Anonymous
Last month

Bullets and Magnay fallout

This is a story about a good ol' shakedown at one of Australia’s sporting teams. I am confident it’s legally questionable and I am damn sure its ethically bankrupt. But maybe that opinion depends on whether you are the bagman.

In the early hours of a November morning some six months ago I woke in London to an urgent message from Brisbane. My brother Brett Magnay was unusually downbeat. He had sent me this: "Turns out the Bullets are not releasing Will, they don’t get any payout money as Will has been offered a lower contract. They are demanding money now or future tie ups. Devastated.’’

My basketball playing nephew Will Magnay was the NBL’s most improved player in the 2019-20 season and he had been courted by several NBA teams. The New Orleans Pelicans had tabled a two-way contract and wanted him in the US as soon as possible.

READ NEXT
Earlier, Will had re-signed with the Brisbane Bullets on the express understanding by everyone, that it was an interim contract until he, hopefully, secured an NBA deal. Before committing, he had offered to play for the Bullets for nought, wanting to remain a free agent given the upheaval and unpredictability COVID-19 had had on the US basketball season.

Brisbane insisted on a signature, but it was clear in the contract that Will was free to go to the NBA.

Coach Andrej Lemanis even publicly remarked that Will’s contract extension had an NBA out clause. Lawyers then and since, poring over the contract, agreed. Will could leave without any penalty.

But come late November when senior Bullets executives had the paperwork to release Will for the two-way contract with Pelicans, they wouldn’t do it. From Sunday through to Wednesday, they stalled and held off signing Will’s player release form. They refused to say what their concerns were.

Then around November 25, just as pressure was exploding from the US, the Bullets said they weren’t going to release Will unless he paid a fee of around $70,000. In other words they wanted fresh cash in exchange for their signature.

The Bullets officials knew the Pelicans had a tight deadline of Thanksgiving - which was the next day – for the release to go through: the NBA needed players on the court as a matter of urgency for a compressed season that started with training on December 3 and games beginning December 22.

And the Bullets were apparently quite happy to let the clock tick down without putting pen to paper; thus destroying a young basketballer’s prospective livelihood; knowing full well there was no time for Will to begin urgent legal proceedings.

Although Will didn’t know it at the time, his stark choice was to pay this shock financial demand or forfeit his American dream.

I am still uncertain what the Bullets’ motivation was other than to save face because their officials had previously agreed a legal contract that potentially rewarded them with no money. Perhaps the board didn’t know? It certainly appeared odd.

But I know this. Throughout that November day in between writing stories on Meghan Markle’s miscarriage and the wonderful release of Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert from her Iranian hell hole, I was scrambling my bank account to find the fastest international transfers to contribute to my nephew’s future career.

There was less than 24 hours to agree a hefty sum for a Bullets signature that I, and others believed, should have been freely given.

Calls bounced around the world. A restored car was readied to send to the wholesale auctions in Brisbane to raise immediate funds. Friends and family poised to chip in.

Incredibly, throughout those tense negotiations Will was oblivious to the drama. Both his Melbourne agent and his father wanted it sorted so he could continue to concentrate on his training, and Will was blissfully unaware of the backroom dramas. He was head down trying to get his US visa organised.

On that Wednesday, Will was even ringing various Bullets officials – some of whom he has known for 10 years and whom he regarded as mentors – to try to get details for a COVID-19 test, but was perplexed as to why no one was taking his calls or responding to messages.

But of course, by Thursday morning he discovered their volte-face when presented with paperwork to pay the money. He was utterly shocked and shattered.

That Will – a most generous person – only thanked his teammates and fans in the official release announcing his departure from the Bullets, was telling.

Fast forward six months and the aftermath of that November day is playing out while Will is in a Sydney hotel room in quarantine. Incredibly, after Brisbane’s astonishing corporate bullying, the Bullets were maintaining that Will was tied to them as he sought to play for the Perth Wildcats.

In the past few days a new contract between the NBL, the Perth Wildcats, the Bullets and Will has been formulated which supersedes all of the previous nonsense.

Yet through all this I know someone was rumbled.

Who of Australia’s star players will now commit to a domestic player’s contract knowing of such an imbalance of power? While the financial amount is not the issue, for top basketballers’ potential earning capacities are huge; the most basic human principle of freedom is.

And the Bullets, who had the chance to trumpet a fantastic NBL to NBA pathway for Australian players, have fallen disgracefully short.

JACQUELIN MAGNAY; EUROPE CORRESPONDENT

Topic #48466 | Report this topic


Isaac  
Last month

Appears to be a story from a major newspaper if you want to confirm the source. Going by the text, Brisbane picked on the player whose aunt writes for The Australian.

Reply #847355 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

I'm still confused by what the Bullets motivation for this would have been and whether they had a leg to stand on.

Reply #847356 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

That is written by Will's aunty btw

Reply #847357 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Martin is a snake apparently.

Reply #847358 | Report this post


 
Last month

Well this goes a long way to explaining Magnay's press release which essentially gave Brisbane the middle finger.

Congratulation Brisbane on being an asshole to a class local-bred player. What an organisation of muppets.

Reply #847359 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

The team looks to be on its knees.

Reply #847360 | Report this post


Shano76  
Last month

Gees, sounds a lot like the 36ers and Creek debacle. You'd think the Bullets would’ve learned from the Sixers error. Clearly not.

Reply #847361 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"Well this goes a long way to explaining Magnay's press release which essentially gave Brisbane the middle finger."

What press release

Reply #847362 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Last month

Bullets have outdone the Sixers in regards to player transfer screw-ups and that's quite the feat. Such a soulless franchise already and now this.

Reply #847363 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last month

Gees, sounds a lot like the 36ers and Creek debacle. You'd think the Bullets would've learned from the Sixers error. Clearly not.


Definitely not as bad as what the 36ers did to Mitch Creek, this was just good old fashioned shakedown money at least they didn't take him to the Supreme Court to try and void his NBA contract.

Some of these new breed of owners really give the league a black eye.

Reply #847364 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"this was just good old fashioned shakedown money "

Pardon my ignorance, but what is meant by "shakedown" ?

Reply #847366 | Report this post


Lovebroker  
Last month

So does this mean Brisbane scored $70k from Magnay for the NBA release, then another undisclosed sum from Magnay / Wildcats for the NBL release?

Reply #847368 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Last month

Saturday, May 15
BNE vs PER

Looking forward to that one a little bit more now

Reply #847370 | Report this post


Giacontigers  
Last month

Should be a great game.

Reply #847375 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Last month

Re-reading the article again and this is next level bad. NBL clubs want to flirt with the NBA in hopes of making money from player movement but clearly don't know how to go about it and when not entitled to anything act deceptively. In the world of sports transfer fees and payments are a matter between clubs, not players themselves.

Imagine your employer asking you directly for $70K cash or else you're a hostage and can't move on in your career.

Reply #847378 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Sounds like it's implied that Sammy Mack was involved in the treachery.

And would have to think new CEO Peter McLennan is also.

So very disappointing. I’m a Brisbane local and the club has been difficult to support at best since they’ve re-entered the league. Someone said it previously - soulless.

Reply #847381 | Report this post


Giacontigers  
Last month

I never liked the Bullets when they re-entered league. The Bullets were way better in their final years. It was really sad when the Financial crisis hit them. They haven't been the same club since then.

Reply #847383 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

I agree they haven't been the same club since the days of JVG and Wright spending someone else's money. That was the all time low for the Bullets.

Reply #847385 | Report this post


Scout  
Last month

three elements of truth

1.Magnay's truth

2.Bullets truth

3.Somewhere in between

Reply #847386 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

The Australian, now there's a paper of truth, lol.::))

Reply #847387 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

I'm not sure why so many people are upset by clubs trying to make money, Brisbane after all trained him into the player he is. I’m certain his agent doesn’t work for nothing.

Reply #847389 | Report this post


Lovebroker  
Last month

^You didn't read the article did you.

Reply #847393 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Unbelievable Brisbane didn't take any bridgeburning 101 lessons from Adelaide/Creek.

Reply #847394 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

"I'm not sure why so many people are upset by clubs trying to make money,"

I' m not sure why clubs sign contracts allowing players to take a better offer without financial compensation.

The NBL is now a business, as are nearly all of the clubs. They shouldn’t sign players to contracts with Clauses that let them freely leave for greener pastures if they don’t want to let them freely leave.

Personally, i’m unimpressed by players who demand such clauses. It clearly speaks to their lack of commitment to the employer with whom they’re signing. They’re saying they’ll abandon the club and their team mates as soon as it suits them. Which is exactly what the sentence is saying, after “READ NEXT” in the original post, and is exactly what happened once the NBA offer arose.

Just another episode that shows how professional sport is all about self-interest. Neither party looks good in this.

Reply #847396 | Report this post


KobeFoolz  
Last month

I'm sure the journalist would be interested in the details of the Creek saga......

Reply #847407 | Report this post


FM  
Last month

Creek's issue was around who he was contracted too and who was getting paid.

He was contracted to 36ers.
End of season playing in Germany.
Gets NBA opportunity and German club was getting release cash.
SIXERS were rightfully saying he was on a waiver for opportunity to play in Germany, but we still own the contract, hence money should have been coming to Adelaide.

Reply #847413 | Report this post


joshuapending  
Last month

Either way these clubs need to think about how their actions reflect with their fans. The Creek thing destroyed the club in a lot of fans minds, to see someone they had grown with and supported get every ballers dream almost ripped away was just shocking.

We may be getting better as a league but the professionalism needs to get better. Look how the Ingles contract thing still haunts us now.

Reply #847416 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last month

They shouldn't sign players to contracts with Clauses that let them freely leave for greener pastures if they don’t want to let them freely leave.
"Hi Club Owner, I'm a future NBA talent. Do you want to sign me with an NBA out-clause, or do you want me to go to another team?"

It's just another component in negotiations like length of contract, bonuses and the like.

On NBL teams perhaps faltering in efforts to fundraise via buyouts, there was the rumour of one team being eligible for a significant buy-out but accidentally releasing the player before claiming it.

Reply #847417 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last month

On NBL teams perhaps faltering in efforts to fundraise via buyouts, there was the rumour of one team being eligible for a significant buy-out but accidentally releasing the player before claiming it.


Terrence Ferguson, Adelaide to OKC, amount lost $400k.

Reply #847418 | Report this post


KET  
Last month

I suspect Isaac was probably trying to nuance his post with legal protection in mind.....

Reply #847420 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Last month

It goes without saying really.*

Reply #847452 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

One side of the story, written by Will's aunty.

Says it all.

Reply #847485 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

The Bullets side of the story is on their website. A three sentence press release. Make of that what you will.

Reply #847487 | Report this post


ME  
Last month

"One side of the story, written by Will's aunty.

Says it all."

Yeah, it's one side of the story. But I don't get the point of her releasing it if it wasn't true. What would be to gain?

Reply #847490 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last month

Bullets offer no comment on their prior actions:

"The club can confirm that it has today released Will Magnay from his Standard Player Contract with the club.

“Will has chosen to return to Australia after his stint in the US and we expressed our desire for him to return to the Bullets' but he has indicated that he wished to pursue his career with another team.

“While we are disappointed that he will not return to Brisbane, we are also not going to stand in the way of him playing basketball and wish him well."

Reply #847494 | Report this post


Cram  
Last month

With the extra imports and next stars program, the NBL has positioned itself as a development league so can't be surprised when players want to move up. NBL team's continuing to screw over favourite sons over a few thousand dollars suggests, perhaps the "NBL is in a great position" rhetoric might be full of crap.

Reply #847495 | Report this post


ME  
Last month

I dont think the NBL is in a great position at all after Covid and declining attendance/viewership.

Reply #847496 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last month

Isaac, that statement predates this article as far as I know. Certainly predates it blowing up.

Reply #847500 | Report this post


Cram  
Last month

"I dont think the NBL is in a great position at all after Covid and declining attendance/viewership."

The Mitch Creek one happened before Covid. The NBL's lack of a sustainable platform were evidence well before the pandemic hit

Reply #847501 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

@ ME

Journalists are renowned for telling nothing but the honest truth, aren't they?

Again, she is his Aunty. She's too close to Will to be objective and quite a bit of her article was speculative.

Sorry love, you either know and should publish the article, or don't know and should butt the hell out.

Reply #847507 | Report this post


LoveBroker  
Last month

Journalists are renowned for telling nothing but the honest truth, aren't they?

Again, she is his Aunty. She's too close to Will to be objective and quite a bit of her article was speculative.


But she is not writing on her own blog.

She is writing on behalf of the Australian, if she is writing pure fabrication, that can easily be disproved by the Bullets in a court of law.

A reasonable person would not risk their own and the newspaper's integrity for a cheap shot at a previous employer.

Reply #847510 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

* at a previous employer of her nephew

Reply #847511 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

A reasonable person would not risk there own newspaper's integrity for a cheap shot.

Oh boy, what are you talking about. Lmao. The news papers are nothing but full of crap and she is related.

Reply #847522 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last month

Yeah that's the whole reason The Australian exists lol

Reply #847527 | Report this post


LoveBroker  
Last month

But she is making statements that can easily be refuted by Brisbane or the Magnay team.

The contract states the terms, both parties have it.
The presence of a demand can be proven.
The payment of the $70k can be proven.

There is reporting an opinion and reporting facts, she is representing things framed as facts so she can be held accountable if they are false.



Reply #847530 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

FM, I don't want to go to town on you for you false information, but please retract that rubbish you just fed. Not sure who gave that to you, but those with the full details of what actually happened to Creek have the facts.

Reply #847541 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

LB on the money.

Regardless of journo's relationship to Will, her article isn’t going to print if there are falsehoods.

Bullets have had opportunity to refute. Haven’t done so, offering only limp dick press release.

Reply #847545 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last month

Anon, even if what she said was crap the Bullets are not going to be stupid enough to take on a journo from Rupert's most beloved newspaper. It would be suicide, if Rupert wants to destroy the Bullets he can.

The only sensible thing the Bullets should be doing is laying low letting this all blow over because it will be forgotten about in a week's time.

Reply #847548 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

#545 what a load crap.

Reply #847554 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

What exactly is a load of crap? Look forward to your response.

Reply #847556 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Articles going to print with false hoods, newspapers get sued regularly due to false hoods, journalism in Australia has been so far from the truth for decades.
As Zodiac said, Brisbane are not going to start a fight with a journalist, they have nothing to gain, magnay has moved on, its over. Both sides will have their own opinion of what went down, magnay has had his published by the newspaper, Brisbane don't achieve anything by arguing against it.

Reply #847565 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Lol, 'newspapers get sued regularly'. Yeah no they don’t. What, like 1 in every 50,000 articles that are printed in papers throughout Australia. I think the Australian is safe but try again m8.

Reply #847570 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last month

I was talking to a journalist last week about lawsuits. Someone who got people offside regularly. The count of legal issues over their entire career was absolutely minimal - what they had in decades, Hoops would give me in a year.

When someone talks trash about truth in serious journalism it usually suggests to me they haven't talked much with career journalists to know the factors that go into what they write, phrasing, processes, etc.

Reply #847578 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Last month

Basically editors are a thing, which many on here don't seem to understand going by the comments.

Reply #847582 | Report this post




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