Years ago

Second NZ NBL Franchise possible for 2016/17

All the talk surrounding a second New Zealand NBL franchise has always involved the NZNBL's most successful franchise's owner, the Wellington Saints Nick Mills.
He met with NBL boss Fraser Neill back in May to feel out securing a licence but it was during those discussions he discovered the NBL's vision of a co-op owned model didn't match his own sole ownership capital based aspirations.

Since then Wellington businessman Bill Wallace (former colleague of Fraser Neil at the NZRU), Spearhead Manawatu's Craig Nash, Wellington Regional Council chair Fran Wilde & Basketball New Zealand's Iain Potter have established a group pushing for a second New Zealand franchise based primarily out of Wellington & the Manawatu areas but will be trying to draw support from Taranaki all the way across to the Hawkes Bay and down to the Capital.
Their bid has support from the Wellington, Palmerston North & Porirua councils.

Wallace said last week the ''door was open'' regarding Mills' potential involvement in a co-op bid.

But, Mills said while he harboured no bitterness towards Wallace and his group, that would not be happening.

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Years ago

I believe for this to be successful the NBL needs to open the import restrictions to all players with an Oceania or Asian passport.

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Years ago

From Stuff:

'If that's with me involved, that's fantastic, if it's without me being involved, that's just as fantastic, it just means I can go and buy a bach and go on holiday and watch it from afar. Either way, it doesn't worry me but I will not be involved in their bid.''

Pressed on why not, Mills said: ''I like winning, my whole driving force, at all costs, is to win. People sitting around, eating scones and holding hands around a table doesn't work for me."The thing that scares me with that model is that unless someone is prepared to lose their family home, then will it succeed? Nobody wants crazy entrepreneurial owners but the NBA is full of them and that's why it's the most successful league in the world.''

Mills is a great businessman. I would trust him to make it work as he has done for numerous years with the Saints. Mills has guts which the others don't.

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

It'd be good to see it happen. I think it would also make it the first of the Australian-based leagues to have multiple Kiwi teams (SuperRugby and ANZC are joint not Australian-based), so that would be something. Breakers would probably appreciate easing the travel burden a little as well.

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Years ago

Mills knows basketball and the Saints are successful on and off the court for a reason. I'm not sure it will survive long term without him or be even competitive as all the very best players in New Zealand came through the Breakers Academy and are pretty loyal to them.
With Mills at the helm he prob had a shot of poaching a couple of guys through their Saints NZNBL relationships and the Wellington Saints is an already strong established successful brand in the region with a strong support base. The new group would have to create their own brand from scratch and then convince people to support them consistently.

Reply #490105 | Report this post

Years ago

I agree completely with Mystro, I'd far prefer the Saints over a new group joining the league.

Reply #490108 | Report this post

Years ago

"I believe for this to be successful the NBL needs to open the import restrictions to all players with an Oceania or Asian passport."

It already is in terms of Oceania (e.g. Tai Wesley) but not sure there is a need to make Asians locals.

Reply #490111 | Report this post

Years ago

Which Asian players would join the league if the import restrictions were relaxed? Surely if they're from countries like the Philippines and China where basketball is already popular, they'd get paid more staying there. And who else from outside those countries is realistically going to crack a roster?

Reply #490116 | Report this post


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