I don’t even like Basketball that much (it’s ok but much prefer other sports) and I enjoy following the NBL.As purely a basketball fan, how good is this league? Inside 24 hours the bottom two teams beat the top two teams.
You don't get that in the NBA, it's the type of parity the AFL strives for but so rarely produces.
It's a different world.Remember in the 80s and 90s, when it was exciting if a club signed a bloke, who was drafted in 6th round but never even stepped foot on an NBA court?
Then getting a guy like Lanard Copeland or Adrian Branch was almost prime time news.
It’s amazing how many guys with NBA experience (even if modest) we end up with now.
No doubt to any of that. It’s a combination of things, the perception of our league has grown alongside the standard, NBA teams then over more players these days with 10 day contracts and all, so there are more ex-NBA players to go around.It's a different world.
Bryce Cotton who is admittedly pretty small showed (just once) he could score 20+ in a game for the Jazz and they still cut him at age 23. Our 30th anniversary starting 5 has 3 guys who were undrafted, Ricky Grace who was a 3rd round pick who never made it onto a roster and Andrew Vlahov who is a local and also attended college in the US and was undrafted. Pretty much all the great Wildcats imports over the last 30 odd years never got near the NBA. Todd Lichti (who?) is about the only one I remember coming as a "former NBA player!". Compare that to now and we have 2 guys on the roster with NBA experience, and a former club MVP is playing in the NBA.
Slight tangent but Andrew Gaze as the NBL GOAT couldn't get near it in the NBA. Played 7 games with the Bullets then 19 games with the Spurs 5 years later. Minimal minutes, minimal output. Shane Heal fared slightly better but still had almost no impact. Joe Ingles at 21 was averaging 15 points a game in the NBL and is now a starter for an NBA playoff team after going undrafted and spending a few years in Europe. At the same age Gaze was averaging 44 points a game and was also undrafted after being a good college player. He put up 30+ a game for years on end as a young player.
LaMelo Ball has come here at 18 and done well (17/7/7) and people look at him as a serious #1 pick prospect. Now LaMelo is obviously a bit more athletic than bobblehead Gaze and Slow-mo Joe but in the 80s and 90s no one cared what you could do in the NBL. It's almost like it took a few players from outside the USA to make it in the NBA by stealth for teams to realise that there are actually good players out there that either aren't American, aren't in the college system or both. If someone in their teens or early 20s was averaging 30+ points in the NBL now I reckon NBA scouts would be looking at them closely.
Pretty sure its exactly this. I think the fact that college basketball players consistently won the Olympic gold medal against the rest of the world led them to believe that nobody else could beat them.It's almost like it took a few players from outside the USA to make it in the NBA by stealth for teams to realise that there are actually good players out there that either aren't American, aren't in the college system or both
Agree but I believe at the time Phoenix went with Ayton because he went to college at Arizona and they believed they could retain him for the future and partner him with Booker. I think Kings really flubbed this going with Bagley instead of Doncic. Could have also flipped Fox for something half decent. Hield and Bogdan being fed by Doncic would have been awesome. That's great spacing.I think to an extent the NBA still don‘t (or at least didn’t 2 years ago) realise just how good the international leagues are. Luka not going number 1 despite being a EuroLeague MVP sounds absolutely absurd the more you think about it.