First things first! watch this clip.
Any of you that have ever stepped on the hardwood will identify with some of these stereotypes. After playing 9 years in the NBL I have certainly encountered them all at the top level. At the risk of putting a few noses out of joint here is a look behind the NBL curtain.
I’ve got to be honest, I debated whether or not this would be a good idea to write as surely it would not make me any friends around the league.
Then I thought about it and soon realised I don’t have any friends around the League!! Nothing to lose baby!
So screw it, let’s do this thing!
The “My Bad Guy” guy
Right off the bat this is hard one as you need to play alongside a “my bad guy” to identify him. Rather than stick someone in the league with this title I’m going to blanket every development player in the country with this title.
Let me say this – If you’re a development player and “My Bad” is not your most frequently used phrase at practice, then I’m betting you’re not getting treated that great around the locker room.
Let me fill you in on a little secret – IT’S ALWAYS YOUR BAD!
Sucks to be a rookie!
The “Football Player”
Now this one was easy.
He doesn’t have the prettiest of jump shots and isn’t the most skilled player you will find in the league however if you have ever looked into the bulging, bloodshot eyeballs of Mika Vukona while you’re trying to grab one of his rebounds then you will understand what I mean.
I remember a game at Hisense Arena when, like on many occasions my white line fever had set in. Mika and I were competing for the same rebound.
We both got hands on the ball and a fair chunk of arm each, then some singlet each.
All of a sudden I looked up.
My eyes met with Mika’s (which was easy as his were protruding about four inches from his eye sockets). At this point it became very clear to the both of us that neither was going to give a inch.
ever since then i have always respected the way Mika goes about his basketball as I try to play the same way. GET THE BALL.
The “Accessory Guy”
CJ Bruton loves a headband and has had every haircut you could think of but then again he backs it up with his talent so you couldn’t begrudge him a few sweatbands. I feel this is a sterotype that a player in the League could really step up to the plate and grab a hold of with both hands making it their own. Larry Davidson has always struck me as a ‘out there’ kind of cat and even earned himself the nickname “the Hungarian stirfry” for a while. So the fact that he was getting about in a pirates bandana there for a while should have been no shock to me. I have no idea how he managed to get away with this. The amount of times we got in trouble last year for wearing the wrong socks was outrageous (keep fighting the system Larry). I feel Larry has more in him and believe if he can upgrade to warming up with a parrat on his shoulder, then the award would surely be his.
The “Looks can be deceiving guy”
He is no longer in the NBL however this is the first guy that came to mind. Darren Ng.
A skinny kid and a qualified doctor, fair to say I didn’t really rate him. I remember the first time I was told to match up on him. I was like “sweet, time to take this thing to the block and get some freebies”.
Five minutes later while getting rained spit on by Al Westover for letting Darren splash about 50 million threes on us (all on national TV) I decided I’d never again judge a book by its cover, or doubt the fact that Darren can F’ing light you up.
The “Player Coach”
Every team has one of these guys. Now I have only ever played for the Melbourne Tigers but here are my best guesses at the player coaches on each roster.
Cairns – Cam Tragardh
Melbourne – Mark Worthington
Wollongong – Was Glen Saville, position vacant at present.
Perth – Shawn Redhage
Sydney – James Harvey
Adelaide – Adam Gibson
Townsville – Pete Crawford
New Zealand – With Dillon Boucher retiring I think it up for grabs.
These are all guys who know the game back to front and along with your point guard run the show out on the floor. Fair to say I reckon they would get…let’s say “frustrated” playing pickup ball.
The “Rage Monster”
This one was a tough one. I thought I would throw back to former great and Melbourne Tiger legend, Ray Gordon. Some people say Ray had white line fever. I say say he was the most competitive man alive. If Ray could not find a fight on the floor then he would make sure he found one at practice. By all accounts an incredible teammate. However I reckon I would have had the “my bad” holstered and ready to go at the drop of hat to prevent the inevitable smooshed nose that would appear on your face post “disagreement” with the great man.
The “Old Guy”
Once again ever team has one of these guys and its seldom the oldest player on the roster. Now tears are flooding my keyboard as I type this however I think I have a firm grasp on the Tigers “Old Guy” stereotype this year and I’m only 29. Ill be training in one of those motorized disability chairs in a few years. Hard for me to pinpoint each teams “old guy” award but I would love to hear your suggestions!
The “Imaginary Dunker”
Now things have changed since he played at Melbourne but Luke Nevill was the clear shoe in for this award. Giving big Luke this award is sure to earn me some sort of “Posterization” this season so lets just hope its not one of the Nationally Broadcast games. Luke gets this award as he probably attempts more dunks than any other player in the league. The sheer amount of attempts means the amount of “rim blocks” is going to be up also. All this coming from the guy who gets crunk when he throws down a warm-up jam ha. Since the move from Melbourne Neville has really come on and has become one of the dominant centers in the League.
The “Foul Guy”
This award goes to my man Ben Madgen. Great bloke and great ball player but he thinks he gets fouled while high fiving the cheerleaders during warm-ups.
Maybe it’s frustration as I always get the task of having to chase him off 30,000 screens each offence.
I think he once thought I fouled him while he was shooting free throws – I probably did.
“Tall guy that only shoots 3s”
Oscar Forman. Old Oscar has never seen a long bomb he didn’t like. Some coach has obviously told Oscar at a young age that if you step foot in the paint thant you will contract a deadly disease or maybe that the “hot lava” will get you. Now I would love to continue to make fun of this situation but that coach in this instance has somehow got it right? The guy is “LIGHTS OUT” from range. He has the quickest trigger in the league. The headaches he causes by spacing out the four men in the NBL is something that a panadol rapid is yet to show any sign of helping for me.
“Mr Shoulda made the League”
HAHAHA I love this guy. Like most NBL clubs we at the Melbourne Tigers get sent out on a lot clinics. We do this to help promote the game the club and help teach some kids a few things about the game. Now let me preface this by saying that these are always good fun and the majority of the time the people running these events a very genuine charitable people. That being said!! Every now and then you will come across the “Shoulda made the League Guy” at one of these clinics. The story is always the same. “I was the man. I was in the starting five for my team called the “mad ballers”. Used to score like 50 a game until I broke my (leg, arm, foot, BRAIN) and I had to give it up. But I was going to be the best the league had ever seen. To which I reply “ow sweet! you used to play then. What age did you play till?”
The reply comes back straight faced “under 16’s.”
Eyes roll, brain shuts off and I get back to concentrating on the kids.