Ben Simmons – Melbourne Boy Under Scrutiny

Ben Simmons will play for Australia at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. The former Junior from Knox Raiders and Whitefriars College in Melbourne’s leafy Eastern Suburbs was last year’s Rookie of the Year (2018). As is often the case, awards bring greater scrutiny . The scribes are now questioning his ability to shoot 3 pointers.

Here’s the latest 76’s Game report.

Simmons still gun shy from 3-point range as 76ers maintain unbeaten record at home

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With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons slightly subdued it was up to Philadelphia’s other NBA gun, Tobias Harris, to fire them past Utah 103-94 with 26 points and nine rebounds.

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Power forward Al Horford also added 17 points and eight rebounds for the 76ers.

Embiid contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds while Simmons had 14 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and four steals for the Sixers, who improved to a league-best 10-0 at home.

It was their fourth straight win.

The Jazz whittled down a 26-point deficit to close within 101-94 in the final minute before Embiid sank two free throws with 41.3 seconds left.

Rudy Gobert paced the Jazz with a season-high 27 points to go with 12 rebounds while Joe Ingles had 13 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo needed only 14 minutes to record another double-double, finishing with 29 points and 15 rebounds as Milwaukee won their 12th straight game in a 132-88 rout of the New York Knicks.

The Bucks (18-3) led by as many as 47 and cruised behind Antetokounmpo, who pulled down his 10th rebound in the second quarter for his NBA-leading 20th double-double.

The reigning MVP shot 10 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, in 22 minutes. He exited with five minutes left in the third quarter and the Bucks ahead 93-54.

Milwaukee’s winning streak is the longest this NBA this season and the franchise’s longest since 1981-82.

Trae Young scored 24 points, rookie De’Andre Hunter added 18 and Atlanta snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 104-79 win over Golden State in a match-up of teams with the worst records in the NBA.

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The Warriors (4-18) finished with a season low in points.

Golden State dressed just nine players, even with centre Kevon Looney returning to action after missing 19 games with a nerve condition.

Rookie Eric Paschall led the Warriors with 24 points but his teammates combined to shoot 24 of 72 and the they were slowed by 25 turnovers, which the Hawks converted into 25 points.

Kelly Oubre Jr scored 23 points, including two clutch 3-pointers in the final minute that lifted Phoenix over Charlotte 109-104.

Devin Booker added 23 points and Dario Saric had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who snapped a three-game skid.

Seven Indiana players scored in double figures and Domantas Sabonis flirted with a triple-double as the visiting Pacers beat Memphis 117-104.

Sacramento managed to take three quarters off Chicago but lose 113-106 after letting the second period slide 33-21.

Source: https://wwos.nine.com.au/basketball/nba-wins-for-76ers-bucks-hawks-pacers/77b44f6b-0edd-4c5f-bd00-2e8c292dea37

Whatever the outcome in the NBA, here in Victoria and Tasmania players have the opportunity to play on FIBA approved ASF/Horner Timber Sports Flooring in a wide number of Stadium locations, installed by Nellakir Sports Flooring.

Nellakir are the experts in the Construction and Installation of Sprung Timber Sports Flooring, as well as providing superior Annual Maintenance and scheduled Court Cleaning. For the perfect playing surface every time.

Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our expert technicians, at your convenience. Annual Maintenance including re-coating, linemarking and floor repairs can still be booked in for January/February at your convenience.

Nellakir – Championship Timber Flooring for present and future Champions.

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

The NBA hots up – Cavs vs 76’s

This week we saw one of the season’s closest games – the exciting match up between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76’s Aussie Ben Simmons starred in the 76’s 1 point win 98-97. Here’s the video and a full report.

Two for one: Cavs come up just short in 98-97 loss to 76ers

This wasn’t bad at all.

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The Cavs lost to the 76ers Tuesday night by a final score of 98-97 in a game where the team led by as many as five in the final three minutes. At the end, Kevin Love had an open three on Cleveland’s last shot, but it was too strong and that was that. Sometimes it really is a make or miss league. Also not helping: the Cavs’ offense not scoring for the final three minutes-plus.

That said, this was not all bad. This was, frankly, a largely encouraging performance from the Cavs against a legit NBA Finals contender. Let’s get into it.

POSITIVE: Tristan Thompson crushed it again

Philadelphia is a tough matchup for Thompson. Joel Embiid has a size advantage and there’s only so much he can really do to slow Embiid down. And with Embiid guarding him, there’s reason to think he’ll struggle a bit on offense, particularly when crashing the offensive glass.

But Thompson was again excellent on Tuesday. Embiid got his 27 points, but Thompson made him earn it for the most part. On offense, Thompson co-led the team with 20 points, grabbed 12 rebounds (four offensive) and shot 7-13 from the field. He also made two three-pointers and again showed why he’s still a good, dependable player for the Cavs. Through 10 games, he’s been this team’s MVP.

NEGATIVE: The last three minutes

The Cavs’ last play of the game was actually a good design. After an inbounds pass, Jordan Clarkson (who was also good and had 20 points) ran a little pick-and-pop with Kevin Love. Love then pump faked, got his three and missed. It was a good set and coach John Beilein has to be at least happy with the process.

Before that, though, things got really rough for the Cavs’ offense. The team didn’t score for the final three minutes at a time when a few key baskets might have put the 76ers away. Miscues included Love missing from four-feet out, a shot clock violation, a Collin Sexton turnover and an unnecessary Thompson three-pointer.

The whole time the game was on the line, the Cavs played frenzied. Considering the youth on the team, that makes sense. Time will tell how many more lessons they need in navigating some choppy waters.

POSITIVE: Darius Garland makes some plays even when he struggles

This was not a banner game for Garland. Stylistically, the 76ers’ size was hard for him to deal with and he finished with 6 points on 3-10 shooting in 28 minutes. He did also have 2 assists — against zero turnovers — and three steals.

Everything about Garland was super impressive when he was up against Matisse Thybulle, perhaps the best defensive rookie in the NBA. And when he knows Embiid is coming to contest his shot, he goes soft with the finish off the glass. That’s a player who has a clear feel for the game, even on a night where he struggles. That’s a good sign for Garland and the Cavs.

Source: fearthesword.com

When preparing for a major game or tournament, call Nellakir to ensure you present a premium surface. Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction, maintenance and scheduled cleaning of all Timber Sports Flooring. Utilising the FIBA approved ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusive to Nellakir in Victoria and Tasmania, Nellakir provide championship surfaces in Sprung Timber Flooring at all levels of competition.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt response to your enquiry.

Nellakir – The Timber 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.

Nellakir Powers On – Ben Simmons doesn’t miss a beat.

In India there’s a saying; “When the dogs are barking, the elephant keeps walking”. So it is with Ben Simmons – conservative commentators have been lashing out at him during his current visit based on some very irrational thinking. When he was denied entry to Crown, the press runs the story ‘he’s making it up’. When thousands turn up to greet him after his camp in Sydney – ‘he ignored them’.

Sorry but not good enough. People of fame have walked into Crown intoxicated, barely dressed and abusive – quite simply this was a stuff-up. Simmons was sober, casually dressed and controlled.

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Ben just takes it in his stride.

Read about it here:

Once again, we rejoice in cutting down a tall poppy

Australia should be building up Ben Simmons, not tearing him down. After all, not only is he our richest athlete, he may also be our most important.

Some sections of the Australian media seem hell-bent on hurling condemnation at him for supposedly making a meal of his trip back to Australia, with shock-jock Alan Jones making the baffling claim that Simmons should “go back to America and stay there”.

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It seems Jones and other commentators have not enjoyed Simmons’ trip at all. They’re unimpressed that, when refused entry to Crown casino, he claimed it was a result of racial profiling.

Others thought him precious for “storming” out of an interview with Channel Seven’s Campbell Brown after a joke about the Crown racism incident fell flat. Football commentator Kane Cornes even said he was “sick of Ben Simmons”.

But it’s the rage about him charging $200 a head for a basketball camp and then apparently “sneaking out” early that really smacks of Australia’s obsession with tearing down our international success stories.

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The haters lined up to shoot him down for charging $200 after he recently signed a $243 million five-year contract with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.

Because of all of this, Jones has claimed Simmons “has lost a lot of people very quickly”.

What a load of rubbish. Just because Simmons is wealthy, it doesn’t mean he owes us something and it certainly doesn’t mean he now has to work for free. There are plenty of wealthy sportspeople and media types charging a small fortune to appear at sportsmen’s nights and other community functions, and nobody seems to bat an eyelid at that. Should they also work for free?

Simmons is an international superstar and doesn’t have to come back to Australia. In fact, he could be anywhere in the world doing anything he wants.

The fact he’s chosen to come home should be celebrated, and harnessed to encourage kids to get out and play.

In an age when kids are regularly glued to their screens and too often isolated and shut away from the world, international superstars such as Simmons have the ability to do far more good than harm.

What many of these haters don’t realise is that times are changing. No longer are younger fans obsessed only with Australia’s traditional sports. Increasingly, they’re gravitating to overseas sports with a truly global appeal. They’re fascinated by megastars who earn truckloads of money and who have millions of social media followers around the world.

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In fact, many follow stars and brands more than teams.

Simmons is a bona fide basketball star. Furthermore, he’s a star of a sport that’s played by more kids in Australia than cricket, Australian football and rugby league. And he’s playing in a competition, the NBA, that has more subscribers to its streaming service per capita in Australia than any other nation in the world.

And yet, instead of encouraging him to help get kids off the couch and onto the basketball court, where they can be active, socialise and form meaningful friendships and communities, we’ve tried to chase him out of the country.

Sadly, the behaviour and sentiment showed towards Simmons is not unique. Australian golfing legend Greg Norman once remarked that if someone in America bought a sports car, other Americans would say “nice car”; if someone in Australia bought a sports car, other Australians would scratch it.

Source: smh.com.au

Meanwhile Nellakir has been awarded two new VBSA contracts at Casey Field School and another at Clyde North Primary School. These will be purpose built Sprung Timber Sports Flooring School Basketball Courts. It has also been awarded the Victorian Netball contract at Royal Park to build 6 new premium competition courts. Add to this two replacement courts – one at Richmond High School, the other at Wesley College Elsternwick. And lastly, the new Cleaning Service from Nellakir has kicked off with contracts in Cragieburn and Whittlesea.

It’s simple, when you require expert service, experience and simply the best in materials and equipment, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the Construction, Maintenance and Cleaning of Premium Timber Sports Flooring.

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.

Ben Simmons in Melbourne

Did you miss it? Ben Simmons conducted his third annual Basketball Camp Melbourne – 2019 on July 28th out at Mullum Mullum Stadium in Donvale. Here’s a boy returning to his roots – he went to Secondary College at nearby Whitefriars College.

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With 4.3 million Instagram followers, it’s obvious this guy is numero uno with the fans right now. For their entertainment he toured the Melbourne Zoo, the Street Art Alleyways (Hey! Let’s call it what it is – Graffiti – but oh so high quality. Real art. Remember Banksy has done Melbourne). Photo ops with kiddies and koalas, Ben and a dingo – it’s all very human and very cool.

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Then the press has jumped on him for opting out of the FIBA World Cup scheduled for China in a months time. But perhaps it’s timely to consider what Boomers Coach Andrej Lemanis has to say on the matter.

Boomers hit back at Simmons backlash ‘doing a disservice’ to World Cup team

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis says the noise around the withdrawal of Ben Simmons for the World Cup warm-up games is “doing a disservice” to the same squad that captivated the country at the 2016 Olympics.

The Boomers, powered by Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut, were denied bronze in Brazil in an agonising one-point loss to Spain that is still raw with the players.

The addition of NBA All-Star Ben Simmons was touted as the missing piece as Australia hunt a maiden international medal at the World Cup in China from September 1.

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The Philadelphia 76ers talent was forced to twice retreat from his initial Boomers commitment though, first pulling out of the World Cup and last week excusing himself from Australia’s four lead-up games against the USA and Canada in Melbourne and Perth.

That, along with multiple high-profile US withdrawals, earned the ire of some fans, who Lemanis said would soon be reminded of the Australian squad’s depth.

“It’s doing a disservice to the talent available to us,” Lemanis said of the grumbles.

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“We’ve got four NBA champions (Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Bogut and Mills) plus Joe Ingles who starts on a great NBA team (Utah Jazz) and a core of the group that did well in Rio and captured the imagination of the Australian public,” he said.

“We’ve got a talented team that is perhaps being undersold by the tension put on Ben not playing.

“Hopefully we can digest and think ‘we’ve still got a good team and they share the ball, it’ll be fun to watch’ and that is what people enjoyed about Rio.”

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A 17-man squad will gather in Melbourne on Friday, with the final 12-man World Cup roster due to be announced next week.

Australia will face Canada, Senegal and Lithuania in their World Cup pool games, with the final in Beijing on September 15.

“To have players on hand with the talent required (to win the World Cup) is just awesome,” Lemanis said.

“You don’t need the stars and planets to align to have a chance of winning and that’s a good feeling.

“It’s not even a feeling of pressure or extra pressure; it’s your own self-motivation.”

Source: wwos.nine.com.au

For premium quality Timber Sports Flooring all year round championship quality surfaces, always rely on Victoria’s leading experts in Sports Flooring, Nellakir. From full construction and installation to regular professional cleaning, protect your valuable Sports Flooring. Call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt response.

Nellakir – Timber 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.

Ben Simmons – A Vision of the Future.

It’s Friday night and the kids are loaded in the car and we are off to their junior Basketball competition at the local stadium. It’s a premium competition surface – timber sports flooring. Each week the boys and their sister seem to be getting better, more proficient.

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And then you remember what your youngest said to your mum (their grandma).

“Are you going to study and become a doctor? Maybe a Lawyer? Or perhaps an Architect?” she asked.

“No Grandma – I’m going to keep growing and I’m going to practice until I make the NBA draft when I leave school!” he answered enthusiastically.

“But Tyrone, you’ll need a good education to make a living” said my mum.

“Nah – I’ll be like Ben Simmons. He used to play footy but then he played Basketball for the Knox Raiders – just out there near Knox City Grandma. Yeah I want to do what he’s doing!”

“What’s that darling?” asked my mum.

“Playing the hoops and getting $46 million (A) a year! He’s going to make $242 million in five years Grandma!”

“Oh my goodness” says my mum.

But the kid has a point. So whatever it takes hey?

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Now Australian kids right across the country have an inspirational path to follow. With new schools (and older ones) all being included in the State Government scheme to provide superior facilities for all schools and communities, most kids these days get to play on a premium competition court – with sprung timber sports flooring of the highest standard. So the dream of many young men and women is no longer improbable.

Read about Ben Simmons contract here. Unfortunately we will miss his services during the World Cup in August/September but he has reiterated he will play for the Boomers at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Ben Simmons has agreed to a five-year, $US170 million ($A242 million) contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in the richest deal ever by an Australian athlete.

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The Athletic, citing Simmons’ agent Rich Paul, was the first to report on Monday (Tuesday AEST) that he had accepted the offer.

Ben Simmons has signed a $A242 million five-year contract extension with his NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

The team and Paul have been working out details since July 2. The maximum extension was originally believed to be $US168.2 million, yet it’s actually higher than $US170 million due to the new salary cap projections.

The extension, which begins during the 2020-21 season, could pass $US200 million if Simmons makes the All-NBA team this season.

Simmons is a triple-double machine and one of the NBA’s young superstars, so extending his contract was an easy decision for the ownership group and front office, despite criticism from some over elements of his game, predominantly the lack of a reliable jumpshot.

The 22-year-old averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists last season as the Sixers lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual champions Toronto. He had 10 triple-doubles this past season and now has 22 for his career.

Ben Simmons has formally agreed to a record-breaking contract extension, according to his agent.

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He joins Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players with at least 10 triple-double in each of their first two seasons.

Doubt still hangs over whether the Melbourne-born NBA All-Star will play for Australia later this year at the World Cup in China and in Melbourne and Perth exhibition games.

It was Paul who shocked Australian sports fans on the weekend when he told ESPN that Simmons was “doubtful” to play for Australia at the World Cup in August-September.

His absence would be a major blow to the Boomers’ hopes of claiming a medal in China in September and to huge crowds of Australian fans planning to watch him play exhibition games with the Boomers.

The Boomers will play a powerful US squad twice in front of more than a combined 100,000 fans at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in August.

Simmons was also set to play for the Boomers twice in Perth against a strong Canadian squad before jetting out to China.

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The Boomers are yet to win a medal at a World Cup or Olympics, but with Simmons spearheading a team laden with Australian NBA players including Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes and Jonah Bolden, the drought appeared set to be broken.

On June 23, 2016, Simmons became the first No. 1 pick taken by the Sixers since 1996, when they took Allen Iverson out of Georgetown.

Source: www.smh.com.au

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the Construction, Maintenance and Cleaning of all Timber Sports Flooring. Nellakir have exclusive access to the FIBA approved ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems.

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For a premium sports surface and all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements, call 03 9467 6126 to arrange an obligation free consultation and quotation. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Whether it’s regular court cleaning, annual maintenance (including resurfacing and linemarking) or a full reconstruction of your competition court, call Nellakir for premium performance and genuine service.

Nellakir – The 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.

Ben Simmons playing like a Boss – the boy from Knox

Ben Simmons – yes he’s Australian! Started playing basketball at 10 years of age for the Knox Raiders and at Whitefriars College.

Look at him now (from Associated Press)

Ben Simmons is drawing high praise for his growing leadership of the Philadelphia 76ers during the NBA playoffs.

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Philadelphia have won three straight games against the Brooklyn Nets and need one more win to reach the second round and a likely match up against Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.

Simmons has been instrumental to the Sixers rebounding from a disappointing game one defeat, averaging 21.3 points and 9.7 assists during Philadelphia’s winning streak in the feisty series.

Teammates are taking notice of the young Australian’s increasing influence.

“Ben is out there leading this group,” the Sixers’ four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler said.

“He is our point guard and he is running everything because he is so smart and he knows how to get guys the ball in positions where they can score.”

While Simmons has impressed offensively, the best part of his performance has come on the defensive end, according to teammates.

Simmons has been tasked with defending D’Angelo Russell and has used his size and athleticism to restrict the Nets’ All-Star point guard to a disappointing 39 per cent shooting from the field.

“Ben has done a tremendous job defending D’Angelo and contesting every single three that he has taken,” Butler said.

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Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown described Simmons’ defensive performance as exceptional and said he wasn’t surprised by the impressive showing.

“Ben is incredibly confident within himself,” Brown said.

“He has put in a tremendous amount of work in addition to being pretty damn good, so I am just so happy for him to play like he has played.”

Simmons has joined Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson as the only players to record at least 200 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists through their first 14 NBA playoff games.

His individual performance places Simmons among NBA royalty but the 22-year-old is solely focused on winning games during the most important time of the season.

“I feel that everybody has the same mindset here and we want to win,” Simmons said.

“I know we have the pieces to do it and it’s going to be tough but we are together.”

Philadelphia can eliminate Brooklyn with a victory on Wednesday (AEST) and Simmons is expecting the Nets to be desperate as they fight to save their season.

“We have to keep the same mentality in game five as the last few games we have played,” Simmons said.

“It’s going to be one of those games where we have to stay tough, stay with it and stay together.”

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Toronto are 3-1 up in their series against Orlando Magic and aiming to clinch it on Wednesday (AEST).

Source: smh.com.au

To play any sport at the highest level requires the very best in equipment, playing arenas and training facilities. For those living in Victoria who play Basketball, Netball, Volleyball or do Gymnastics, we are blessed with an excellent coverage of high quality indoor stadiums. Major stadiums with sprung timber FIFA approved timber flooring are now available across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

It really doesn’t matter what level you play – whether it’s juniors, seniors or veterans – playing on a professional surface ensues premium performance, less injuries and a faster game. Today Nellakir have been instrumental in the construction of significant numbers of ‘community’ courts as part of the Victorian Government’s PPP (Public Private Partnership) program. Located in primary, secondary and tertiary schools, universities and TAFEs, the courts are made available to local communities for recreational sports activity as well.

It means kids start their sports careers or activity on the very best in Sports Flooring – Sprung Timber Sports Floors.

Timber Sports Flooring requires regular maintenance. Each year the court should be resurfaced and re-lined. It should be assessed for wear and tear and every 5-7 years be re-sanded.

Nellakir provide an excellent annual maintenance plan for Timber Sports Flooring that ensures longevity and premium performance.

Nellakir are the leading experts in both Construction and Maintenance of Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 for a quick response from our technical staff. Book a time for a free consultation and quotation on all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements. Nellakir choose to use ASF/Horner timber sports flooring components exclusively.

So whether you’re watching a game at the State Basketball Centre at Wantirna, Victorian State Netball courts at Royal Park, the Bendigo Stadium, the Casey Stadium, the Eagle Stadium in Werribee or just watching your kids play at the local school in South Melbourne – it’s being played on a Nellakir installed competition court.

Just remember Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

Ben Simmons – he wanted to play Cricket for Australia

“Every time I step on the floor or whatever I’m doing, I’m always representing Australia and especially Philadelphia,” he said post-game. “I have two homes now, it’s an amazing feeling I’m representing something much bigger than myself and my family.”

In 11 minutes, Simmons threw down 18 points, two rebounds and two assists. – Philly 76’s 114 vs Orlando Magic 106, 5/3/19

Ben Simmons athleticism is clear when you watch an NBA game and like many stars, he excelled at many sports as a youngster.

The 22-year-old Aussie said he showed plenty of promise in rugby league and Aussie rules but the Philadelphia 76ers star said he couldn’t go down the route of becoming a star cricketers with one major roadblock holding back his potential.

“I’m six foot 10 (208cm tall),” Simmons told reporters. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a six foot 10 cricket player.”

He’s pretty right about that, the two tallest Australian cricketers were Peter George and Bruce Reid, both six foot eight.

But the tallest first-class and international cricketer is Mohammed Irfan who is seven foot one.

Still, the Aussie star found his sport, making Australian basketball history as the first Aussie to be selected in the NBA All-Star game, which will be played Monday at midday AEDT and will be live on ESPN and Kayo Sports.

But first Simmons will play for the World Team against the best young US stars in the Rising Stars game, the traditional match between the NBAs best first and second-year players.

While Simmons was at the centre of an All-Star first with a trade for Russell Westbrook, Simmons said he was looking forward to working with Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic, who he predicts to follow in his footsteps and be named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Despite his cricket career not panning out, Simmons is still eager to represent Australia however, potentially as early as two exhibition games against Team USA in Melbourne in August and even the Boomers’ World Cup campaign in China.

“I’m not really focused on it right now, but I know when I have the right opportunity to go play and represent Australia I’ll do that,” Simmons said.

Simmons was embroiled in controversy the past week when news broke he was interested in working out with Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers legend and president of the team’s basketball operations.

Simmons explained his desire to learn from the game’s greats.

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“I mean, whenever you have an opportunity to talk to a Hall of Famer regardless of who it is you want to get some information and learn from them,” Simmons said.

Johnson and the Lakers, keen to add All-Stars to their roster, have been fined for breaching the NBA’s tampering rules the past year.

The NBA cleared Johnson and the Lakers on Tuesday after finding it was the 76ers who initiated the contact “with the Los Angeles Lakers by requesting a meeting between Johnson and Simmons”.
Simmons was asked to name his basketball role models growing up and he chose James and Johnson.

“Somebody I looked up to as a player was LeBron, for sure,” Simmons said. “I watched a lot of Magic highlights.

“So I think those are the two guys I have really looked at.”

— with Peter Mitchell, AAP

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The NBA is hotting up. Ben Simmons is the current MVP on his latest performances. Judging by the comments on some of the videos, the US fans are somewhat miffed that an Aussie can stroll in and take centre stage. Now it appears 13 year NBA veteran, Andrew Bogart, currently a free agent after a year with the Sydney Kings, is being courted by a number of clubs as well.

The standards required to achieve NBA professionalism start with the playing surface young players are trained on. It’s vitally important that the Timber Sports Flooring is FIFA approved and fully maintained to the highest standard. Ben Simmons started playing Basketball as a child in Knox – Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs.

Nellakir are the leading installers of genuine Sprung Timber Sports Flooring utilising the ASF/Horner range of products to achieve the highest standards of professional playing surfaces, whether at major stadiums like the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna, the Bendigo Stadium or many more first class locations, or maybe just your local State Primary School.

Nellakir – the experts in Construction and Maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring.

Nellakir – Champion floors for future champions.