This is such big news that I felt it was worthy of more than just a Tweet. It seems the NBA is looking to rebuild its partnership with the NBL, a partnership we haven’t see since the last time Leon Trimmingham threw down a reverse windmill against the Geelong Supercats.
Brooks Meek, the NBA vice-president of basketball operations international, spoke with The Age yesterday:
We are going to sit down with Basketball Australia and work out the common areas. We are looking at expanding and building the grassroots, teaching and training coaches, providing opportunities for an exchange of information, whether it be Australian coaches giving us information or us giving Australian coaches information, providing avenues to broaden the fan base of basketball”
This is some of the best news I’ve heard in a while for the future of Australian basketball. It also makes me very proud and reinforces the whole reason I started doing this blog several years ago. When I approached the NBA requesting a media pass during my trip to the US in 2009 they were surprised (to say the least) when I said I was from Australia. They were extremely cooperative from then on, allowing me to catch a number of games (including a few big playoff games), and also helping JT get to a couple as well.
Last year the NBA’s Digital Media department contacted me about placing some NBA banners and embedded video on our blog, citing the fact that Australia was one of their biggest growing markets based on ILP subscriptions and visits to their website (a fact The Age also mentions in their article). It was clear to me then that the NBA had bigger plans for Australia, so reading the article in The Age this morning left me ecstatic.
The NBA is serious about this. It is in their long term interest to grow the game Downunder. And without trying to sound self-serving, I’m just thrilled that NBAMate has been able to play a part in this over the last five years.
Onwards and upwards from here.