Friday, May 21, 2010

The system works; how to fix the NBL

First of all, welcome. Due to the sorry state of hoops in Australia (more on that below), I am constantly struggling for someone to argue the answers for the classic basketball questions with (LeBron vs Kobe, CP3 vs Deron Williams etc.). So here it is, an outlet for all my pent up basketball jibber jabber most of my friends are sick of hearing. If people get something out of it along the way, better still.

In this, my first post I'll start by discussing something that has always irked me about the NBL. It's boring. The game has devolved into zone defences and excessive outside shooting. There are no highlight plays, no basketball heroes and for me, that means no interest. With the NBL allowing defensive players to sit in the paint for as long as they wish, dunks are a rarity and even then only from centres. PPG averages for individual players and teams are like are considerably less than in the NBA. Interest in Australian basketball is so low that many teams simply ceased to exist last year.

But fear not, the solution is right there in front of us. The NBA system. Of all the pro leagues in the world there is one which stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. The original, and the best. An argument can be made for not trying to copycat the iconic NBA, but why not? To my mind, the best basketball is played in the NBA. Sure, you won't have the same level of players but the system is proven to be entertaining and exciting. Each year, the NBA draft attracts massive interest, over here it is just a footnote in the national sport consciousness.

It might seem an obvious solution, but there are benefits beyond changing the style over here to a more entertaining package. If the NBL is properly suppported, there is no reason why top-notch high-school graduates who want to play forego college wouldn't come here for a year before entering the League. This idea might seem a bit far-fetched, but look at Brandon Jennings. He proved once and for all that college is not the only way into the league. If the NBL were to adopt the NBA ruleset, it would have an instant advantage over the Euroleague as a pre-NBA destination for young phenoms. A year spent playing the NBA system in Australia getting used to the rigours of life as a professional athlete, learning the pick and roll and even the triangle offense could be vastly increase a player's draft stocks.

We have great weather, hot chicks and with an NBA ruleset, are an ideal destination for both young phenoms who don't to be distracted by academia and veteran players looking to make a bit more cash after they are made redundant by ever-more-talented youngsters in the L (which is an alarming trend as it is, but that is for another post).

So this is so long from my first entry in this hopefully enjoyable and fresh blog.


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