Resumption of Play? Finish the Season? (NBA) or Start the Pre-Season? (NBL)

Right now, the pressure is ramping up both in the USA with the NBA and here with the NBL for teams to get on the boards and resume hostilities. In Australia, the pre-season for the NBL would normally commence in mid to late June. In the US, the NBA must complete the current season.

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In the US, the situation looks muddled. Lockdown just hasn’t been as effective as in other places, a very high infection and mortality rate being the result. There is a fair bit of white noise emanating from various sectors of the game and its commentators, however many states are still in severe lockdown and are unlikely to approve any such activities in sport or public gatherings.

From the Bleacher Report…

LeBron, Giannis, Steph Curry, More Stars in Favour of NBA Resuming Season

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LeBron James and the biggest stars in the NBA have reportedly “formed a united front to resume the 2019-20 season,” which has been on hiatus because of the coronavirus, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

NBPA President and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul arranged a private conference call Monday that reportedly included James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday the NBPA was polling players about whether they wanted the season to continue.

The players’ association denied the report and said it “has not authorized any formal poll of its players,” per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

The league has been patient about a potential return, with Commissioner Adam Silver reportedly saying a decision didn’t need to be made in May, per Wojnarowski.

Teams were allowed to reopen facilities last week, though some organizations must remain closed for at least several more weeks based on local restrictions.

Some team executives and agents have reportedly called for the NBA to cancel the remainder of the season, according to Jabari Young of CNBC.

However, there is at least some support among players to return and determine a champion.

The stars on the call carry a lot of weight with 71 combined All-Star appearances and nine MVP awards among the nine players Hayes listed.

Though James and Antetokounmpo would have a lot to gain with a return—the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks would be expected to contend for the title—that’s not the case with all the others. Curry and Lillard are on teams that would not currently land in the playoff field, while Durant hasn’t played all season while recovering from an Achilles injury.

As Haynes noted, a canceled season could have lasting effects regarding the collective bargaining agreement.

This group of high-profile players could help push the league toward a restart.

Source: bleacherreport.com

Here in Australia, there is some likelihood of a return to the courts for the NBL on time. However, it’s likely to see televised games only with no public attendance permitted.

From the NBL…

NBL Looks at Start Date for 2020/21 Season

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The NBL has commenced work on identifying a start date for the 2020-21 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season as it works with the clubs and other key stakeholders for the return of basketball in Australia.

NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said: “It’s very pleasing to see Australia leading the way when it comes to bringing COVID-19 under control and hopefully we are all going to return to some sort of more normal life over the coming weeks and months.

“We are also encouraged by the progress other professional sporting leagues are making as they seek to return and we will monitor them and work with the relevant health authorities and government as we look to bring basketball back.

“We are also talking with the clubs about plans for next season including identifying a start date. We also want to do everything we can to be able to accommodate fans at games even if it means ramping up attendances as the season progresses.

“We are taking a positive and proactive approach and will continue to assess options and hope to be in a position by mid-year to be able to confirm plans for the coming season.

“We believe the NBL will remain a highly attractive option for players from both Australia and New Zealand and around the world should borders be re-opened. The NBL is one of the best leagues in the world outside of the NBA and Australia will without doubt be one of the safest places in the world to play in.

“We respect the rights of players to test the market. The agreement with the Australian Basketball Players’ Association was done by the NBL on behalf of the clubs who were unanimous in their support of the players and wanted to avoid stand downs as they managed the impact of the virus.

“Those players who choose to explore their options can still opt back in to their NBL contracts and we believe there will be a number who do so as the situation in regards to COVID-19 and its impact on various basketball leagues around the world becomes clearer.

“We are very encouraged by the large number of players who have indicated their desire to play in the NBL and we have no doubt the league will remain of a very high standard, attracting top players and enjoyed by fans across Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world.”

Source: nbl.com.au

The prolonged ban on local sporting competitions and public attendance has seen many stadiums opt for overdue maintenance and repairs to Timber Sports Flooring ensuring premium performance on the return to competition.

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Nellakir are the leading experts in Sprung Timber Sports Flooring here in Victoria and in Tasmania as well. For all maintenance, refurbishment and installation enquiries on Timber Sports Flooring, please don’t hesitate to call us on 03 9467 6126, or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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Nellakir, utilising ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems, create Sports Flooring that is FIBA approved.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Task Force to Tackle the Impact of Covid-19 on Australian Basketball Competition

From the NBL website…

Australian Basketball Unites to Tackle Impact of COVID-19

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Australia’s basketball community has established a taskforce to tackle the challenges from grassroots to elite competitions caused by the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Basketball Australia, States and Territories, NBL, WNBL, NBL1, clubs and players have come together to build a comprehensive plan to restart the sport when the threat of COVID-19 eases.

The taskforce will be led by Basketball Australia Chair Ned Coten and the Owner and Executive Chairman of the NBL Larry Kestelman and include prominent members of the basketball and business communities.

Allan Yates, Nicola Ellis, Tony Hallam, Jacob Holmes, Brian Delaney and Jerril Rechter will represent basketball and they will be joined by independent business figures Ruffy Geminder, Diane Smith-Gander and Rickard Gardell.

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Chair of Basketball Australia Ned Coten said: “We are very mindful of the millions of Australians doing it tough and, quite rightly, they are the number one priority support right now, particularly those who have lost their jobs and are suffering financial hardship.

“Basketball is not immune to the impact of the COVID-19 and, like the rest of the community, we need to do everything we can to get through these challenging times but also work together to restart the sport when the time is right.

“Basketball is one of Australia’s highest participation sports with over 1.5 million active participants. It is the number one family sport, is incredibly inclusive and diverse and is a source of enjoyment across all levels of the community. Importantly, 38% of our participants are female and we have two of the leading men’s and women’s leagues in the world in the NBL and WNBL.

“The game employs tens of thousands of people across the country and generates significant economic impact as well as a range of health and social benefits for the wider community across both genders and all ages that will be needed more than ever as we recover.”

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The Owner and Executive Chairman of the NBL Larry Kestelman said: “Unlike other sports, basketball leagues do not derive the bulk of their revenue from broadcast agreements. With a significant amount of Australian homes now having a basketball hoop in the backyard, the sport can play a crucial role in getting the country active and back to normal, but we need help more than ever.

“Under the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the sport has come to standstill for now. This includes not just the NBL and WNBL but also Australia’s premier winter league NBL1, the 3x3Hustle and all community and grassroots leagues right around the country.

“The NBL attracted almost one million people last season and is now widely considered the second-best domestic basketball league in the world after the NBA. We are an entertainment product built for live attendances.

“Unlike other codes, basketball cannot fall back on revenue from television if restrictions are still in place to crowds and would need assistance. We are not seeking special priority but rather simply asking not to be forgotten to ensure we can continue to deliver the sport that we and so many Australians love.”

The taskforce will consult with all areas of the sport to develop the recovery program for Australian basketball.

Source: nbl.com.au

During the current lockdown, Nellakir have continued to provide Construction, Installation and Maintenance services to some of our better known public stadiums, private and public schools, community recreation venues and a range of other facilities that feature high quality Sprung Timber Flooring such as Theatres, Churches and Dance Floors.

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Nellakir are the exclusive agents in Victoria and Tasmania for the ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems – premium timber sports flooring that carries FIBA approval.

Now is the right time to carry out annual cyclical maintenance on premium Timber Sports Flooring whilst competitions are in temporary recess. Resurfacing, re-lining and where required re-sanding can all be undertaken and completed at this time.

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Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Book a time to speak to one of our trained technicians on your requirements and arrange a free, no-obligation quotation at your convenience.

Virtual conferencing can be arranged using Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or similar.

Take the time to plan for the future with Nellakir, the leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring Construction, Installation and Maintenance.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

Last year the Toronto Raptors started their campaign with this play-off game.

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Around about now the NBA would be winding up to the crescendo of the playoffs. Last year the Toronto Raptors lost their first play-off against the Milwaukee Bucks but recovered to eventually ‘steal’ the coveted NBA champions title for Canada – for the first time ever. Makes us wonder whether Australia might eventually field on the NBA side?

Here’s the video and the report.

Milwaukee Bucks rally late to defeat Toronto Raptors in Game 1

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Usually a big game from Kyle Lowry equals a Toronto Raptors win, but the Milwaukee Bucks held on to win Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals series.

Brook Lopez scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 and the Bucks rallied in the final minutes to beat the Raptors 108-100 on Thursday (AEST).

Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good, added a 3-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to push the lead to four and the team that finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record — after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game — did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.

Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 30 for the Raptors, who couldn’t make the most of a big game from their point guard, as well as an 11-of-44 shooting night from beyond the arc from the Bucks.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee, which closed the game on a 10-0 run.

Lopez added 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had three players post double-doubles.

Antetokounmpo had 14 rebounds and Khris Middleton finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which is now 9-1 in this postseason. The Bucks trailed for 37 of the game’s 48 minutes.

Didn’t matter. They stayed just close enough until they could finish with a serious kick. The Raptors missed their last eight shots and were outscored 32-17 in the fourth quarter.

Pascal Siakam scored 15 for Toronto, including a 3-pointer over Antetokounmpo to end the third quarter and give the Raptors a seven-point lead with 12 minutes left.

It unraveled quickly from there.

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“Total team effort,” Lopez said.

With the chants of Milwaukee’s motto – “Fear the deer! Fear the deer!” – bouncing throughout the building, the Bucks predictably came out flying. The flurry was brief.

The Bucks missed seven consecutive shots, the Raptors made four 3-pointers in a span of three minutes, and that all helped become a 16-0 run by Toronto that turned an early 8-3 deficit into a 19-8 edge. The lead got as big as 13 later in the quarter on a fadeaway jumper by Leonard, and the Raptors held the lead the rest of the half.

Milwaukee had a chance to take its first lead since the opening minutes when Antetokounmpo went to the line for a pair of free throws with 8:17 left in the third and the Bucks down by only one.

He missed both and the Raptors peeled off the next nine points to rebuild what then was a 10-point lead again. But Toronto shot 5 for 22 in the fourth, the Bucks finally reclaimed the lead, and the Raptors’ chance to steal home-court went awry.

Source: foxsports.com.au

Nellakir are the premium supplier and installer of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania, supplying the ASF Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusively.

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Premium flooring requires premium maintenance and cleaning to ensure maximum performance and durability.

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Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our trained technicians on the care and cleaning of your valuable Timber Sports Flooring and stadium seating. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

New Zealand’s Silver Ferns Claim World Cup Title Over Australia

The Netball World Cup has now been completed with New Zealand’s Silver Ferns running out victors – defeating Australia by a heartbreaking one solitary point. Australia 51 / New Zealand 52.

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For the first time in the sport’s history, the World Cup winning team were ultimately rewarded with a sponsors prize of $300,000 divided amongst the team members. Each player received $25,000. Keep in mind these players were virtually full time in their preparation for the World Cup for over 6 months – so this will be a most welcome relief.

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Read about it here:

World Cup-winning NZ netballers rewarded with unprecedented payment after outcry

  • Public campaign nets Silver Ferns $25,000 each
  • Sponsors contribute towards bonus fund for players

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A public outcry has helped the Silver Ferns receive an unprecedented winning bonus payment of $300,000 following their triumph at the Netball World Cup. Netball NZ has announced each player in the 12-strong squad will be granted $25,000, a breakthrough in a sport that struggles for commercial cut-through despite its high participation rate.

A group of sponsors contributed towards a bonus fund after it was revealed the players would not receive a cent of prize money following their 52-51 win over Australia in last Sunday’s final in Liverpool.

While the players did not complain, a public debate was generated around the disparity of remuneration levels in top level sport. It was revealed the New Zealand men’s cricketers would share a prize pool of about $3m for their runners-up finish at the World Cup a week earlier.

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NNZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said it was a good feeling to reward the players, who are otherwise playing solely for pride internationally in a highly demanding sport.

“Elite players continue to work relentlessly for their love of the game without expectations of high remuneration, but this is a huge step forward and we are very grateful to our partners, who we could not do this without,” she said.

Leading players in New Zealand’s domestic league are reportedly paid close to $100,000 when third-party agreements are factored in.

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The Silver Ferns’ next assignment is the four-Test Constellation Cup against Australia in October.

NNZ is still to confirm if inspiring coach Noeline Taurua will be in charge for the series, allowing her time to find her feet again in her other role as coach of the Sunshine Coast Super Netball team.

Source: theguardian.com

Netball is closing in on becoming a fully professional sport. With Free to Air Television coverage, great Stadiums and facilities, the sport has one of the highest per capita participation rates of any sport in Australia.

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Most junior competitions are being enabled to play many more games on genuine sprung timber sports flooring. With Federal funding of larger sports stadiums in both Suburban and Regional areas; and with the Victorian State Government funding both new schools and existing schools to build high quality Sports Stadiums with genuine Timber Sports Flooring, the general standard of competition is certainly on the rise.

Nellakir are the leading experts in the Construction and Maintenance of genuine sprung timber sports flooring in both Victoria and Tasmania. From initial construction, utilising ASF/Horner FIBA approved timber flooring systems exclusively, to annual maintenance including re-surfacing and linemarking, to weekly or bi-weekly professional cleaning of your Timber Sports Flooring, always call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126. If you prefer, leave your contact details here for a prompt reply. Professional and proficient – engage the best.

Arrange a free no-obligation quote today and ensure your competition and teams are always playing on a premium playing surface.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.