AngusH
Earlier this month

Bullets sign NS Tom Digbeu

French/Spanish guard is the latest Euro NS. Spent the past season in Lithuania with modest numbers in the national league.

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LV  
Earlier this month

Good signing.

With Hukporti and Digbeu, the Next Star program really growing in scope.

My only concern would be that 3 imports plus NS (plus sometime other exceptions like Yudai Baba) leaves less opportunities for young Aussies.

If more NS's are going to be taken up by guys who have already played professionally like Hukporti and Digbeu, and if more NS's are in the league generally (how many now signed for this season?) then I'd prefer they leave imports at 2 per team.

Although I guess the counter argument is that they should just have the best standard of basketball possible- which ultimately provides the best development for the Aussies who are good enough to be in the league. And if they're not good enough, they weren't making it anyway.

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AngusH  
Earlier this month

I'm sort of with you on that one. With how many next stars we have this season I'd already question the need for the 3rd import slot, and that's forgetting about the Asian player slots also - I'm expecting those will ramp up, especially if the EU guys do well this season.

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BeeGee  
Earlier this month

Thirded on going to the 2 imports. Could one surmise that having only 2 imports (+ most likely a NS), would translate in to better imports?

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

He looks a bit like RJ Hampton, but with better shot and higher IQ.

Why are the young Euro prospects now favouring NBL over the typical Euroleague clubs?

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Hard to work ya way in when they have several hungered quality prospects every year in Europe.

Easier to draw attention to yourself in the nbl atm.

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ME  
Earlier this month

I get fed up with the Helen Lovejoy "wont somebody PLEASE think of the Australians!?!?!" take every time we try to have more talent in the league. We have plenty of room for Australians that are good enough. We have development spots. We have multiple scrubs on every team who wouldn't get a game in basically any other half-decent league in the world. Why would we prevent bringing more talent to this league so we can have another Brendan Teys or Jarred Bairstow sitting on the bench? I just don't get it.

The best situation for Australian players is one where there is competition for spots and with the best possible players to compete against. You've got guys as it is like Harry Frolling who wont even pull their finger out for conditioning yet will have a 10-plus year NBL career if they want it just because they're the best of a fairly poor situation when it comes to Australian depth.

So while we're debating about whether Aussies are getting their shot can any of you name any Aussie players who really should be in this league that aren't. Someone who can contribute more than absolute garbage minutes who has a noteable upside? I'd be surprised. And if there is, there's about 8 guys on the Jack Jumpers who could make way for him.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Why are the young Euro prospects now favouring NBL over the typical Euroleague clubs?


Because the NBL is being so heavily scouted by NBA teams these days, they're not coming here for the fun of it.

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ME  
Earlier this month

Talking of Australian talent, what is the best long term situation for Australia - situation 1, Brendan Teys 2.0 makes it to the Jack Jumpers bench. Situation 2, an import comes here, loves it, stays here, naturalizes, and their son goes on to represent the Boomers?

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

I still favour three imports plus a Next Star.
Does it take minutes off a young local well yes but it also means less Teys, Trist types on the end of benches.

Only Cairns, Perth and SEM are without next star players with Illawarra yet to confirm if Jessup will be back.

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ME  
Earlier this month

Also, just to add, why do you think we're seeing guys like Landale and Dellavedova drop in? It's not because the league is full of borderline Aussies. It's because of the next stars. It's because of the level of imports who are dropping in and then going onto the NBA. Without opportunities for imports and next stars, we don't get either of those guys, we don't get the Maker brothers, we don't keep any Aussies with aspirations. So do you want Brendan Teys 2.0 or do you want the best possible Aussies who have higher aspirations like Broekhoff, Creek, Humphries who could all easily go to Europe if there wasn't this kind of upwards movement in the NBL?


Nah... lets' get more scrubs!

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ME  
Earlier this month

As it stands I could easily list a whole team of players in the NBL who have no business being paid to play basketball, and as such, I am not worried about Australians not having enough opportunities. They might even be getting too many if anything.

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JT  
Earlier this month

There has been two new teams added in the last three years. Plenty of spots for talented young Aussies.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Plenty of good young Aussies in the league too with Humphries, S Froling, Noi, Travers, J White, Magnay and Vasilijevic all under 25.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

"As it stands I could easily list a whole team of players in the NBL who have no business being paid to play basketball, and as such, I am not worried about Australians not having enough opportunities. They might even be getting too many if anything. "


This level of naivety is staggering. It is so difficult to be a pro basketballer in Australia compared to other sports with equal or lesser participation numbers.

While I've always been in the 'opportunities for Aussies' camp, to me that is not a concern at the moment. Rewind a few years and we had 8 teams with 10-man rosters and 2 imports, hence 64 spots for Aussies and Kiwis.

Now we have 10 teams with 12-man rosters, so even with 4 spots for imports and next stars (which in some cases are Aussies) there are at least 80 spots for Aussies and Kiwis, so a good increase in recent years while also allowing teams the extra import spot if they need to add talent that way.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

3 or 2 imports is an interesting debate, though I agree there is space for Australians even with 3 imports and 1 NS, my concern with this many "foreign seasonal recruits" is in a teams motivation to dedicate resources towards DP's etc.
The NBL is not AFL when it comes to staff and facilties, so can only stretch so far, interestly the new star program has a clause that teams need to dedicate a specific amount of time weekly(outside team training) to individual skill development for the NS player

That said the NBL is not a national development system but a private sports entertainment business, should they really be expect to consider local player development if the audience wants more seasoned talent ?

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

8 locals Aus/nz/asia
3 imports
1 next star
3 development


Just need more teams.
Wellington + Canberra next you'd think.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Euro teams play a lot more structured than nbl, it's in between nba and euro the nbl. Ten teams to look at v hundreds plus in Europe, more likely to get more time in nbl as well.

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ME  
Earlier this month

"
This level of naivety is staggering. It is so difficult to be a pro basketballer in Australia compared to other sports with equal or lesser participation numbers.
"

Well... you should have to be particularly good at a sport to be paid for it. Might just so happen that more Aussies are good at football than they are basketball.

"Now we have 10 teams with 12-man rosters, so even with 4 spots for imports and next stars (which in some cases are Aussies) there are at least 80 spots for Aussies and Kiwis, so a good increase in recent years while also allowing teams the extra import spot if they need to add talent that way."

Yes, this. Aussies are not going without spots. I think a lot of them need a fire lit under their asses anyway.

"That said the NBL is not a national development system but a private sports entertainment business, should they really be expect to consider local player development if the audience wants more seasoned talent ?"

I think the NBL does have a responsibility for developing talent to some extent but the question is 'developing talent for what'? I don't think it has a responsibility to develop Australian talent to be 12th men on NBL teams for the sake of being a 12th man on an NBL team. Sure, there will always be guys who fit that role but I don't think it's the NBL's imperative to find those guys jobs.

As far as the NBL's development responibility, I believe it is to develop Australians for the Boomers, the NBL and to a lesser extent Europe. If a player doesn't have that kind of upside then I don't see how their development overly benefits Australian basketball in any meaningful way. And while I wouldn't wish every player without that upside out of the NBL I think we need to be realistic as to whether bringing in an extra import in that circumstance does the competition, and the Australian players with real upside, more service.


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ME  
Earlier this month

*the NBA and lesser extent Europe*

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ME  
Earlier this month

I think with development player spots there is plenty of opportunity for young Aussies with upside, or even young Aussies with question marks, to make the leap into a meaningful NBL role and beyond. But I think we need to preserve and improve the standard of play in the league, and you don't do that by cutting back imports. Take a look at Euroleague - no import restrictions. While we dont have the luxury of havinbg the money, population and depth of talent that Europe does, I am quite confident we could go to four imports, one next star, one Asian player, and have Aussies coming up getting their shots and chances. I mean, as it stands we already have Melbourne with only one import. There have always been teams that have kept an import slot up their sleeves until later in the season. And there wll always be teams that opt against getting Next Stars. In the same breath, you've got teams also putting marquee money on Australian players (Dellavedova, Landale) and you've got Aussies benefitting from the next stars program (Giddey, the Maker brother). If not for LaMelo Ball and what he did with next stars, would the program have the credentials it has for Josh Giddey to have been drafted so high? I doubt it. The relationship between imports and Australians has always been a symbiotic one, ever since the first imports came to raise the game in the 80s. Australian basketball owes a lot to its imports, and we should never forget that.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

I think an issue with these number though is that coaches in the NBL only go 7-8 deep in a game.

Also compared to Europe / NBA your top 3 players (mainly imports) take up a much high percent of available game minutes

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Most teams in the NBL run 9-10 man rotations throughout the season.

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LV  
Earlier this month

Some reasonable arguments in this thread.

I wonder how much the 3rd import actually increases the overall standard though? Most of them have been bench players.

I guess it's a debate about the degree to which you sign overseas talent vs developing talent.

If we took some of the "talent" arguments to their logical conclusions, why have an import cap at all?

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LV  
Earlier this month

Or I mean, why not cap at 4 or 5?

I think most of us would agree 2 or 3 is the right number. I'm just questioning if the balance should head back to 2 (as with the 20/21 season) given the expanding NS program.

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Zodiac  
Earlier this month

I would argue 2 imports + a Next Star is enough. Unless you're the Sydney Kings most teams can really only afford NZ NBL level guys with their third import spots anyway so what's the point?

Three imports and a NS per team effectively four imports is overkill IMO.

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ME  
Earlier this month

Well that creates an environment where Aussie players have to step up, which is the ideal environment if you're talking development. I am yet to see a situation where garbage guys aren't getting minutes and until I do I wont be here saying we need to cut back imports.

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ME  
Earlier this month

I believe teams should have the option of 3-4 imports, a next star, and/or an Asian player. As for whether a bench import increases the standard of the league, of course it does? Unless you can point to an Australian player who is not in the league that should be, who is better than the bench import, than is that bench import not just one extra good player that you wouldn't otherwise have?

We saw a drop in standard of play last season compared to the ones before, and a change of import rules was a big part of why.

If we want the NBL to truly be the highest standard of basketball we can create to develop Australian basketball players in, then those very Australian players will need to stop being the sacred cows of the league. Guys doing very little getting 10-15 year careers over here. A career in basketball should be an opportunity, and not an entitlement like a glorified pension for guys who can "kind of play"

More imports - better competition - more highlights - more interest - more money - therefore more teams - therefore more opportunities for Australian players.

I mean can we truly question that Australian basketball players will develop more in a better league, or a league where Brendan Teys plays for a decade in?

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Andre  
Earlier this month

ME take it elsewhere dude. This isn't 60 minutes it’s Hoops.

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Isaac  
Earlier this month

Why stop him when ME is on the cusp of approving open borders so Australia can draw the best talent pool across all fields of trade?

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LV  
Earlier this month

I've often wondered how much roster continuity matters to fans.

Imports place a higher premium on getting paid, whereas Aussies are likely to play longer stints with one team.

If you load up a team with say, 4 imports, a Next Star and an Asian player like Baba, in all likelihood you'll be turning over 2/3rds of your roster every year.

How much does this matter for league branding, fan retention etc? Does it matter at all?

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LV  
Earlier this month

I would add, I have enjoyed watching players who have played many years with teams I've followed. Watching their careers. Even guys who predominantly played off the bench like Hoare, Walker, Corletto, etc.

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JB  
Earlier this month

His dad Alain Digbeu was a French international, who was drafted in the 2nd round by Atlanta but never played in the NBA. Played in clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona though.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Last season was a great season, competitive as any previously. Would a young Adnam get a run under todays rules? I'm not convinced and he’s certainly better than some of the imports from last season.

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Isaac  
Earlier this month

Yes, I think continuity matters. I've typically lost interest when a team has seemed like a set of mercenaries rather than something built up over a number of years. Players don't need be locals, just sticking around for a bit.

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ME  
Earlier this month

"Why stop him when ME is on the cusp of approving open borders so Australia can draw the best talent pool across all fields of trade?"

I see what you tried to do there, and no. Not unless everyone coming in here is coming to do a job we've got a need for, like in the NBL and imports. Nice try though. If imports were unvetted randoms without any credentials then we could have that conversation.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Just looking at the last 2 seasons, teams use that 3rd import differently. Whilst the bigger club's have used them as role players, Cairns was able to be more than competitive with 3 star imports. Take away Newbill and they struggled, not that it was the only factor. Keep it at 3 and let teams decide how they use it. Injuries midway through the season would also dictate moves. A club might leave that spot open to sign a need or replacement. If a local is good enough, they'll get signed somewhere. Look at players that didn't get contracts when they returned from college.

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Giacontigers  
Earlier this month

Not sure why people are carrying on about the imports. When the NBL introduced three import rule it made the league great.

Who wants average Aussie/Kiwis on the bench if the NBL stayed with 2 imports with the ten teams we have now.

If there's 3 solid imports plus a good Next Star then you would have better locals in your team rather then locals who aren’t up to it. It’s better if the league becomes more internationally. Yudai Baba was great for Melbourne United. Really nice and humble guy.

Strange only Adelaide used the SRP player rule this season. Not many NBL teams find good asian players. My guess is too dear and most would be signed by other Asian clubs. I thought Melbourne would use it again. Looks like no one is interested in the 7-footer Chinese player.

I read article not many days ago and it said that he won’t be playing with any CBA teams.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

"When the NBL introduced three import rule it made the league great."

The third imports that season were:

Terrence Ferguson, Fuquan Edwin, Michael Holyfield, Ramone Moore, Jameel McKay and Steve Blake. That's a generous definition of greatness!

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

"Well that creates an environment where Aussie players have to step up, which is the ideal environment if you're talking development."
What utter crap. You expect the local aussies to be of import and NS standard. Never heard so much BS.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

#170 and they were all better then the end of bench aussies, so your point being what?

#176 if you can't understand that point then that’s your fault. What it means is that due to increased talent, aussies will have to step up to reach their own higher levels of talent thus making the league better. You don’t have to agree with it but don’t try and misrepresent the point

Despite this thread going off topic, it is a good talking point of what the best path of player development is for aussies that aren’t going to the nba at ages 19-21 (next stars is a while separate issue). Ultimately every path is different as someone like a jack white spent 4 years at a college that had him surrounded with talent each year that far surpasses nbl level so naturally to even warrant a spot on the roster he had to work his ass off and thus when coming to the nbl he is an impactful player right away. On the other hand, someone like a sam short has been a development player for 4 years now and appears Melbourne aren’t bringing him back judging by their roster thus far. You can say for him that being at a club with loads of talent throughout the years should’ve helped, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. However for players who aren’t at that elite level, professional basketball can be very situational and who’s to say if that 4 years is spent at a cairns for example, does a guy like short develop more due to getting more opportunities as opposed to being at club that gets loads of talent.

A recent example of an Aussie staying home and it working out is a guy like sam froling. He’ll be entering his third year and seems to be a genuine starter. So, since he’s been a smaller club and then getting goorj, one can argue that has helped his development tremendously, whereas say if he went to a Sydney is this the same case. College also isn’t the answer for everyone, granted they both spent less time and big guys stereotypically take longer to develop, but it took humphries some time to show his goods at the pro level and Harry froling it appears seems to be taking longer.


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JT  
Earlier this month

Roster continuity is important for 1) fan investment and 2) success

The teams with the most success over the last 15 years have been the most stable - Perth, Melbourne, NZ

Fans become attached to the players who are around for the long-term. You can immediately name the respective stalwarts of the aforementioned teams. Even better is when you can get high calibre imports to hang around.

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Stevy  
Earlier this month

I don't know why you guys are complaining about imports.

As an outsider, I can see that it is good for you guys, especially in growth. Not only is it good for development, but it further solidifies the NBL as a world-class league.

European leagues don’t have any import restrictions or salary caps. This is also what the B league did to fast track the growth of their local players in the next 5-15 years.

The B league allows 3 imports, excluding a naturalized player, plus an Asian import who is also treated like a local. That could easily be 5 imports. The only restriction is that more than 2 imports can not be played at the same time, except for the Asian import, which is treated like a local.

All in all, the positives outweigh the negatives. In the future, 2nd tier Australian talent or 1st tier (NS) can have a higher ceiling or floor through this and this is also the right direction to penetrate the NBL into a Top 5 basketball league.

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Hoopie  
Earlier this month

So would we rather see
- a tougher battle for local kids to play NBL, which means only the best get in, but also risks a lot of potential players giving up or going to AFL because it all seems too hard, or
- an easier road into the NBL, which allows good - but not great - players to get in and stay in, and gives prospective players hope that they COULD make it?

And then we need to take into account that some will really improve once they get the chance (Travers, Dech, Vasiljevic), whereas others probably won't (Harry F amongst many others).

At least NBL1 offers a bit of a pathway into the NBL.

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Stevy  
Earlier this month

@Hoopie

From my perspective, I am leaning towards the tougher route. I don't think players will quit if they are faced with adversity.

It could be a possibility, but if they really love this sport, they will do whatever they can do to be better. I am sure at one point, these NBL players in the present also faced some sort of adversity. If they quit, they just don't have it, in my opinion.

Is NBL 1 a second division? I don’t quite understand it. European leagues have 3 divisions, even the B league has 3 divisions.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

When everyone had three imports, Perth won the premiership with two. Most third imports have been average, no better than their Australian counterpart.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this month

It's hard to deal with the whole afl thing as it’s always been the no.1 sport in aus despite bball growing not just globally but internationally. While we want to keep as many kids as possible let’s face it, some are too good for the nbl and will go to Europe, Asia or the NBA , some will quit because it’s just not their thing anymore and go on with a normal life, some will stick around and be nbl/nbl1 players and some will quit for another sport.

In regards to the afl specifically 2 things that I think need to be considered are that due to the afl and it’s popularity, naturally to young men it’ll sound better that they’re and afl player versus being an nbl player. This has to do with the sports as imo it stems from afl is the no.1 sport in the country and the highest level to play that sport. So to an Aussie kid these days it sounds better to be in the no.1 league versus the nbl at best is what like no.5-10ish. Another thing to be considered is what are the financial side of things when comparing the leagues. Being an AFL player I presume will mean more money and if it’s easier to get to a league that everyone views as the best and you’ll get more money, then naturally you’ll take that option. The more roster spots also help as having 22 players means more opportunities compared to 11.

I also think that as a country we need to evaluate what’s going on in juniors. I understand Australia getting respect internationally these days with basketball but one thing I see as a key difference between the afl and basketball in this country is kids get burnt out easier. For example, I recall myself being really into basketball as a kid and I was doing 2 rep trainings a week, a vjbl game, 2 domestic games and trainings, 1 game of school basketball, an academy training that was part of the bvc program and even an extra training for shooting. Now I know that sounds like a lot, but I knew many kids that did all that but minus the extra shooting training, and that was for just basketball at under 14’s. And whilst I loved it, there were certainly multiple occasions where I was burnt out and would have days where I couldn’t be stuffed. Whereas for footy in under 14’s the kids train twice a week and a game on the weekend and maybe every 2 months or so they represent their local area in a game.

I know basketball is an international sport so it’s like we’re trying to keep up with the rest of the world, but for kids picking a sport it makes sense that when comparing footy and basketball, commitment for basketball begins at under 14’s if your somewhat serious whereas with footy it’s not till your last year of under 16’s or even first year of under 18’s. Thus, leading to more kids sticking around for footy.

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Giacontigers  
Earlier this month

I do you agree with your opinion. Footy is the logical choice to pick. Basketball there is only ten teams with 3 imports, 1 next start and possibly special restricted player that may take a local spot.

At least in the AFL there isn't the same pressure making a roster. Of course it’s not easy. I used to play footy till under15’s. But once it got more competitive I had no choice to leave. I did play basketball later after footy. Basketball is more of a fun casual sport you do week to week. I was lucky enough winning back to back in my last 2 seasons playing junior basketball. Now just play for fun twice a week.

Professionally in the AFL there is 18 teams and there’s no such things as imports and restrictions. Its Australian rules football. Only played in Australia which makes it special.

You can’t even compare the NBL to AFL. If you’re a superb athlete you have to pick footy over basketball if you can’t make NBA.

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