Category Archives: NBL

Thursday Night Fever

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Over the past few years Thursday has become basketball day in New Zealand. It makes good commercial sense, in a lot of ways. Even with the occasional midweek game of Origin, Thursday’s normally clear of any other sport, except the least exciting game of NPC, and even that tends to neatly dovetail with the NBL/ANBL off-season. Tonight Phill Jones’ Nelson Giants (see starting 5 above) take on, uh, Dylan Boucher’s Auckland Stars (no z! do they not know the golden rule of NZ franchise naming? No wonder they nearly ran out of money last year).

Last year this would’ve been televised on Maori TV, and provide a good opportunity for the more gifted ballers amongst us to think ‘I could do better than that’. ‘More gifted’ in this context means anyone capable of shooting layups at over 60%. Anyway, it’s pretty fun watching the NBL, and I’d been looking forward to catching some games this year – only they’d been oddly absent. Well the reason can finally be revealed, buried near the bottom of a piece in today’s Herald, and it’s pretty f***ing amazing. Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, NBL, NFL

A Pregnant Pause – Breakers Style

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It doesn’t quite add up. The Breakers were performing sublimely, walking with the confident swagger of destined champions, and then bang!  The wheels are off. Big time. Six losses in the last seven games. Hesistant shot selection, poor decision making, lack of team work.   Sure, we can point to Bruton’s injury not allowing Penney the room he needs to score. Or that the fact both the Breakers big men, Behrendorff and Foreman, look malnourished. Genuinely like they don’t eat. But when Murray Deaker casually dropped that five of the Breakers are expecting children in the next few months or so, it was like someone non-chalantly revealed the murder weapon at the scene of the crime. That’s right, five expectant fathers. Almost half the team. I found this hard to believe, A) from a statistical standpoint and, B) have you seen the Breakers? It’s not like we’ve got N Sync out there. Yeah, N Sync .  I’m not ashamed.  Continue reading

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DeadBall Awards: Best Hair in Sports 2008

Hair is heaven’s water flowing eerily over us
– Bill Knott

A big year for hair in sports, due in large part to the efforts of one man who took it all on his shoulders. Literally.

Back in March of 2002, a journalist for the University of Wisconsin’s campus paper The Daily Cardinal wrote this about Kirk Penney:
Kirk Penney looks to me like the kind of guy who goes in to get his hair cut every two or three weeks. He looks like the kind of guy who puts at least some time into his hair every morning and I think anyone who does that harbors some feelings of insecurity.”

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The article is interesting as it paints Penney as an athlete who maintained his hairstyle with strict and unwavering discipline. In 2002, he sported what could be described as an American-style crew(esque) cut, short back & sides with a little room to manoeuvre on top – classic, sharp, focused, with military undertones.

So as the 2008 NBL season began, it was a surprise (a sexy surprise) to see that Kirk Penney had unleashed the beast in the off-season, allowing his hair to express itself as freely on the scalp as Kirk does on the hardwood. Penney appeared to be giving no firm directive to his hair – he was saying to the hair “you go out there and play your natural game. I have faith in you, I know you will make the right play”. Continue reading

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Filed under Awards, Basketball, Kirk Penney's Hair, League, NBL, Rugby league

Salary Caps Don’t Work (or Do They?)

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The DomPost reports today that the research of a Wellington based analysis firm has concluded that salary caps no difference in the competitiveness of professional sports competitions.

The study followed teams from the past five seasons and looked at their mobility within the league. If teams have a greater ability to move up (or down) the ranks and contest for championships (or wooden spoons), the code is rated higher in competitiveness.

Interestingly, the stufy found that Rugby Union competitions were some of the least competetive. The NZRU is yet to comment.

The study suggests that rather than salary caps, the best way to make a competition more competitvive is a form of revenue sharing where a precentage of ticket sales gets pooled and then redistributed to all teams regardless of the size of their market. This, it follows, helps teams with a small population base more than limiting how much money teams from larger markets can spend.

Here’s how they ranked in terms of competitiveness (salary caps are italicized): Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, Cricket, League, Miscellaneous, NBA, NBL, News, NFL, Rugby, Rugby league

Salary Caps Don't Work (or Do They?)

fig2

The DomPost reports today that the research of a Wellington based analysis firm has concluded that salary caps no difference in the competitiveness of professional sports competitions.

The study followed teams from the past five seasons and looked at their mobility within the league. If teams have a greater ability to move up (or down) the ranks and contest for championships (or wooden spoons), the code is rated higher in competitiveness.

Interestingly, the stufy found that Rugby Union competitions were some of the least competetive. The NZRU is yet to comment.

The study suggests that rather than salary caps, the best way to make a competition more competitvive is a form of revenue sharing where a precentage of ticket sales gets pooled and then redistributed to all teams regardless of the size of their market. This, it follows, helps teams with a small population base more than limiting how much money teams from larger markets can spend.

Here’s how they ranked in terms of competitiveness (salary caps are italicized): Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, Cricket, League, Miscellaneous, NBA, NBL, News, NFL, Rugby, Rugby league

He Didn’t Respect My Power: Not a Weekend Sports Round-Up

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Is it just me, or has this been a slow weekend for sports news? I’m happy to admit that I’ve been far too busy partying with fashionable people and dining with intellectuals to take in much sporting action over the last two days, but have I missed out on something amazing? Please let me know.

We watched two sessions of the Auckland v West Indies match yesterday at the Eden Park outer oval, and despite the match producing 974 runs for the loss of just 12 wickets, it wasn’t exactly a riveting spectator experience. The hot chips were cold, and there was a odour near gate 29 that could best be described as rotting-corpse-like. Our sun umbrella wouldn’t stay up, and I got chocolate brownie for lunch when I asked for zesty lemon slice. All in all, literally not very good. Continue reading

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Filed under Boxing, Cricket, Kirk Penney's Hair, NBL, News

He Didn't Respect My Power: Not a Weekend Sports Round-Up

holding_kick1

Is it just me, or has this been a slow weekend for sports news? I’m happy to admit that I’ve been far too busy partying with fashionable people and dining with intellectuals to take in much sporting action over the last two days, but have I missed out on something amazing? Please let me know.

We watched two sessions of the Auckland v West Indies match yesterday at the Eden Park outer oval, and despite the match producing 974 runs for the loss of just 12 wickets, it wasn’t exactly a riveting spectator experience. The hot chips were cold, and there was a odour near gate 29 that could best be described as rotting-corpse-like. Our sun umbrella wouldn’t stay up, and I got chocolate brownie for lunch when I asked for zesty lemon slice. All in all, literally not very good. Continue reading

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Filed under Boxing, Cricket, Kirk Penney's Hair, NBL, News