Boomers VS Team USA Games 1 and 2 at Marvel Stadium

The first exhibition game between the Boomers and Team USA is scheduled for Thursday night, the 22nd of August at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Most likely by the time you’ve read this the game will have been played and won. For many the absence of the biggest names from the NBA has been a sore point, with angry fans requesting refunds and many seats still available. From the outside, it could be said that maybe Basketball as a sport is the loser in what appears to be a bit of a fan debacle.

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But not so? Read this excellent appraisal from the Roar

Anger over the Australia-USA exhibition match debacle ramped up this week as the ACCC became involved in helping frustrated fans get ticket refunds for the historic two-game series.

With multiple Team USA stars pulling out of games, fans have claimed they were misled by false advertising campaigns that included a number of NBA superstars. Even when the actual USA squad was announced it featured stars like James Harden, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard. And the Aussie team was set to include NBA stars Ben Simmons, Jonah Bolden and Dante Exum. However, just one day out from the first game at Marvel Stadium, all of these players have made themselves unavailable for a variety of reasons.

Who would have thought 12 months ago, when the plan to bring the NBA’s biggest stars to Melbourne was front-page news, that we’d find ourselves in this position? The games still have many seats available and there are sure to be more empty seats if people get their desired refunds.

It’s a sad state of affairs for what was supposed to be a game changer for Australian basketball.

The big question is: is all this hoopla (pun intended) justified? Or is the anger of these so-called fans simply misguided?

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Rather than focus on what’s missing, let’s take a look at what’s still in play. On Thursday night, arguably the best Australian basketball team ever assembled will play in front of the biggest crowd ever seen for a game on these shores. Yes, Simmons is missing. So is Exum, Bolden and Thon Maker. Don’t forget Ryan Broekhoff too. But it is a credit to Aussie hoops that even with those outs the Boomers will still field a team that includes six players with NBA experience, including two with championship rings.

You have Andrew Bogut, the No. 1 draft pick of 2005 and a championship player. You have Matthew Dellavedova, another champion who is notorious for his aggressive and physical style of play. You’ve got Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz, a player who has excelled in Australia and in Europe and who is now a phenomenon in America known for his sharpshooting.

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You’ve got Patty Mills, a veteran point guard of the San Antonio Spurs who continues to contribute to both club and country in so many ways. Throw in Aron Baynes and Mitch Creek and you’ve got six NBA stars – and the word star is completely justified for all these guys. And that’s not to mention the NBL stars like Chris Goulding and European star Jock Landale. This is no amateur team.

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On the other side you’ve got what many might call a second-string USA team. But that team includes Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum as well as Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Khris Middleton. Yes, the US won’t field its best team, but the team they will field is still filled with NBA talent. It’s a younger team, but many of these guys are the future of the NBA.

As for the game itself, the same crew that convert football stadiums for NCAA final four games will take the reigns at Marvel. Massive multimedia screens and an NBA-worthy court setup will make this an experience like nothing seen in Australia. And everything else aside, these are the final hit=outs for two teams considered medal hopes for the upcoming World Cup. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?

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The problem we have here is that Aussie fans are still too focused on the NBA. The National Basketball Association is arguably the biggest, most profitable and most popular sporting product in the world – in fact it is probably one of the biggest entertainment products full stop. There is no other basketball competition in the world that comes close to the NBA. The flow-on effect for Australia is that most Australian fans are more interested in the NBA than our local competition.

The truth of the matter is that many Aussie hoop ‘fans’ wouldn’t be able to tell you who plays for the Opals, who our best local players are or even who won the NBL championship last year (shock, horror!). The sad reality is that when these exhibition games were announced, many fans chose to view it as an NBA extravaganza rather than a historic, home-soil match for our Boomers ahead of an extremely important World Cup campaign. And now that Little Johnny won’t get to see LeBron James or Steph Curry play, what’s the point of going?

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It’s even sadder given Australian basketball is thriving at the moment. You might even say it’s the best it’s ever been. NBA representation aside, the local game is going gangbusters. The NBL has reached new heights with international acclaim, fantastic media coverage, a new free-to-air deal with SBS, an extremely competitive competition players across the world are looking at and huge signings, including two of the biggest NBA prospects in America

We’ve just crowned champions in the inaugural NBL1, a new feeder series that gives the best men and women ballers in the country the opportunity to showcase their skills. On the international stage we’ve seen recent medals for the Opals, under-19 girls, under-17 girls, men’s and women’s 3×3 teams and the Rollers wheelchair team. Participation and interest in basketball is at an all-time high across the country.

It’s sad to think that even with all this positivity fans are still not interested enough in Aussie hoops to want to sit courtside and cheer on our lads on one of the biggest stages possible. It is an insult to Australian basketball that people are turning their back on these games. Yes, ticket prices are expensive and, yes, we were misguided by advertising, but we’re still getting a pretty bloody good deal. We should be throwing our full support behind it regardless of how many NBA players show up.

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We should be showing the world how much we care about the sport. Instead, I fear that there will be a lot of empty seats at Marvel Stadium on Thursday and Saturday, and while it will still be a spectacle and a fitting send-off for both teams as they head to China, it could have been so much more. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Source: theroar.com.au

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the construction, maintenance and cleaning of premium Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. All courts are built and maintained to current FIBA standards and use ASF/Horner Flooring Systems exclusively.

For a premium playing surface, call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Enquire about a complete refurbishment of your playing surface or simply schedule the ultimate in professional Court Cleaning.

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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 – 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.