An open letter to Brett Maher
I am just one of many 36er fans and have been since childhood. You came into the NBL when I was a child, and finished your career when I was an adult. I went to the games, bought your jersey, cheered for you in the crowds and spent countless hours arguing with kids in the schoolyard about how you where better than player a, b or c. I couldnt afford to go to the 94 grand final but it didnt stop me crying in my room when D-mac hit that runner against you in OT and it didn't stop me feeling like I was floating on air when the team laid the smackdown on the Magic in Melbourne Park in 98. As an teenager I had your poster on my wall from one on one magazine. I had a bit of a rough childhood, one day I got up and left home with few prized possessions.....one of them was your jersey. When I got older, got a job and started taking women on dates I'd always bring them to the Powerhouse/Dome/Arena and bring them into the magic that was a 36er game watching you nail that sweet mid-range jumper off the dribble.
The point of the above is thru the tough times of my life, thru my successes and everything in between the one constant has been my love of the club and the passion I hold for it. I know I'm not the only person who holds the same passion for the club.
As is evident for all to see right now the club is at rock bottom. The ownership situation is unclear, the coaches who are lame ducks right now are hostile to fans, ex players are getting on forums to vent and now we have fans arguing with each other. The club's once quite good media profile in SA is now laughable and the administration seems tired and unwilling to do anything different. The club right now needs a public figure who is an unifier, who the hardcore supporters and the casual fan can get behind. We need someone with no hidden agendas, with no plan to move on, to massage egos on the way to somewhere else. We need someone that the fans know that win, lose or draw feels the same passion for the club that they feel. The same want, same desire and same will to win that people who have followed the team all their life have.
There is one person, who when I think of those qualities I think of and that person is you.
I have heard rumors around town that you have already offered your services. I have also heard people say that's incorrect and you have no interest in coaching. I've got no idea if you will be a good coach, no one can know either way for sure. But I know you will care, about the club and about it's best interests. Every decision you make will be because you thought it's what is right for the club. I know the crowd at the Brett Maher court will be unified behind our most loved home grown product. I know just by you being there those in the crowd will be able to find our collective voice and cheer as one again.
If you are worried about your legacy being tarnished, don't be. Your legacy is secured. You are the club's greatest ever player. I love all the club legends, Davis, Green etc but with all respect to the other guys you are # 1. Win or lose it will still be the Brett Maher court. Win or lose if I ever get to bump into you one day I was still be thanking you for working your arse off for the club. Win or lose you will still have my respect. Win or lose when I have kids one day and take them to the game and you walk past, I will still be telling them 'that man can hoop, no one could mess with him back in his day' and telling them stories about game 3 in 2002 where you just took over and almost dropped a triple double in a grand final decider. Or about when you webers on fire you would come off an on-ball, retreat dribble and turn and fire over both Scott McGregor and Derek Rucker like it's a lay-up in that first half. Your legacy will only be enhanced as you step up in your time of need.
You have played under Hurley at the AIS. You have played under old school Shipway with his flex offense, Monson, Dunlop and his strict 'tear it down and build it up' college philosophy. You've seen Claxton, a laid back Smyth with him spreading the floor with a four man who can shoot and good one on one guards. You've played for Brian G at the Olympics. You have plenty of different coaching philosophies to draw on. And now you can see your peers in Anstey and Heal coaching with some success at NBL level.
If ever it is the right time to take the gig, the time is now. The fans will support you, casual fans will come back and we can stop all this fan on fan bickering and support our local hero. Your legacy will be one of a great player who stepped up when the club is in need.
If you don't think you are up to it, that's fine too. But if you want to give it a crack, don't worry about your legacy that's secured. Please Brett step up to the plate.
Administrators, if Brett approaches, please get it done.
Thank you for your time.