Clarke: NBL should consider one import per team
"This is why the AFL is streets ahead of everyone else," he said. "Not because of the 20-odd games they play a year, it is because of how competitive each training session is. Forty odd players are fighting for their spots each and every session.
"I would like nothing more than to walk out to 15 players each week throw out the balls and watch them fight for places."
"Some teams might not want to pay that many players but if that is the problem don't pay your imports a big wage and share the money out more," said Clarke. "The imports in this league aren't setting the world on fire are they?"
Clarke, a former NBL player with the North Melbourne Giants, said talented youngsters weren't getting a fair chance to develop their games under the rules. "What do you do with promising kids like Mitch Creek, Anthony Drmic and Hugh Greenwood?" he said. "Those guys can only get 'development minutes' on court and it is not enough."I know these are probably just off-the-cuff frustration-comments from Marty made after the loss to Melbourne, but my initial thoughts are:
The NBL are looking at introducing 1-2 more teams in the near future and those will provide further spots for local players. As it is, Sydney aren't quite overflowing with talent. Nice to have minutes for kids, but you can watch the ABL for that.
If the imports aren't setting the league ablaze, can't you just play the youngsters more? Mitch Creek has been getting far more than development player minutes! Ben Madgen and Joel Wagner have been getting decent time on court. Scoines too.
Let's say Marty could've picked in-form players. Wouldn't he have snatched up Ng, Hill, Ballinger, Shannon, etc who had great games against Wollongong but then still struggled (as with the rest of the team) against Melbourne?
And, of course, there's nothing stopping a team (e.g., Perth) from having one import anyway.
Finally, I don't think the AFL is a great success because it has large team lists and lots of opportunities for younger players. It's because it is the highest Australian Rules league in the world.