by the investment by Ten and the naming rights sponsor who is supposed to be announced before too long.

As for the sloppy play, I definitely agree the uncertainty of the league played a huge role in the sloppiness in 08-09, but last year having 36/80 new players and 4/8 new coaches had to play a massive role too. I think the huge improvement in play as the year went on is testament to that.

Anyway, enough said, hopefully it is onward and upward from here!

Reply #272726 | Report this post

LA Boy  
Years ago

to say no team bellied up is inaccurate; reigning champion. and the absence of those guys were merely examples. you have to remember the loss of talent has added up over time (Newley, Jawai D-MAC etc). Barlow and Ingles simply added to the list.

When it comes down to it any league (including NBA) missing star players will change the competition standard (imagine the game without Kobe, Lebron etc.). In NBL's case, they've had a bunch of MVP candidates from prior seasons absent. How can the competition be the same? I think a lot of people simply adapted to the lower standard of play then accepting that fact.

This leads to another problem that now seems to be addressed, and that was player development. Having worked with numerous talented players over the years, the opportunity for many simply weren't there. Not sure about other states but at least in Victoria, ball coaches don't focus on development of younger players enough; they often just make sure their stars are happy. Without young dudes running around, the game miss a piece of excitement. But with recent outflow of players hopefully some talented ones will get a chance this season.

Reply #272730 | Report this post

Years ago

Definitely the increased focus on youth has been a great thing. Hopefully it continues.

But I dont agree with your thinking that I have heard from some others about the loss of players. Had the league stayed at 13 teams then it would have been a factor, but reducing to 8 teams in two years covered the loss of players.

I would agree that the top teams werent quite as good as in the previous few years, but the rest of the league was better than in previous years, which made for a better competition to follow and certainly one that was comparable to the league's peak in 07 and 08, even if slightly below, but not an inferior product as some suggest.

If the league was so poor then we would have seen the top players from previous years (Penney, Bruton, Williams, Redhage, Harvey, Ballinger, Worthington, Hodge etc) dominate, and that simply wasnt the case.

When NZ added Penney back to their line up (replacing no one) they went 3-7 in their next 10. If the standard was poor adding a player like Penney would have catipulted the Breakers above the pack.

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LA Boy  
Years ago

I really think that's why these older players got to step into a lesser role. The league was much evenly matched because the player level is much similar throughout. It may be better competition but not standard.

When you look at the style of basketball this season, the pace has slow down; which is why youth development is important.

Once again had those big names stayed in the league, it would've been a more entertaining season. Yeah, the quality of competition may not be as good but the standard would be higher.

BTW I'm not saying the league needs 10+ teams. All I'm saying is you can't allow your star players to leave. This hurts the league. If you have your top MVP candidates leaving each year, there's no way the level would be the same.

Reply #272749 | Report this post

Years ago

I agree 100% that you dont want good players leaving (elite players from the year before were Penney, Anstey, Bruton, Redhage, Schenscher, Ere, Knight and Williams, and most of them stayed), but with the reduction to 8 teams the standard wasnt greatly affected.

I think the increased depth the past two seasons increased the defensive intensity and made it hard for teams to run and gun. Having said that, the scoring per minute was higher this year than in a few years.

We'll have to agree to disagree, because my view is the star players had it as hard or harder than ever this year because of the depth and parity, and that to me says that while there was a slight drop from the great 07 and 08 seasons, the level of play this year was excellent once teams got used to the new players and the over zealous officiating early in the season.

Reply #272750 | Report this post

Years ago

Back on topic...I thought Barlow had a contract for next season also with Zaragosa? And Zaragosa appear to be heading for promotion to the ACB for next season also...

Reply #272788 | Report this post

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