SYDNEY—Leaked National Basketball League head office documents have revealed that the NBL appointed Former Townsville Crocodiles guard John Rillie as their internet media manager for the 2009/10 season, despite him not being on the payroll and not even being aware of the appointment himself. John Rillie, who writes the popular blog ‘JR On Fire’, has been an instant internet success story in Australian basketball circles. The League has decided to surreptitiously piggy-back this success by issuing him with an official, yet unpaid, role with the title ‘Head of Internet Media Operations’.

However, with Rillie recently accepting a playing position with the New Zealand Breakers, League officials are worried that his prolific blogging career may be put on hiatus. According to the leaked documents, Rillie was supposed to continue to write his ‘JR On Fire’ site in lieu of the NBL site needing to do any research themselves.

“It looks good for us to have someone like JR on staff,” a League employee revealed. “He’s someone with intelligence, insight, a strong work ethic, and excellent skills at promoting the game. You could say he brings a unique skill-set to the office.”

His ex-player status at the time also satisfied our only major prerequisite for new employees,” the source added. “We also gratuitously welcome CEOs who know nothing about basketball for board member positions.”

By appointing a gratis employee in such a critical office position, the move was intended to free up valuable funds in the budget that could be redirected to other activities, such as an independent review of the office donut policy. If Rillie were to focus on his playing career with the Breakers instead of blogging, such activities may not be feasible.

“Rillie has been known throughout his career as ‘The Real Deal’. Now his unpaid service has been a real deal for us,” Chuck Harmison was overheard saying with a wry smile, prompting laughter from his fellow NBL employees. “It’s a running joke around the office because he practically does our job for us, except we don’t need to pay him. We now go to his site first to get the news.”

“But if his playing role interfers with his blogging, we might need to go back to our old templated match reports -- you know, that 'team A too good for team B' kind of thing -- to free up resources.”

“John Rillie has generated more traffic – and satisfied traffic at that – than we ever achieved at the official site,” an unnamed source at Sportal said. “The breadth and depth of his news coverage puts the official site to shame. He has connections to a wide variety of basketball news sources on his site. Remarkably, he’s somehow been able to provide a portal to let us peruse those sources ourselves. It’s taken us years to figure out how to do that. I think they may call them ‘links’ in the industry.”

Indeed, these links on Rillie’s site act to integrate the Australian cyber-basketball community, creating a strong network of informative news sites, bloggers, forums and trolls.

While Rillie has received great praise for his efforts, the acclaim for Rillie’s blogging skills is not universal. Former inmate Clinton Gardiner, aka ‘Clint Dogg’, who once somehow managed to con his way into a job as the court announcer of the Hunter Pirates, has been a constant critic of the Gonzaga University alumnus. However, news of Rillie’s promotion within NBL ranks has forced a slight re-assessment of his opinion of Rillie.

“Until recently, we were both former employees of NBL clubs with successful podcasting careers, so we were on equal standing, really. I suppose this new appointment now puts John slightly above me in terms of NBL seniority,” Gardiner admitted.
28/4/2010 10:54:34 pm

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