Archive for June 12th, 2008

Entire NBL Australia league in trouble

The Herald Sun (Tim Morrissey) reports: The damaging fallout from the death of the Sydney Kings and likely demise of the Brisbane Bullets could drag the National Basketball League into insolvency. If the NBL is not able to renew its naming rights sponsorship deal with Hummer and negotiate a new TV broadcast deal with Fox Sports, the league will not have the funds to run its competition next season. Hummer reportedly paid the NBL between $800,000 and $1 million for the naming rights last season.

The Herald Sun reports: “The termination of the team’s licence is the most extreme action the league can take when a club is placed in default but, in the current circumstances, it was quite simply the only course available to us,” NBL chief executive Chuck Harmison said in a statement. Harmison said club owner Tim Johnston had failed to pay outstanding money owed to players by yesterday’s 5pm deadline. The licence will now be returned to the NBL office. The seven contracted Kings players, some with families and mortgages, new coach Bill Tomlinson and his assistants will have to find new teams.

InsideHoops.com says: The Sydney Kings are the most famous team in Australia’s NBL, the main league there. But they’ve apparently been mismanaged so badly they can’t afford to pay their players and, for now, are out of the league. We’ll have more on this later today or tomorrow, on our blog or on the InsideHoops front page.

Byron Scott hopes CP3 makes Team USA

The New Orleans Times-Picayune (John Reid) reports: One day after it was announced that there won’t be tryouts for the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, Hornets Coach Byron Scott said he can’t see a team without his star guard, Chris Paul, on it. “I think if they are going to make a team, then he (Paul) should definitely be on it,” Scott said Wednesday. “If they are going to try out guys, that’s a different story. I don’t see how you’ll leave out a guy that was runner-up to the MVP. “I just don’t see how you do it. But I don’t know what the criteria is, but Chris is the ultimate point guard as far as making people around him better. He is very unselfish, and he is a true point guard.” … Jason Kidd appears to be a lock to make the team.

Mark Madsen writing on his own blog: “I cannot believe that Flip Saunders was fired.  I cannot believe it.  This man can flat out coach and while I hope that the Pistons have success in the future, let’s not forget that Flips tenure as head coach of Detroit took the Pistons deep into the playoffs every year.  Coaching is not an exact science and it’s not easy at the NBA level with mature and grown men all of whom have strong competitive natures.  I wish Detroit well, but they lost a gem with Flip.”

No Mehmet Okur for Turkey in September

The Deseret Morning News (Tim Buckley) reports: Jazz starting center Mehmet Okur won’t play for his native Turkey when its national team plays France, Belgium and Ukraine in September qualifying games for the 2009 FIBA European championships. According to a Web report from the English-language Today’s Zaman Turkish newspaper, Okur was dropped from the team’s provisional roster due to injury. Okur played with an Achilles tendon injury late in the Jazz’s 2008 playoff run, and O’Connor on Wednesday suggested the 2007 NBA All-Star was more injured late in Utah’s second-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers than many people realize.

The Washington Post (Michael Lee) reports: Before the NBA Finals began last week, Los Angeles Lakers reserve Luke Walton got a message on his answering machine that said, “This is Paul Pierce, you’re a bum, all your teammates are bums.” Walton also received messages this postseason from “Carmelo Anthony” before the Lakers played Denver in the first round and “Carlos Boozer” before they played Utah in the second. Why is Walton so popular? The calls are actually from his father, Bill, the Hall of Fame center and ESPN analyst who has been trying to motivate Luke with imitations that sound — using Bill Walton’s classic description — horrible. “It’s his voice. He doesn’t change his voice at all,” Luke Walton said with a laugh.

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