Two years ago
NBL financial stability = long term success
I've been following basketball in this counrty since the late 70's. We've always produced great players and currently have an exciting NBL competition.
There have been many great teams and championship winners who no longer exist and there are teams like the 36ers and Bullets who have folded or have been close. Many teams have struggled with financial stability over the life of the competition. The one team who have had long term financial stability and quality backing are Perth. This is reflected in their consecutive finals streak and winning the most championships.
The NBL has struggled at times due to the introductory national invitational model in the late 70's. Local clubs entered the league with many of them representing a small area in Melbourne or Adelaide plus teams representing major cities in other Eastern States but no Perth (yet). Not many of these teams are left. None from Melbourne. None from Adelaide. This model was a mistake.
I look at the league now and see so much potential going forward. If the league was originally set up with a club in each major city (not affiliated with just one local area) and then a few of the larger East coast regional clubs getting a look in the league could have thrived throughout its existence rather than watching teams collapse year in year out.
Perth have done well and are an example of success the other teams should note. They set up a good base from the start and brought in the right people on and off the court. They built a team modelled on the league benchmark at the time (36ers) and then watched the 36ers implode and sack their title winning coach. It then took that team another 11 years to win a title while Perth went from strength to strength. Most importantly Perth had good financial backing and that leads to stabilty.
I hope the league doesn't stuff up by expanding too soon. I also hope to see teams like Brisbane and Adelaide who suffered through some dark times get stronger and thrive again. And I would definitely like to see more time and money injected into officiating and junior development. It looks promising and I enjoyed watching the NBL this year....except the officiating.