As an NBL fan who was living overseas during the “height” of the league’s lows, it is somewhat gratifying to only have stumbled across the following video right now in 2011. This skit produced for a show called The Mansion — which ironically enough, I’ve never heard of — on the Comedy Channel, pokes fun at the NBL’s troubles circa 2008, including the fact that many people have not heard of some of the teams or are aware that the games are on.
I do find it amusing, if a little depressing. However, it’s with a light heart that I can watch this, safe in the knowledge that basketball in Australia is safely on the return to some form of solidarity.
Sure, things are not at the level of their late ’80s / early ’90s height — and perhaps they never will be again — but they certainly are on the rebound (no pun intended, but I’ll take it). It’s refreshing to be a spectator during an NBL season where the talk is not of which teams are folding, but rather of which ones will get the nod to return to the league (with interested parties connected to the Brisbane Bullets, Newcastle Falcons and Melbourne team #2).
The Sydney Kings are back in the league and managing to draw league-leading attendances, despite sitting on the bottom rung of the ladder and irrespective of at one point maintaining a losing streak longer than an Ater Majok arm. The New Zealand Breakers are providing a formidable NBL presence across the Tasman, no doubt leading to increased interest in the land of the long white cloud. Teams in Far North Queensland are putting up solid competition against last year’s Grand Finalists Perth and Wollongong. It’s all going off… or at least it is on it’s way in that general direction… and no, I don’t mean in a sour milk type of way, but more like the TV advertisements featuring the ticking timebomb.
So on that basis, I can watch the following skit from mid-2008 with a wry smile, rather than a sulking frown.