MELBOURNE—Coming off an emphatic grand final win, South Dragons co-owner Mark Cowan has shocked the league by announcing the withdrawal of the South Dragons from the 2009/10 competition citing an "unfair competitive advantage".

"We’re just too damn good now," Cowan told our source. "The professionalism – on and, especially, off the court – of the Dragons organisation has been the shining beacon in an otherwise gloomy league. We have the best marketing department, the best website, the best remote control blimp – which was my idea, by the way. We also have the best uniforms, and the best financial backing… I mean, best players. As Freddy Mercury so eloquently put it during our grand final celebrations, we have "no time for losers".  So why bother playing against them again?"

Cowan revealed that everything had gone to plan in his mission to bring his own NBL team to championship glory, even the wooden spoon of the previous season. "C’mon, who would’ve appointed Shane Heal as player-coach if they were serious about winning? Raphael Geminder and I both operate successful businesses.  Do you think we're that stupid?  We just wanted to set another league record before taking out the ultimate prize this season.  It’s like a cat toying with a mouse."

The dominance of the Dragons side was such that they needed to play down to the level of the competition to make it a more interesting spectacle. "To outside observers it may have appeared to be an epic, evenly matched grand final series, but the only reason it went to 5 games was because we wanted more playoff income," Cowan revealed. "We’re so good that we can do that.”

The withdrawal of the Dragons from the NBL poses further problems league-wide.  Sources inside NBL headquarters state that the league is outraged by the decision. "If we learned anything from the independent review, it was the importance of having an eight team competition," a league spokesman told journalists. "Not seven, eight!"

"Now that the Dragons are gone, I suppose we’ll have to let Wollongong back in."
CHINA—The shock withdrawal of the South Dragons from the 2009/10 NBL competition puts the league’s number one coach, Brian Goorjian, in a state of limbo.

"I’ve had so much experience with teams folding on me that I’ve developed an ability to sense when we're about to hit rough seas, so to speak," Goorjian told our source.

"Last time my team went down in troubled waters I'd the opportunity to promptly jump off the sinking ‘Titanic’ ship to a luxurious Kings vessel and set sail towards three consecutive championships," Goorjian said straining to extend the analogy further. "But this time it feels like I've been marooned."

"Those Kings days were almost too good to be true," Goorjian added. "That Johnston guy was so good at making everyone feel so comfortable with the situation. Oh, and he gave me a briefcase full of cash the first time I met him. Unmarked Russian currency."

Goorjian admits that he was manipulated by Tim Johnston. "He was such a smooth talker. I even bought some of his other product, “Placebotics”, which looked and tasted suspiciously like vitamin C pills, but apparently had wonderful healing properties, supported by substantial medical evidence that he was going to show me later in the boot of his car."

As often as Goorjian teams fold, he didn't foresee such an early demise of the Dragons. "Usually it's because I demand the best roster, and we all know that's going to cost well over the salary cap. The same was the case with the Dragons, but I thought it'd be at least another year or two before the funds ran out," Goorjian said.

Following the difficult experience of directly working for a fugitive criminal, Tim Johnston, and indirectly working for a criminal organisation, the illegal cartel-running VISY, Goorjian is adamant that he will only now work for a reliable organisation that is free from immorality and controversy. "The Chinese Government has told me that they only have good intentions," Goorjian said grasping a shiny steel briefcase.