Majok to pursue NBA dream, within own dreams

The only thing more ludicrous than the premise is the dream itself
April 2, 2011

GOLD COAST—A mysterious team of dream espionage specialists have been hired to infiltrate Ater Majok's ludicrous dreams of reaching the NBA after Majok announced that he would withdraw from the Gold Coast Blaze to focus on his NBA draft prospects

Although Majok has never completed a full season of NCAA or NBL or any European league, he has been otherwise working hard to pursue his NBA dream by attempting an American accent, wearing gangsta-style clothes and developing the deluded cockiness of a pro baller. Experts believe Majok's chance of being drafted to the NBA are slimmer than his frame. 

Meanwhile, the secret team of dream specialists intend to remove the idea of "making the NBA" from Majok's dream, replacing it with more obtainable dreams such as "selling designer brand counterfeit handbags in New York". They also intend to remove his idea of being an NBA small forward prospect, replacing it with being a small claims tribunal prospect.

An adaptation to this remarkable story has already been sold to Hollywood executives under the title 'Aspiration', alluding to the medical act of removing foreign material from the body, or in this case, the removal of ludicrous ambitions from a dream.

"Check the dictionary, people!" screenwriter Chris Nolan exclaimed as he submitted the script to Hollywood executives.  "It's one of those cerebral double-meaning titles that you'll only understand if you are really, really smart; and one of those meanings has been adapted for this context, but only if you are smart enough to understand it. Basically, those who don't like this movie are clearly stupid." 

"If you think the title is deep, mysterious and complex, just wait until you read the implausibly complex storyline about a young Sudanese immigrant's wildly deluded aspirations of making the NBA being extracted from his own dreamspace by a team of black-suited dream infiltrators in a stunning array of cool special effects and amazing explosions for no particular reason whatsoever!"

"Aspiration!" Nolan whispered emphatically.


Heal celebrates surpassing Michael Jordan in one statistical category: number of retirements

March 31, 2011

GOLD COAST—Peroxide Hall-of-Famer Shane Heal has announced breaking a record of basketball legend Michael Jordan in the number of retirements.

Retiring from the role of Australian Men's Boomers assistance coach, Heal admitted that surpassing a Jordan record was a life-time goal.

"This has always been a dream of mine. This, and punching Joey Wright in the face, which should happen soon enough, hopefully," Heal told the press conference, alluding to his upcoming boxing contest with bitter rival Joey Wright.

Heal claimed during the press conference that he has retired from the Boomers, again, to focus on his investment business, but leaked documents from Heal's local gymnasium suggest that Heal has created more free-time to work on his fitness in order to pummel Joey Wright in their upcoming boxing contest.

"Heal's been in the gym non-stop," a source at the gymnasium stated. "He's even been forgetting to dye his hair. He stays here real late, getting Chinese food delivered here. 
He calls the restaurant the 'ching-chong ling-long ting-tong food people'."

Meanwhile, Adelaide 36ers head coach Marty Clarke has been appointed Heal's replacement. Boomers head coach Brett Brown stated that he needed an equally unsuccessful NBL coach, someone experienced in losing, to better console players during 
inevitable defeat.

"It's like the NBA, trades must be fair," Brown told reporters. "One wooden spoon NBL coach traded for another... or near enough." 


AFL inspired by basketball, introduces Grand Final series

AFL continues to merge with basketball
September 26, 2010

MELBOURNE--The basketballisation of the Australian Football League continued this week as the Grand Final was expanded to a best of 2 series, with the potential for a best of 3 (or more) series. Channel 7 is said to be delighted to cover game 2 between St. Kilda and Collingwood next Saturday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but apologised for having to show televised glimpses of Collingwood fans once again.

"The AFL has been slowly and gradually adopting basketball ideas for decades. We just need to do it slow enough so that it won't offend the traditionalists," Geoff Jones, Head of the Basketball Division of the AFL, told The Bball Scoop.

"It's part of our long-term strategy to eradicate basketball as a competitor," Jones, also
a religious historian and 'The Da Vinci Code' fan, continued. "It's much like the Constantine-era Christians adopted Pagan traditions and ideas, such as the virgin birth and a December 25 celebration, to quash the relevance of Paganism."

Amongst the basketballisation of Aussie Rules is a possession-driven offensive structure,
zone defense, basketball terminology such as "assists", athletic black-skinned athletes, and love-childs around the country. In recent years the Americanization of the AFL has included overpaid athletes with tribal tattoos and systematically suppressed positive drug tests.

"The general football-loving public loathes basketball, but our market research shows that they love basketball ideas so long as we don't use the word the dreaded b-word, basketball. Frankly, basketball ideas are superior to our irrational traditionalist and archaic Aussie football ideas, it's just that basketball has become too much of a laughing stock to be taken seriously."

In future plans to further adopt basketball ideas, the AFL is expected to announce the installation of netting behind the goals in coming seasons, although this is sure to make post-game Grand Final celebrations a long and tedious affair.


Krstic causes embarrassment to Serbia
Krstic mauls proud Serbian tradition of precise violent conflict

Nenad Krstic bricks his chair-throw
August 20, 2010

ATHENS, GREECE—Serbian officials have reprimanded Serbian centre Nenad Krstic for his undisciplined and "pathetically inaccurate use of a projectile during a conflict" following an incident in which Krstic threw a chair at -- and missed -- his intended gigantic target, Sofoklis "Euro Shaq" Schortsanitis. The chair ultimately hit Greek reserve centre Ioannis Bourousis in the head, drawing a stream of blood down his neck. Experts consider this to be a very minor incident for a Greek basketball game.

Krstic threw the chair late in the brawl between Greece and Serbia, which was started when Serbian guard Milos Teodosic and Greek forward Antonis Fotsis argued over who had the most hot-headed team.

The Serbian basketball federation has issued a statement criticising Krstic for bringing dishonour to the nation, ordering Krstic to attend compulsory chair-throwing classes to better reflect the nation's proven ability to target minority groups with violent precision.

"Serbia has an entire UN department dedicated to the investigation of Serbian war crimes," a Serbian official declared at the press conference. "We have proven that we can be an effective, intimidating and destructive presence in Europe. Krstic is undoing all this hard work."

"Nenad [Krstic] has brought shame to the nation," the Serbian official elaborated. "We are better at violence than what Krstic has demonstrated. Krstic should've clobbed Schortsanitis with the chair if he thought his chair throwing form was not good."

It is believed that the incident will have serious ramifications on Serbia's chance to medal at the upcoming World Championships, as Krstic's chair-throw percentage has now dipped below his free-throw percentage.

Without access to portable chairs of their own, Greek fans proceeded to throw drink and food containers at the Serbian team as they walked out of the venue. Due to the poor economy in Greece and defying a long-running tradition, fans no longer can afford to throw coins at opposition players.

FIBA has joined forces with the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to investigate and resolve the matter. FIBA has wasted no time in attempting to expand its influence by suggesting that any future violent disputes between nations should be settled with the use of a possession arrow.

The United Nations has hailed the suggestion as a breakthrough concept. FIBA first ratified the possession arrow rule when the FIBA board went on a heavy drinking session.

Under this proposed international possession arrow system for international conflicts, the United States will have to concede next possession to Vietnam, Korea, Somalia, states comprising the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. The United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has responded to FIBA's suggestion by reaffirming her committment to the NBA-style international "jump ball" in which America does not need to take turns to be involved in miltary conflicts. She described the possession arrow as a "communist, anti-competitive idea" that goes against the American ideal of freedom and liberty for all to pre-emptively invade, unless it involves invading the United States.

Meanwhile, Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment has offered Krstic a headline
act as the "Oklahoma Oaf" in the case of his expected lengthy suspension from basketball.


Jason Cadee a regular teenager, involved in car accident

Boomers guard Jason Cadee
July 28, 2010

—Despite regular media reports of his prodigious talents, Boomers guard Jason Cadee has cemented his status as a normal teenager by being involved in a car accident. The 19 year-old Blaze recruit confirmed via facebook via his iPhone that he underwent an operation to address a pelvis injury he sustained when a truck crashed into his car. He is expected to be texting at full speed in under a week.


Heal to challenge Brown for head coach position

Deputy leader Shane Heal
July 15, 2010

GOLD COAST—Australian national team assistant coach Shane Heal is set to mount a challenge against current head coach Brett Brown, according to an anonymous source within the Boomers camp. Mysterious right-handed faction leaders, only known by the pseudonyms “Hammer” and “#23”, have been in the process of drumming up support for the change behind closed doors.

Polling figures suggest that the Boomers prospects for a successful 2010 World Championship campaign have suffered a severe blow under the reign of current Boomers head coach Brett Brown, with the expectation for a top 4 finish falling from 15% in mid-2009 to just 8% this month. Shane Heal is relying purely on polls to drum up support for a Heal-led World Championship campaign. Heal will also refer to a preferred head coach poll on, which Heal leads 99% to 1%.

The Boomers team has “lost its way”, Heal claims in an early draft of a media release leaked to The Bball Scoop.  In the draft, Heal refutes the argument that the polling figures have been influenced by the loss of NBA star Andrew Bogut and All-Euroleague centre Aleks Maric. Heal further claims in the draft that he has a solution to the Boomers woes, utilising the facilities of our Pacific neighbours.  He refused to label it the "Pacific solution".

If this coup is successful, Heal will become the first female hair-coloured head coach in Boomers history.  Several lobby groups have responded positively with the prospect of the change, including universal support from the "More nude sportsmen in magazines" facebook group.  

While Heal is expected to not shake-up the line-up, he will need to make small changes to help justify the coup. Heal is contemplating altering the Boomers offense to the “classic” guard-centric offense from the Barnes era. The last time this offense was employed by the Boomers with Heal at the helm the Boomers finished fourth, Heal boasted in the draft statement.


Serbia to change state boundary, recruit Maric

Aleks Maric
July 10, 2010

BELGRADE, SERBIA—In a further bid to recruit All-Euroleague centre and Australian Institute of Sport product Aleks Maric, Serbia is set to make yet another change to its state boundary – and possibly its name – to include the Australian home address of Aleks Maric in Sydney, according to a Serbian government official. Under the proposal, Aleks Maric’s family home in Sydney will retrospectively become Serbian land. Serbian officials claim that Maric will surely automatically lose his Australian citizenship status, voiding his previous Australian representation and clearing the way for Serbia to recruit the former Emus gold-medal winning centre.

According to sources within the Serbian government, the name of the nation may change to “Serbia & Maric”, in part to re-use the unsold “S&M” t-shirts and paraphernalia that became redundant when Serbia became independent from Montenegro in 2006. Serbia became independent by default as the 'negros, bucking worldwide trends, voted for segregation. This had the added advantage of reducing the number of sadomasochists visiting local websites, according to 'negro officials.

Meanwhile, Aleks Maric has declined an invite to join the Australian Boomers World Championship campaign, with claims of an injury.  In a continuation of cold Serb-Croat relations, Maric was overheard saying that if "that Croat Bogus" can "feign an injury" to get out of the Worlds, then surely a Serb such as himself should be equally capable of being deceptive to get out of national duties.  Maric quickly defended these claims, stating that being duplicitous is supposed to be applauded by Australians, as proven by Julia Gillard's ascension to Prime Minister.  Maric claims that he hasn't snubbed Australia because unfairly treating another race would be "un-Serbian" according to revisionist Serbian propaganda written by Slobodan Milošević in 2001.


So You Think You Can Get An NBL Contract
Latest news from High Stakes Hoops

April 11, 2010

The inaugural Elite Classic High Stakes Hoop$ tournament, set to be renamed 'So You Think You Can Get An NBL Contract', concludes today as the Rays play the Coasters, allegedly in front of a potential crowd.

High Stakes Hoops (HSH) news in brief:

Sedale Threatt and Daryl McDonald keep Australian basketball tradition of nepotism alive
As Marcus Wright failed in his campaign to make his father a coach of a HSH team, Sedale Threatt and D-Mac have honoured Australian basketball's proud tradition of nepotism by recruiting and playing their own sons. 

Al Green's team proposes alternative to shirts versus skins: blacks versus whites
As tournament organisers struggled to wash all player uniforms before the Monarchs scheduled game, Al Green's (nearly) all-black Monarchs team volunteered to adopt a concept similar to shirts vs skins: blacks vs whites. However, Monarch's cracker Brad Williamson declined to paint his skin and talk up his own game.

Tigers sign Tragardh, force him to withdraw from tournament
Tigers remain favourites as the most hated club in the NBL, in spite of the Kings return, as rumours circulate that the Tigers signed Tragardh, only to promptly force him to withdraw from the tournament. The Tigers, however, have reportedly had cold feet in acquiring Tragardh, citing concerns over his "lack of offenses".  Instead, the Tigers are pursuing ex-Hawk Ty McKee due to his offensive prowess; in particular, the Tigers are impressed by his driving offenses.

'Game breaker' prompts coaches to bust out Goorjian's play book from his Kings days
As the 'game breakers' rewards three-point shooting, HSH coaches scrambled to use Goorjian's 3-point centric offensive structure from the Kings days.  

Markovic does a Markovic to the Cyclones
In true Markovic-style, Steven Markovic has pulled out from his HSH team, the Cyclones.  He is now deciding which club he will elect to play for next so that he can disappoint them by defecting without warning.

Players stunned that teamwork wins games
Marquee players such as Corey Williams and Julius Hodge were stunned as the teams that don't merely rely on individual play proceeded to the HSH Grand Final.  The stunning revelation that teamwork, chemistry and defense wins games has just reached the NBA D-league in the United States, but none of the D-league players care.

Meanwhile, as their respective teams failed to make the semi-finals, self-promoting guard Corey Williams is becoming increasingly skeptical of the notion that self-promotion involving public declarations of both personal and team-based superiority prior to games increases his team's chances of victory. When told about this, rival self-promoter Julius Hodge claimed he questioned the aforementioned notion prior to Williams, and would demonstrate so by challenging him to a game of one-on-one which he would "inevitably win".


Conroy suppresses High Stakes Hoops player list

Stephen Conroy high fives suppression
 April 1, 2010

ADELAIDE—Alternative hoops tournament High Stakes Hoops is awaiting a response from aspiring media dictator Senator Stephen Conroy to release the full roster list for each team in next week’s exciting new week-long Foot Locker Elite Classic tournament.

Conroy has refused to release the full list of names of participants saying it would provide people with instant access to the currently banned list. As the list hasn’t been classified as yet, its current status is ‘Refused Classification (RC)’ and is to be withheld from public viewing.

High Stakes Hoops has been required to stall the production of player uniforms as names haven’t been granted approval. “We may need to resort to nicknames like those stupid Wildcats jerseys from the early ‘90s,” a source within High Stakes Hoops admitted.

The retardation of the classification process is believed to be due to concern over names on the list that may be offensive to young children, particularly the appearance of the name Sean Lampley. As a result, the classification board is considering applying a new classification for the list, “MA: contains immature wankers”, but this would necessitate a re-classification of other material, such as The Footy Show.

After providing the free-to-air networks with an unjustified $250m license rebate in February, Conroy said he didn’t want to offend one of his “new best mates” by reclassifying free-to-air television shows.

Conroy’s office is also concerned about "an apparent drug-related theme" of the tournament. Conroy has stated his concerns over the team names Reef as it "sounds all too similar to Reefers", the Rush as it "appears to attempt to promote the rush associated with the consumption of illicit drugs", and the Coasters as it "endorses alcohol consumption, albeit in a table surface-friendly manner". 

Conroy was also disgusted by the names of Fleet recruit Willie Farley and Cyclones recruit BJ Carter. Under Conroy's new proposed legislation, contentious surnames on jerseys would be required to be covered up by black tape, or preferably bureaucratic red tape.

Conroy refused to disclose which names would be censored under his new legislation, but stated that the censorship is required to protect children from "revolting and abhorrent names" that "offend against the standards of morality".  Foxsports commentator Brian Taylor's catchphrase "wow-wee" may also be subject to censorship as Conroy finds it "personally irritating". The publication of complete uncensored roster lists might result in the official High Stakes Hoops website being blacklisted.

In unsurprising related news, this publication has been provided with a leaked document revealing roster lists for next week’s tournament. Senator Stephen Conroy has promptly claimed the list is not current, but an older version that ACMA had used “before the phallic sketches on the side of the document were erased”.

An anonymous hacker has claimed responsibility for the leak. Conroy claims the hacker used the latest in advanced communication technology to steal the list. The hacker allegedly rang Senator Conroy’s office claiming to be Conroy’s local Catholic priest, Father Thomas, requesting updated details of the banned list. The response from Conroy implied that Thomas was an ACMA consultant and included an updated list of banned pedophile sites “for [Thomas’s] perusal” and an updated list of Conroy’s “Top 10 Beats”.

The Bball Scoop is expected to be blacklisted later this week.


Wildcats finally win 5th championship

Wildcats career record: 5/29
March 14, 2010

PERTH—Basketball Australia CEO Larry Sengstock has congratulated the Perth Wildcats for equaling his record of five championships, while conspicuously noting that it took over 13 years longer than himself to win five championships.

As time expired in the deciding game 3 of the Grand Final series, it took under one second for Fox Sports commentator Brian Taylor to proclaim that the Perth Wildcats had become the “most successful team in NBL history”.  However, Sengstock was quick to point out that these five championships took 29 attempts to achieve.

“I don’t want to rain on their parade. Winning five championships is an impressive feat, but it took them over 28 years to do it,” Sengstock commented after the deciding game. “Of course, by comparison, it took me only 15 years to collect five of mine.”

“It took Perth nearly twice as long as me and the assistance of hundreds of players to equal my record. Put that way, they’re not as good a club as they think they are, are they?”

Perth’s celebration went late into the night, but Sengstock warned Perth fans to not get too excited by the achievements of their club.

“Let’s not get too carried away. They are no David Stiff yet,” Sengstock said, alluding to the record six championships won by retired forward David Stiff. The Wildcats require one more championship, two hundred more uncalled travel violations, and one hundred and seventy-two more fouls to equal the NBL records held by David Stiff.


Wildcats win championship, proceed to trash venue

Martin Cattalini steals stadium fixture
March 13, 2010

PERTH—Management at Challenge Stadium were outraged last night as members of the Perth Wildcats basketball team allegedly trashed the venue during their championship celebrations. 

Among the alleged misdemeanors by the Wildcats staff and playing group was petty theft via the removal of fixtures (including both nets) and the littering of oversized red confetti and balloons.  The misbehaviour was apparently fueled by alcohol, most notably champagne, according to witnesses. As players went into the crowd to celebrate with fans, Challenge Stadium staff additionally allege that the players proceeded to vandalise fans' t-shirts and singlets by "tagging" them.

'Red Army' Rising

Challenge staff have previously expressed concerns about the aggressive tendencies of some Wildcats players, particularly serial provocateurs Martin Cattalini and Shaun Redhage, but did not believe that these players would incite their teammates to be involved in destructive damage to property.

For many years Challenge management have been increasingly concerned about the direction of the Wildcats fans and organisation.  Recently there has been a surge in radical conformity of the Wildcats fanbase, with some outside observers claiming that the development of a Wildcats "Red Army" will have potentially dire consequences. The Red Army has been seen rehearsing acts of insurrection with several cases of coordinated rythmic clapping and rowdy protest-like chants of "defence". Witnesses also claim that the Red Army have been ungracious hosts as they regularly attempt to aggrevate visitors to the stadium by yelling insults and menacingly waving sausage balloons while the visitors attempt to take free-throws. 

Outside observers fear that the development of the Wildcats "Red Army" along with the dominance of the Wildcats organisation will ultimately result in the destruction of humankind. With a redheaded coach and assistant coach in charge of the playing group, experts are not surprised by these recent developments.


Grand Final series tied at two Martins a piece

One of the Martins, Luke
March 10, 2010

WOLLONGONG—The Grand Final series is heating up as the race to be the most Martin-ous team of the Grand Final series remains tied at two Martins each. Wollongong's Luke Martin and Rhys Martin evenly match up against Perth's Damian Martin and Martin Cattalini.

To gain ascendency, Perth were considering obtaining the services of Martin Iti, before realising that they already have a tall, uncoordinated and overrated centre in Luke Schenscher.

In a desperate bid to out-Martin Wollongong, Perth have invited channel 9 news journalist Ray Martin to sit courtside in the deciding game 3 on Friday night. 

If this late bid is unsuccessful, it is believed that Perth will use the gaol contacts of Tiny Pinder to get Martin Bryant out of his maximum security psychiatric ward for a day trip to Challenge Stadium.  Martin Bryant is believed to be extremely excited by the idea of being surrounded by so many people all covered in blood red clothing.

"If only the Bullets were in the Grand Final," Bryant told reporters.


Wildcats secure underdog underdog status

March 4, 2010

PERTH—Perth Wildcats coach and everyone’s favourite redhead, Rob Beveridge, has pulled off a remarkable maneuver by successfully claiming underdog status in the contest of being regarded as underdogs against the team more highly fancied as underdogs, the Wollongong Hawks.  

As both sides desperately sought the highly coveted underdog status leading into game one of the Grand Final series, Beveridge has pulled off a remarkable and unexpected switch of strategy by guaranteeing himself an underdog status of sorts while surely confusing all of Wollongong in the process.

“Everybody has been talking about Wollongong’s underdog status all season,” Beveridge told reporters at the Perth Wildcats training session. “Since we finished the regular season on top, they’ve continued saying that they are the underdogs in this grand final contest. So we surely must be the underdogs in the contest to be seen as the underdogs. Our team is really up against it.

“We are David against the Goliath of underdogs, Wollongong,” Beveridge continued. “Wollongong’s own arguments confirm that we must be the underdog underdogs.”

From Forrest Gump to Steven Bradbury, everyone likes underdogs, but only if they are successful, argued Beveridge. “Can you imagine the film Forrest Gump if he just sat on a park bench the whole film?” Beveridge asked.

“We finished first in the regular season. You have a choice of barracking for the loser regular season runner-ups, or the young, spirited successful underdog underdogs, the Perth Wildcats,” Beveridge said, rousing the media contingent to a Wildcats chant. The media contingent proceeded to stand and clap, chanting “Wildcats”, until the home team scored.

Well accustomed to the battler club status, former West Sydney coaches Gordie McLeod and Rob Beveridge are unfamiliar with the pressures associated with expectations of victory. Both coaches have used their underdog status all season long to motivate their players and gain the coaching credit associated with guiding a team of overachievers. Establishing the club as the underdog also helps build morale and pride amongst the fanbase, while effectively consoling them in the case of a loss.

Wollongong’s season has been described as a “Cinderella story”, if Cinderella was placed on life support and needed an Indian entrepreneur to offer $1m to guarantee her receiving medical treatment. But now that Wollongong has been taken off life support, Wollongong is ready to walk down the stadium aisle on the way to accepting the ultimate ring.  

 “It really is a Cinderella story,” Wollongong journalist Tim Keeble said. “Everyone can identify with Cinderella and the pursuit of her dream of going ‘all the way’ with her Prince char…mpionship.”

“It’s just like a fairy tale. All we need now is a dwarf,” Keeble said, before excitedly realising that Zac Delaney is in the Wollongong squad.


Retirement announcement “yet another disappointment”

The best of the 'gold class of '97' farewell basketball
February 24, 2010

MELBOURNE—After defeating an Argentine team featuring Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili on the way to a triumphant gold medal win in 1997, Australian hoops fan Bob O’Rae held high expectations for members of Australia’s 1997 under-23 basketball team. Holding the opinion that the once-promising 1997 Young Men class are perennial underachievers, O’Rae has launched another scathing attack after hearing the news of Chris Anstey and Sam Mackinnon’s retirement from the game.

“So disappointing,” O’Rae wrote on his blog. “Will any of them ever reach their potential?”

“Even this shock retirement announcement lacked the impact that it had the potential to achieve. So much wasted potential, yet again.”

“Now the only potential they have is the potential to join Trahair in the Centrelink queue.”

Typical of a significant proportion of Australian basketball fans, O’Rae continues to maintain high expectations of successful junior athletes through to their professional careers, usually referencing their 'potential' when appraising their career performance.

Despite Anstey spending three seasons in the NBA, dominating European competitions and the local NBL league, O’Rae still regards Anstey’s announcement as “one of a string of underachievements”. O'Rae wrote, “Anstey was a 7-footer who ran like an emu. Why didn't he become a superstar?”

Likewise, Mackinnon’s career hasn’t met his lofty expectations, in spite of Mackinnon claiming an NBL MVP and adding a reliable jumpshot to his repertoire later in his career.

“I always believed that as a junior Mackinnon was going to be a quality NBA shooting guard... all he needed was to learn how to shoot. He already had the athleticism!”

“We should be world powers by now!!!!11! Back in 1997 we had the greatest depth in the sport behind the US.”

“Trahair should be currently using his slick skills to carve up a successful NBA career; Dwight should be an NBA league-leader in blocks; Mackinnon and Anstey should be successful NBA veterans; and Nielsen should be playing NBA ball on the side of his successful rock music career.”

Having initially slipped his mind after completely falling off the radar, O’Rae later added, “Drmic’s status should have already been promoted from the ‘next Andrew Gaze’ to the ‘current Andrew Gaze’.”

“Now where are they? In the 'Where are they now?' thread on Ozhoops Boards?”

Despite these disappointments, O’Rae holds high hopes for members of the Gold medal winning 2003 Junior Men class. “I admit Bruce and Markovic may have contracted the underachievement bug, but I expect Newls and Boges to lead the Boomers to a medal this year. Anything less is simply not good enough.”

It is expected that O'Rae will have plenty of further criticism to add to his blog in September when the World Championships are held in Turkey.


The Bball Scoop to sell out

February 24, 2010

INTERNET—With a lengthy and expensive court case looming due to the impending legal action from local serial pest "Clint Dogg" aka Clinton G*******, The Bball Scoop is considering selling out and resorting to internet advertising to raise funds. By law, names of minors cannot be disclosed in this publication. In the case of Clint Dogg, The Bball Scoop has decided not to publish Clint Dogg's real name because he has the mental age of a minor.

Under Google's Adsense system, Google uses an algorithm which analyses words found on the site and designates the most appropriate advertisement for the site accordingly. For example, regular use of words such as "travel" will prompt advertisements related to airlines or hotels, and words such as "Clint Dogg" will prompt advertisements about intolerable rap music and gaol-themed gay pornography.

Clint Dogg was not available for comment at the time of press as he was filming an episode of "The T.O." in his mother's basement. However, once he appears back online, all evidence indicates that he will post his useless opinion wherever there is such facility to do so, no doubt spruiking his "music" in the process.


Team sponsor to sell real, purchasable product

January 31, 2010

SYDNEY—Basketball Australia CEO Larry Sengstock today held a press conference to herald the imminent return of a sponsor that "actually sells something concrete and real". Sengstock proudly proclaimed the sponsor produces "something you might purchase in a shop".

“This is a proud return to Australian basketball’s halcyon days when people recognized the signs on courtside boxes and the stickers on the court,” Sengstock told the reporter.

“This new sponsor sells a product that is concrete and real. Even more concrete than the Perth Wildcats principle partner that uses concrete to construct buildings, I am told. Apparently the Wildcats major sponsor, the Diploma group, are involved in property development, not counterfeit diplomas as I previously believed.”

“I can assure you this new sponsor will sell something useful. You don’t need insurance against that guarantee. But if you did, I’d choose Australia's most obscure insurance company, also Wollongong Hawks’ naming rights sponsor, AHM, whatever those initials stand for.”

“If you thought the announcement of the 36ers naming rights sponsor, Hoodsweeney, was big, this coming announcement will blow you away,” an excited Sengstock concluded.

However, the announcement is of no concern to prominent club owner, Seamus McPeake. “I don’t know what the fuss is about,” McPeake told The Bball Scoop. “Who cares as long as we get some cash.”

“Dodo is under investigation by the ACCC and I don’t even know what OAMPS does, but they both help subsidise Anstey’s contract.”

“For fuck sake, sometimes I can’t even read the name of some of our sponsors!” McPeake added, alluding to the Chinese company written using Chinese characters on the Tigers uniform.


Fan impressed by D-grade celebrity sighting

Ryan Moloney
January 26, 2010

MELBOURNE—Loyal Melbourne Tigers fan Lee Vertannes couldn’t believe his luck when he glimpsed Neighbours stalwart Ryan Moloney, better known on the Made in Melbourne soap as ‘Toadfish’, sitting courtside on Wednesday night at the Melbourne Tigers home game against the Perth Wildcats.

“Hey, look, there’s that fat guy from Neighbours!” Vertannes proudly exclaimed to his friends Alex Rice and Joseph Black, both new to the sport. “He’s the one stuffing his face with pie.”

Aiming to continue the proud Melbourne Tigers legacy by introducing new converts to the sport, Vertannes proceeded to suggest that similar kinds of sightings are “not at all rare” at Melbourne Tigers games.

“Sometimes they even get an eliminated Australian Idol contestant to sing the national anthem,” Vertannes told his friends before coming to the realisation that the national anthem has been banned from the pre-game routine by Basketball Australia, effectively ruining any chance to see such similar sightings again. Vertannes elected not to reveal this information to his friends. Instead, Vertannes went on to boast that Tigerman was the same stuntman as the mascot of "the rugby team" (Melbourne Storm) and "some AFL club mascot" (Collingwood Magpies).


Basketball Australia still claims Brown coaches Boomers

BA chairman and Telstra CEO David Thodey
January 11, 2010

SYDNEY—Six months after the Boomers lost to an under-manned New Zealand team in the 2009 FIBA Oceania series, scientists are still scouring videotapes of the series to find evidence of Brett Brown’s involvement as head coach.  In spite of the lack of evidence, Basketball Australia insists that San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown indeed coaches the Australian men’s national team.

“We trust that he is doing something that can be classified as coaching,” Basketball Australia Chairman and Telstra Chief Executive Officer David Thodey told the lone reporter at the news conference.

While the decision to appoint Brown as head coach was not straightforward, Basketball Australia remains confident it made the right decision. In a reversal of the traditional BA decision-making paradigm, a Thodey-led BA used high price as a key factor in its decision-making. “Brett Brown’s asking price exceeded Brian Goorjian’s asking price,” Thodey said. “As is consistent with the mentality of Telstra customers, we assumed that a higher price correlates with a higher quality of service.”

“Surely the higher price must be a premium for excellence,” Thodey said, before quietly calling to Telstra’s marketing manager to suggest this exact phrase as Telstra’s sales slogan.

“Furthermore, in the process of appointing a head coach, Basketball Australia concluded that an NBA assistant coach trumped a so-called ‘supercoach’ of a vastly inferior league.”

“Besides, every team that Goojian has coached has subsequently folded or merged. Frankly, we didn’t like the prospect of amalgamating with the Kiwis.”

For a team coached by an NBA coach with an NBA player to lose to a weak New Zealand team in a re-building phase, Thodey said he presumed it must have been part of Brown’s cunning plan. “He must have something huge under his sleeve.”

An anonymous source at Basketball Australia claimed to have seen evidence of Brown’s coaching. “Isolating Jawai in the low post or letting Ingles create a shot himself – that’s brilliant coaching right there. It’s classic superstar-driven, NBA-style coaching. Why waste time trying to create team chemistry and a team-first philosophy?”

“Did the best basketball team of all time, The Dream Team, need chemistry?”

When contacted by phone at his Texas ranch, Brown was able to confirm over the hazy Telstra phone line that he had been appointed head coach of the Australian team. Brown claimed that his NBA experience will come in very handy in the international arena.

“The greatest skill in NBA coaching is not in the noughts and crosses – it’s in the management of egos. I’ll be sure to keep the ego of Patty Mills in check. Coming off that Olympics campaign, that kid must have the head the size of a watermelon.”

“I have the perspective of someone involved in the most professional basketball league in the world. Spread the offense, give it to your best player, run iso plays. Everyone else on court can stand around and relax. You know, to conserve energy or something.”

Brown stressed with confidence that he employed this tactic in the Oceania series. “It’s coaching gold in the States. It’s Plan A and Plan B combined. I was so confident that I didn’t even need to watch any of the game myself,” he said.

“I presume we won,” Brown added.

“I was more concerned about how we (the Spurs) would cover for the loss of Bruce Bowen.”

Brown considered Jawai’s involvement in the series as crucial to the success of the team, since he had not heard of any other player on the team due to their lack of NBA exposure. “Jawai was the only NBA player on the team. Of course he was going to be the focus. Of course we ran NBA-style plays for him. That’s what he had got used to… in his (6-game) NBA career.” Asked specifically what that involved, Brown said, “one of the guards passes him the ball and we hope he gets a high percentage shot.”

Meanwhile, Brown has continued to use the prospect of the Boomers competing in the NBA Development League as an added justification for his appointment. It is expected that the Boomers will use this experience to observe and further refine selfish, stagnant offense, minimal defense, and to develop more experience with an offensive playbook consisting entirely of isolation plays. “The NBADL is perfect for this team,” Brown stated.


NBL referees to appear in MasterChef “home cooking” special

December 27, 2009

MELBOURNE—Network 10 has confirmed that the MasterChef franchise will be expanded to include a one-off special featuring several NBL referees.  The working title for the special is “NBL Referees Speciality: Home Cooking”.  
“We always wanted more of a focus on home style cooking, but weren’t willing to repeat the Julie experience,” producers of the hit show revealed.

The news comes in response to a viewing of the NBL last night by Ten executive Bill Smith as the Melbourne Tigers defeated the Wollongong Hawks at The Cage despite the Hawks shooting at 62% from the field for the game. “Put simply, I was impressed by the quality of the home cooking,” Smith said. “I haven’t seen that kind of home cooking and clearly biased officiating since last year with Julie.”

The viewing was serendipitous for Ten and the NBL. “Usually I’d prefer to watch repeats of The Nanny than watch basketball, but I thought I'd give it another go after accidentally watching a few minutes of NBL action last week when Townsville played in New Zealand ,” Bill Smith told our source. 

“I hadn't watched the sport in years, but I flicked to it at the moment that the commentator said something involving a whore and a penetration and a homicide. You know what channel 10 executives are like: any sexual reference or act of violence will grab our attention as part of our desperate and cheap grab of the youth market.”  

“Turns out the commentator was referring to a player called Stephen Hoare moving closer to the basket with the ball after receiving a pass from Corey Williams.”

“'Hoare penetrates," Smith repeated with a chuckle. "That phrase alone was intriguing enough to stop me from changing the channel for the next few minutes. If there were more players with names like that, maybe we’d be interested in covering the NBL as a sport.”

In response to this news, Basketball Australia CEO Larry Sengstock urged any club to entice David Stiff, Braith Cox and Willie Simmons out of retirement.  Sengstock is believed to be in the process of drawing up his next pitch to network 10 which involves the promotional phrase "Hoare plays with Stiff, Cox. Rillie."

Last night's game lacked the same quality of sexual references, but Smith remained interested in the telecast when he noticed that "one of the commentators seemed to get aroused when the Tigers made their run." 

This attracted Smith's attention just enough to allow him to notice the standard of officiating. “It was the degree of biased officiating that really impressed me. It made me see the potential for a MasterChef spin-off involving NBL referees,” Smith noted.

“The referees dished it up and the crowd loved it.”

Smith immediately alerted the MasterChef crew to assess the coverage. Upon viewing of the replay, MasterChef judges Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris were equally impressed.

“We understand more than anyone how the pressure of being on national television under bright lights can affect your usual judgment,” Calombaris admitted. “But we also understand that the officials should rightly be the centre of attention. They understand, as do we, that pleasing the viewers is more important than a fair and even contest.” 

“They plated up the home side win beautifully,” fellow Masterchef judge Gary Mehigan added.


Kendall’s Boomers selection chances fall as low as Melbourne Tigers ladder position

December 15, 2009

MELBOURNE—Once the darling of the Australian men’s national team, Melbourne Tigers guard Luke Kendall has suffered yet another serious blow to his chances to once again represent Australia at a major international tournament. Kendall is believed to be devastated by the news that Basketball Australia has confirmed that they will not reinstate Brian Goorjian as coach of the national team.  

“My international career is officially in tatters,” Kendall admitted. “Despite reaching the age at which I should be peaking, gaining a spot on the 2010 World Championships team is looking increasingly unlikely.”

“Why am I so unlucky?" Kendall despaired. "Being a part of this insipid Tigers team is bad enough as it is."

In news that will have less of an impact on Kendall's Boomers team selection chances, Kendall will miss the rest of the 2009/10 season after suffering a knee injury during training.

Meanwhile, rumours are circulating that Kendall is feigning his injury to avoid having to be part of the most unsuccessful Melbourne Tigers team since the 1980s. "The recruitment of Hodge was the final straw and sealed his decision to fake the injury," a source within the Melbourne Tigers camp claimed. "Who'd want to train with that fool?"


Hodge demands extra pay for working overtime

Monopoly board misunderstanding?
December 8, 2009

MELBOURNE—Melbourne Tigers import Julius Hodge is involved in yet another pay dispute weeks after joining his new club. Hodge is demanding extra salary for playing the overtime period during the Melbourne Tiger’s win in Adelaide on Saturday night.

Hodge is threatening to sit out of Melbourne’s next game in Cairns on Friday night if the pay dispute is not promptly settled. He is also demanding a “publicity bonus” for his controversial actions and an “entertainment bonus” for his comedic skills in training.

Melbourne Tigers co-owner Seamus McPeake is understood to have presented Hodge with a gigantic novelty cheque to the value of “5000 mad props” as acquiescence.

Meanwhile, Hodge is preparing his defense for an impending NBL tribunal hearing after provocatively stomping on the centre-court signature of Adelaide legend Brett Maher, inciting the loyal home crowd in the process.  After showing no remorse for the incident, Hodge needs to consider options that will validate his actions.

According to leaked documents obtained by The Bball Scoop, a list of possible excuses include:
-    Hodge “mistook Brett Maher’s signature for Brad Davidson”. The documents claim that not only did Brad Davidson “defame” Julius Hodge in his personal blog, it claims that a precedent has been set by the NBL several years ago which effectively allowed the stomping on of Davidson. In this notorious incident, Paul Rees avoided any significant penalties after he stomped on the back of Brad Davidson.
-    Hodge “mistook Ray Hunt (pictured above) for the Monopoly man and was merely trying to ‘pass go’ and collect his $200”. Without any conspicuous “go” signage, Hodge targeted the nearest thing, the signature of “go-to” man Brett Maher.

In related news, former Adelaide 36er Paul Rees has contributed further to the barrage of criticism directed at Julius Hodge. Rees, an expert stomper, described Hodge's attempt at stomping as  “resembling Hodge's innate favourite food, chicken”.


Fan grudgingly joins crowd by standing and clapping at start of Wildcats game

December 7, 2009

PERTH—Self-conscious National Basketball League fan Harry McCray has succumbed to peer pressure by standing and clapping at the start of Saturday's Perth Wildcats home game.  In what has become a trademark tradition of Perth Wildcats home games, the crowd stands and rhythmically claps until the home team scores.

Usually proud of his nonconformist attitude, Arts university student McCray said he couldn’t resist the overwhelming pull of the strong herd mentality present at the venue.

“Now I know what the Germans felt like during the Nazi era,” McCray said after the emotion of the occasion had subsided.

“It felt dirty and humiliating, but everyone was doing it,” McCray said.

“It was as if my body was operating on automatic without any connection to my brain. It must be like what Julius Hodge experiences all the time.”

“But there was a part of me that enjoyed it. As Katy Perry said over the sound system during the halftime show, ‘it felt so wrong, it felt so right’.”

Having finally overcome his momentary act of ashamed conformity, McCray was able to summarise the experience using his usual undergraduate facetiousness. “Let’s all act like mindless lemmings, shall we?”

“Of course, I will wear red next time,” he added sarcastically.

The act of a crowd standing and clapping until a score at the beginning of a period of play is not unusual in sports arenas, but the Perth Wildcats peculiarly reverse the usual practice by continuing to do so until the home team scores, rather than an away team score.

“So they put extra pressure on their own team to score?” McCray offered, bewildered. “What if the away team starts with a 10-0 run? What, they’re going to continue clapping like fucking morons?”

“That is just plain retarded!”

McCray, a former Sydney native and Kings fan, has recently moved to Perth to study at the University of Western Australia after failing to secure a place in a more prestigious university.

“This kind of peculiarity would have never happened at a Kings game," McCray said. "We didn't believe in crowd participation in Sydney.”


Gaze learns to pronounce Glen Saville's surname

December 4, 2009

MELBOURNE—Following months of speech therapy, Australian basketball legend and Fox Sports commentator Andrew Gaze has successfully pronounced the surname of Wollongong Hawks veteran forward, Glen Saville.

For years viewers have been irritated by Gaze's apparent refusal to correctly pronounce 'Saville'. Despite everyone else in Australian basketball circles pronouncing it otherwise, Gaze continually opted more towards the English pronunciation of the Spanish city of the same name. To address the issue, Fox Sports subjected Gaze to a series of tests to determine the cause of the problem. Months of speech therapy soon followed.

"Sah-veel. No, wait a second, I can do it this time. Sa-vuhl. There, I did it!" Gaze proudly exclaimed to his somewhat relieved Foxsports crew, before adding "go Tigers!".


The Three Blind Mice sue NBL referees for copyright infringement

November 29, 2009

SYDNEY—The National Basketball League has suffered another setback today as they were sued by the Three Blind Mice for breach of copyright. The alleged copyright infringement involves NBL referees “replicating the likeness” of the Three Blind Mice.

The timing of this news appears to be of no coincidence as it comes swiftly after League general manager Chuck Harmison inadvertedly championed the case of the Three Blind Mice by admitting that NBL referees made glaring mistakes in Townsville's home loss to the New Zealand Breakers.

Legal counsel for the Three Blind Mice described the behaviour of NBL referees as a blatant attempt “to mimic the trademark visually-impaired unintentional foolery of the Three Blind Mice”.  

It is expected that the amount of compensation demanded by the Three Blind Mice is exacerbated by the fact that the NBL is profiting from the alleged imitation of the beloved classic cartoon characters. “The controversy created by poor refereeing generates interest in the game. The NBL clearly profits from this,” representative counsel for the Three Blind Mice stated. “You don’t need to be a law talking guy to know that this translates to bigger compensation payouts for my clients.”

"Thank you, NBL, for demanding the $1m guarantee for this season. That's another $8m for us to nab."

In previous seasons the NBL has imposed fines on clubs that attempt to highlight the similarity between NBL referees and The Three Blind Mice. NBL headquarters also demanded that the Townsville Crocs mascot cease a parody routine involving the Croc dressing up in a referee outfit and using a cane.

“I’m amazed that they didn’t sue us back then,” an anonymous source within NBL headquarters said. “This is exactly what we were trying to avoid.”

According to the lawyers of The Three Blind Mice, the NBL may be additionally sued for defamation. “The degree of buffoonery exhibited by the referees well exceeds that of my clients. These are not the kind of ridiculous unintentional hijinks that The Three Blind Mice wish to be associated with. Bringing up this case implies that the referees have a degree of likeness to my clients. Given that referees are highly despised, this equates to defamation.”

“The offensive imitation is bad enough, but to take it that far is not only an insult to my clients, it’s an insult to all visually-impaired people around the world. It’s reinforcing the false message that visually-impaired people are unsuitable for important jobs, like refereeing basketball games or piloting aircraft.”

The approach of NBL defense lawyers creates a conundrum for the NBL. “It’d be easiest to say it’s all a parody of the Three Blind Mice and rely on the fair-use defense,” lawyers for the NBL said. “But that’d imply that the referees are actively trying to look foolish. The unfortunate fact is that they just seriously suck.”

Instead, the NBL is expected to evade the litigation by undergoing drastic structural changes to exploit a legal loophole. “We are looking at folding the NBL and creating an entirely new competition,” an anonymous source within the NBL said. “We’ll unofficially label it the new-NBL, but we’ll quickly drop the ‘new’ part. It'll absolve us from all legal responsibilities."

"It’s exactly what we did last off-season to help everyone selectively terminate contracts.”


Crocs pitch TV coverage to Network 10 as another 'Law and Order'

November 24, 2009

TOWNSVILLE—In a creative attempt to appeal to free-to-air television, the Townsville Crocodiles have suggested a re-branding of the soon-to-be-revamped-again revamped league as “Law and Order: Homicide in the ‘ville”.

“The new angle is that our league can be another Law and Order spin-off. Just this time there’s a Homicide in Townville every episode,” a Crocs spokesman said.

The presentation to network 10 opened and closed with a mash-up of Law and Order’s signature introduction, “In the Australian basketball system, the clubs are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the coaching staff, who investigate the opposition, and the players, who execute the offense. These are their stories.”


Goorjian concedes 20 year semi-final streak may come to an end

Brian Goorjian
November 19, 2009

CHINA—National Basketball League coaching legend Brian Goorjian has had to admit to his loyal group of followers, nicknamed ‘Goorj fanboys’, that he is unlikely to make the final four this NBL season. ‘Goorj fanboys’ have become accustomed to nothing but success with Goorjian teams enjoying consistently remarkable on-court achievements over the last two decades. The 2009/10 season may mark the first time since 1989 that Brian Goorjian has failed to coach an NBL team to the semi-finals.
Goorjian remains winless this NBL season. With Goorjian's current unprecedented lack of success, it is uncertain how ‘Goorj fanboys’ will respond. “Most Goorjian supporters typically also suffer from a dreadful condition called 'Bandwagonism' that limits their capacity to follow a losing product,” Dr. Tobias Ornottoby of the University of Sydney told reporters. “Let me put it this way: they don’t support Goorjian for his charming courtside personality.”

“We are very concerned that Goorj fanboys could become extinct within the year given the remarkable rate at which they are vanishing from our only current measurable proxy for their existence, the online environment.”

“Goorj fanboys who followed the Sydney Kings and the South Dragons are especially difficult to find online these days. Our research suggests that this double-whammy of losing their favourite team and losing their reason for success, Goorjian, has sent them into a destructive spiral. We seriously fear for their safety given their current apparent headspace.”

Speaking in front of a large media contingent at a press conference in Shanghai, Goorjian offered no excuses for the end of one of the greatest streaks in Australian sport. “I’ve reviewed the game tapes several times. I have nobody to blame but myself,” Goorjian told reporters. With Goorjian recently appointed as an assistant coach of the Chinese national team, the Chinese media was suitably unimpressed by Goorjian’s loss of face.

“Any good coach will tell you that you first need players and a team to succeed,” Goorjian said.

“But please rest assured. That is one area that I believe I can definitely improve upon in my tenure as assistant coach of China. Surely we won’t have too much trouble assembling a team when there are 1.3 billion of you guys to choose from.

“You can’t all fold on me.”


NBL surrepticiously appoints Rillie as Head of Internet Media Operations

Rillie to step back from blogging?
November 13, 2009

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 piggyback 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 interferes 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.


Basketball Australia to re-assess 'stay or flee' policy

Also a metaphor for signing Cortez Groves
November 4, 2009

SYDNEY—Following the devastating events of 2008 and 2009, which saw the loss of the South Dragons, the Brisbane Bullets and both Sydney clubs, Basketball Australia is reassessing its ‘stay or flee’ policy with regards to clubs in the National Basketball League.

For the first time, clubs will now be urged to evacuate the competition on ''catastrophic unprofitability risk'' seasons.

From today the ''stay and defend'' message will be discarded from official NBL warnings during seasons when authorities believe club owners could lose excessive amounts of money while attempting to keep their club in the competition. NBL clubs are urged to leave early and stay only if the club is “well prepared and you can actively defend it from financial ruin”.

‘Black May’, when both Melbourne clubs withdrew from the competition, would have been deemed a "catastrophic unprofitability risk" or "code red" under the new warning policy. However, under the policy at the time, Basketball Australia gave the Victorian clubs the choice to persist losing large amounts money by staying in the competition, as the Melbourne Tigers eventually chose to do by competing in the 2009-10 season.

“Until now, club owners have always been given the choice to leave or stay and defend their club no matter how severe the threat,” a League spokesman said. “We even let Cairns and Wollongong stay in the competition as soon as they gave us the $1m guarantee, even though both franchises would need a miracle to go anywhere near making a profit.”

In the wake of the Basketball Australia Royal Commission's interim findings, the new 'stay or go' policy's focus is on saving club owners money rather than protecting the integrity of the NBL by making it a stable and truly national competition.

The previous 2008-09 season, and every season prior through to the early 1990s, would have also qualified as being a ‘code red’ season under Basketball Australia’s new criteria.

The changes are likely to impact on the future of the Wollongong Hawks, despite currently sitting proudly at the top of the ladder. 

“We suggest they flee the competition immediately,” an anonymous National Basketball League source said while reviewing North Melbourne Giants’ 1994 Grand Final win. “The community can only support spirited winning underdogs for so long before the inevitable happens as they go from winning underdogs to just plain dogs and spiral into oblivion. I hope.”


Helliwell dresses as self for Halloween

Wade Helliwell scares opponents
October 31, 2009

GREECE—Greek children coiled in horror as 7-foot giant, Wade Helliwell, wandered the streets of Thessaloniki this evening. Authorities say it was the scariest Halloween costume even seen in the northern Greek city.

"His face was grotesque," 8-year-old Spiros Papadopolous told reporters. "I thought that one of the Gods -- probably that slut Aphrodite -- must have had an affair with Frankenstein to produce a monstrous gigantic bastard-child."


McLeod secures 2009/10 Coach of the Year award

Hawks head coach Gordie McLeod
October 29, 2009

WOLLONGONG—Gordie McLeod yesterday made National Basketball League history as he was effectively awarded the 2009/10 NBL Coach of the Year only five rounds into the season. McLeod guided his Wollongong Hawks to their 5th win of the season, five more than most pundits expected when the Hawks team was first assembled.

With less talent at his disposal than the under 12s Keon Park Hornets, this astonishing overachievement guarantees McLeod the award ahead of his main rival, Brian Goorjian, who is currently on hiatus.


Tigers to consider Lampley return
McPeake pursues assembly of All-NBL Most Hated team

Sean Lampley taunts Glen Saville
October 27, 2009

MELBOURNE—With the Melbourne Tigers contemplating the re-inclusion of Sean Lampley in their lineup to cover the loss of Ben Knight, the Tigers seem prepared to recruit yet another component of the All-NBL Most Hated 1st team. With Anstey locked in at centre on the Most Hated team for the rest of his career and Worthington’s Most Hated stocks rising rapidly at power forward, the Tigers already have two of the most hated players in the league. Lampley, universally renowned as a complete tosser, would automatically take the small forward position on the All-NBL Most Hated 1st team.

Not since Chris Anstey has there been a more widely despised player than Sean Lampley. Lampley’s antics in the 2008 Grand Final series against the Sydney Kings raised the ire of Sydney fans, flaming anti-Tigers sentiment around the league. "Lampley's behaviour in the Brisbane semifinal series and his gestures to the Sydney crowd in the Grand Final series were that of an A-grade wanker," said Professor Thomas Yardly of the School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine at Monash University. "Apart from Clinton [Gardiner], he's the only person to ever score a perfect ten on my newly devised 'wanker scale'."

Lampley's choice of playing number, number 1, is no coincidence, says FIBA Board member Yalou Canfi. "Traditionally, it's not been allowed to use the number 1 in domestic leagues, but we decided to allow it to highlight to the refs who is likely to be the biggest dickhead on the court. Turns out there's an even bigger correlation than counting tattoos."

The recruit is likely to make the Tigers clear favourites to take out the most hated team in the league award. "The Sydney Kings are long gone now. We need a new universally despised team," Tigers co-owner Seamus McPeake confided to our source. "After already recruiting myself as part owner, Westover as our coach, Anstey as our centre, and Worthington as our power forward, who’d be the best recruit to make us even more hated around the league? The answer is even more obvious than our past salary cap transgressions."

With starting shooting-guard Kendall the subject of a substantial amount of online hatred, particularly during his Kings years when he managed to make every Boomers team regardless of his form, the addition of Lampley would make the Tigers just one piece away from assembling the All-NBL Most Hated 1st team as their starting five. "We only now need the most hated point guard," McPeake commented. "I wonder if I can entice Shane Heal out of retirement."


'Pacific solution' abandoned, 'Indonesia solution' proposed

October 25, 2009

BALI—Initially introduced as part of an effort to rid the National Basketball League of unwanted superfluous flab on players, Basketball Australia has now abandoned the controversial ‘Pacific solution’, which involved the trans-Pacific movement of players in order to achieve ‘Pacific shrink’.

‘Pacific shrink’ is a well-documented phenomenon whereby American imports arrive in Australia substantially smaller than their records in the United States indicate.
    Children in Indonesian detention centre eagerly await the arrival of their new NBL neighbours

The implication is that basketball players experience physical shrinking as they travel over the Pacific Ocean. In one case in 2005, American import David Bailey was listed by his American agent as a 6’4” guard, but arrived in Australia looking more like a body-double for ’80s TV star Webster.

Numerous trials have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of using Pacific shrink as a slimming technique -- mostly by Rick Burton on regular trips to visit his family in the United States -- but there has been no convincing evidence of success to date.

"We’ve sent [Pero Cameron] heaps of times over the Pacific, but we haven’t noticed any ‘Pacific shrink’ at all," a Gold Coast Blaze employee revealed on the condition of anonymity. "So as my first task for the Blaze I put my hand on my heart and said to my boss Dave Claxton, ‘I, Scotty McGregor, swear to take on this task professionally and scientifimically’. So I put on my white lab coat, went with Pero to Las Vegas and back a few times, and then compared his weight using the NBL website. But his weight has stayed at 120kg for the past four years!"

"I presume the NBL keeps these records up to date," the Blaze employee added.

If anything, the improved quality of airline meals seems to be achieving the opposite to the intended outcome. "He’s now looking forward to his trans-Pacific voyages, as do I," the source admitted. "He likes the food, I like the hookers."

The 'Indonesia solution'

To act as a substitute for the failed ‘Pacific solution’, Basketball Australia this week proposed the ‘Indonesia solution’. The ‘Indonesia solution’ again puts the onus on foreign parties to deal with a local issue by placing the overweight players in a detention facility in Indonesia.

Under the proposal, overweight NBL players will be fed a strict diet of Mi Goreng noodles, must endure physical challenges such as removing fallen objects from their shanty houses as a result of earthquakes, and will be forced into further regular rigorous exercise by physically struggling to swim through the regular tsunamis.

"I know we said this when we changed season from winter to summer, and also when we introduced the points cap, but this is one hell of a silver bullet of a solution," an NBL spokesman told Basketball Australia media manager Marc Howard at the unusually relaxed press conference held at the luxurious Balinese Four Seasons hotel. "Those boat people are always skinny and undernourished. If that kind of diet works for those pesky freeloaders, surely it has to work for NBL players."

The plan doesn't just address a political issue for the NBL who desperately need to be seen to be doing something productive. The league is also exploring the opportunity to raise an income by documenting the players' stuggles in an overcrowded detention centre. "This is like The Biggest Loser meets Survivor, but this time for real. If Fox8 can broadcaster tripe like 'The Contender', surely they'll cover this. Fox might actually pay the league a fair amount for broadcast rights this time."

"Indonesia, apart from Bali, is an unknown for Australian audiences. This represents an opportunity for Aussies to learn something about the country." When informed about the 1400 death toll from an earthquake earlier this month, the spokesman shrugged. "See? Show me just one other person who knew about that."

However, this alternative approach to deal with the issue of spiralling BMIs has not been supported by the NBL Players Association, with some within the Association describing this as yet another example of the “oppressive NBL regime”.

"The NBL has undergone many recent changes to the detriment of the players," a Players Association spokesman said. "First we needed to sacrifice our wildly excessive salaries, then we needed to endure school clinics, and now this," he added before taking another sip of his Goddess Elixir Margarita cocktail.

"This kind of oppression will surely make the fatties in the league feel like refugees.

"We aren’t refugees! It shouldn’t be okay to oppress us!

"It’s fine to discriminate on the basis of race or nationality, but not BMI."


Sengstock announces strategic plan via new poster, creates new buzz-phrase in the process

Obama campaign poster (left), new BA poster (right)
October 22, 2009

SYDNEY—Following the press conference last week to announce nothing, Basketball Australia Chief Executive Larry Sengstock has made yet another insignificant announcement: a new Basketball Australia propaganda poster.

"After conducting extensive stakeholder engagement and comprehensive commercial analysis, our review committee, thinking outside the box, has concluded that a proactive ‘change neutral’ approach is required to maximise the NBL’s exposure and potential revenue in order to achieve mission critical outcomes for the forthcoming ‘next generation’ national league," Sengstock told the press conference.

"With customer-focused vertical secured lines, enterprise-wide dynamic productivity, and our focused actuating task-force, the league is in a prime position to develop optimal mandatory bottom-line budgetary management, decentralized 4th generation inheritance, and a customer-focused didactic toolset."

The new poster bears a remarkable resemblance to a campaign poster used by US President Barack Obama. Venturing off his buzz-phrase laden script, Sengstock conceded there were similarities. "It may appear to be a rip-off, but Obama recently won yet another award for this compelling piece of propaganda," Sengstock told the reporter. "The award, of course, was the President of the United States of America."

"I'm all for change, but not if it's so difficult. That's why I take a proactively 'change neutral' approach to leadership," Sengstock added, marking the tenth time he had used his new buzz-phrase, "change neutral", during the first five minutes of the press conference.

"Doing nothing, or as I have coined it, 'change neutrality', represents a paradigm shift in modern administration: it's like change, but safer, easier and more streamlined."

"Nonetheless, we (Basketball Australia) are still achieving things. The club owners can't deny that," Sengstock said clenching his stress ball, suspiciously shaped like Seamus McPeake.

When asked if an image of Sengstock on a poster purported to promote Basketball Australia was shameless self-promotion, Sengstock appeared agitated, throwing the spherical stress ball towards the bin, only to airball it. "If Rick Burton can put his signature on the game ball, why can't I put my face on this new Basketball Australia poster?"


Clinton to launch rival league

Clinton plans the new league in his Mum's basement
October 21, 2009

NEWCASTLE—Master of ceremonies, disk jockey, basketball historian and NBL entertainment guru Clinton Canidae is in the early preparations of launching a rival national basketball league. "It's no coincidence that the dip in the league popularity is in line with the loss of a professional team in the Newcastle region. There is no true national league without us," Clinton declared. "Basketball needs Newcastle, but Newcastle needs this as well. Guys like Hurley are struggling to find work. Butch Hayes has resorted to drastic age reversing plastic surgery to get an import gig with the Hawks."

"Dr J has made it hard. It's been difficult to find work after basketball. People just don't believe that I'm a real doctor," explained Newcastle basketball legend Adrian Hurley. "Then they start asking about Darren Ng like I know the guy."

Hurley stopped short of throwing his full support behind Clinton, but indicated he'd do anything required to help basketball in Newcastle and put food on the table.

It's rumoured that Shaun Dennis has been forced to look for work in New Zealand. "New Zealand!!" Clinton exclaimed shaking his head with astonishment. "How can a national league expect to prosper without these Newcastle stalwarts?"

Clinton isn't alone, though. He's building a formidable team around his ostentatious plan. "NBL fans have lost faith in these NBL has-beens. Sengstock and Harmison have had their chance. I'll be bringing in my own people. I've worked with some great people in
the NBL, but we need fresh blood. Jay Foxx is my right hand man who I first met on the inside, of, the Criterion Hotel. I'm really throwing everything behind this bid. My music has made me millions but realistically it's just a hobby. It just puts food on the table, basketball is my passion. I'll pour every cent I have into this if need be. We're in it for the long haul, Foxx is my life long partner, in, business."

While it's clear that the NBL does need change, attention to detail is a necessity. "Look, these guys don't even know what number Grant Kruger wore. Without all the pertinent information, how are they going to make the really important decisions?"


Obama awards keep coming

Obama against evergreen DP, Kieran Woods
October 14, 2009

GOLD COAST--The leader of the free world woke up to some more surprising news this morning after being named as the week 4 NBL Player of the Week. In his address to a largely AFL knowledgeable media contingent Obama said, "I am both surprised and deeply humbled by this award. I will accept this award as a call to action. A call for all fans to get behind the league in it's challenges to become a legitimate sporting league in this country". Averaging a near triple double in his first three games as the Blaze new import, he led his team to a 0-2 record this week. The former California Bear Guard has added some scoring swagger to the Blaze backcourt since his arrival.

"Many basketball supporters still haven't picked up on the start of the season, let alone the signing of the first NBL import with presidential credentials," explained NBL reporter Matt McQuade. "Although the voting must have been close, I do favour giving this weeks award to Obama to really spark an interest in the League".

It couldn't come at a better time for the Blaze who are in negotiation with another major sponsor, this time with a major law firm specialising in liquidation law. "We don't want to disclose too much in these early stages," an anonymous club source has disclosed. "The firm seems to be a good fit for the NBL market right now. I'll steal a Sengstockism here and say that we are very hopeful. Very very hopeful."

Also in strong consideration was Nelson Mandela who played a strong role in ending his team's 27 year stay as the league cellar dwellers. His next goal is to establish a quota for black athletes in the NBL, bucking the apartheid trend set by the Melbourne Tigers. Mandela's actions may force the Tigers hand into picking up a US import, and the NBL have indicated an African American will get a concession in the NBL Player Points Cap.

Russell Hinder was also a POTW candidate with 16 blocks in his stellar defensive performance against Adelaide. In another surprise, a single POTW vote was lodged for Daniel Joyce, and officials are trying to determine who may have lodged such a vote using a form appearing to be from last season. It seems that the voting form letterhead was somehow modified to reflect the new name of the revamped league.


Davidson makes Movember statement

Larry Davidson's Mohawk
October 14, 2009

SYDNEY—With this year’s Movember season fast approaching, Wollongong Hawks forward Larry Davidson has made a bold statement to the competition during yesterday’s press conference held by Basketball Australia, which was initially arranged to announce a decision regarding a change of season.

Davidson made a spectacular appearance late in the press conference, frantically running into the room from a Wollongong Hawks minibus. Davidson’s appearance came exactly one hour and fifteen minutes after the small media contingent vocalised their disapproval of being lured to a press conference for the announcement of essentially nothing -- Basketball Australia's "no change of season" announcement.

Sitting besides a visibly relieved Sengstock, Davidson declared that he will "win Movember" by committing himself to produce the best set of mos in the league, starting with the fresh Mohawk that he recently unveiled.

Under Movember rules, the growth of the moustache must start in November. However, Davidson stated that he is able to bring out another form of Mo’, the Mohawk, before the commencement of Movember since it is not explicitly banned in the rules. "I’m merely exploiting a loophole since there are technically no such restrictions determining when a Mohawk can be grown," Davidson said.

"It’s a definite loophole," Melbourne Tigers co-owner Seamus McPeake confirmed via phone link. "I was aware of that loophole when I helped write the rules for Movember. I gave my team the heads-up about it last month so we could also exploit it."

McPeake was disappointed that his team was not the first to benefit from the loophole, as is usually the case, but added, "why create it if you aren't going to use it?"

Anticipating fierce competition among the players, Davidson made his intentions clear with an ominous warning to his competition. "This wicked Mohawk is just the beginning," Davidson told the reporter. "I’m for real about Movember this year. I’m taking this seriously. This aint Mocktober."

"I’m gonna be even more committed than during the last novelty hair-growth event that I participated in, ‘Gandalf month’," Davidson told our source.

Davidson during 'Gandalf month'
"Okay, ‘Gandalf month’ turned out to be just a practical joke created by my teammates," Davidson conceded, "but my teammates all agreed that I totally won it. I even shouted “you shall not pass!” on defense. That's how committed I can be with these things."

Davidson was, however, bewildered when asked if there should be more events to raise awareness for mens' health issues. "What’s mens' health got to do with any of this?"


Harry Connick Jnr stunned by yet another golliwog appearance on Australian TV

CJ Bruton, Golliwog doll
October 9, 2009

MELBOURNE--After the unexpected controversy surrounding his appearance on the Hey Hey Reunion Special, Harry Connick Jnr. was expecting a relaxed night in front of the television to sample some Australian-flavoured hoops action in his hotel room. But he was shocked to see yet another racially insensitive image on his TV screen.

"I can't believe it!" Connick said, exasperated. "There was some guy on the New Zealand team -- CJ somethin' -- who was apparently tryin' to mock black Americans by dressing up like a golliwog.  I heard him interviewed and he's got an Australian accent, but tryin' real hard to sound like a black American.

"He's trying to impersonate a black American -- the golliwog wig, the attempted accent, and he probably has a painted black face, too.

"After a successful 3 point basket he did this exaggerated hands-in-the-air routine, again tryin' to mock the buffoonery of black Americans.

"To top it off, he top-scored with 32 points, again reinforcing the stereotype that black people are better at basketball than everyone else. Sorry, I don't mean to bring things down, but I find that racist and offensive."

Radio talkback switchboards again lighted up with this new wave of controversy. "Mr. Bruton is obviously a racist.  He is ignorant to not know about American culture in a historical sense like that," a caller on a talkback radio show said. "You can't put your hair up in a golliwog style like that and think it's alright.   This is the 21st century, Mr. Bruton! This lack of historical knowledge of black-white America race relations clearly suggests that Australia is backwards and racist."

"Every culture in the world should be aware of the historically racist connotations that exist with blackfaces and golliwog wigs," another caller commented.  "If they don't, clearly they need to watch much more American TV to learn that these kind of things are taboo in American culture, and therefore should be taboo everywhere else."

Asked how they will know that it is taboo, the caller said, "They'll know [it's taboo] because painted face routines are conspicuously absent in the States.  Unless you watch White Chicks or Tropic Thunder -- but they were okay because they were moderately funny with more professional makeup."

"Everyone ought to be offended by this CJ's golliwog impersonation," another caller said.
"This CJ ought to know better!  Apparently he has an American father. Doesn't even his father know anything about black American history, apart from, of course, the black tradition of naming your son after yourself?"


Local pub advertises Hinder's
vacant bartending position

Hinder celebrates one more season of NBL
October 8, 2009

TOWNSVILLE--With the increasing prospect of a secure position for Russell Hinder in the National Basketball League 2009/10 season, Townsville pub owner Bill Rowes has been forced to advertise an ongoing bartending position that had been reserved for the 208cm Townsville Crocodile.

"Russ has got a young family and a mortgage," Rowes commented. "I read about it several times when the Pirates went down and then again when the Kings folded. Then again on 4 Corners when he talked about his only alternative profession: bartending." 

Without being paid to be an excessively tall freak that puts leather balls in holes, what else could an intelligent and well spoken bloke like Russ do? Without basketball as an income stream, it was basically bartending or a homeless family. I really felt for the bloke."

Soon after reading about Hinder's plight when the Sydney Kings folded, Rowes was on the phone to Hinder's agent to discuss his employment prospects in Townsville. "So when I heard about his troubles in 2008 after the collapse of the Kings, I rang his agent and told him not to worry -- there was a position waiting for him here in Townsville... as a bartender.  I even flew him up to Townsville to check out my venue. Turns out those bastard Crocs were also interested and beat my offer."

Rowes held onto the hope that the NBL would not run in 2009/10, but he has had to concede that it will go ahead with a Townsville team including Hinder on the roster. "Hinder would've been a great addition to our frontcourt staff. Plus, big blokes are really useful because it saves me employing extra security staff to help remove the riffraff," Rowes later admitted. "You got to remember this is Townsville -- most of them are riffraff."

The next best bartending prospect is understood to be Bazza McGee, an infamous local methhead.


Heal discovers "what league" he is commentating

Shane Heal
Shane Heal ponders
October 7, 2009

CAIRNS—Australian national team assistant coach Shane Heal has finally discovered the name of the league that he has been contracted to commentate.  Joining Brian Taylor in the Foxsports commentary booth, Shane Heal watched the Cairns Taipans comfortably defeat the Gold Coast Blaze tonight at the Cairns Convention Centre.

When asked to comment on the national league just a week prior to the start of the season, Shane Heal was at a loss to comment. "What league?" Heal told The West Australian newspaper.

"I thought Fox called me out to Cairns for a well deserved holiday after helping them out so many times with commentary in the past," Heal told our source. "I didn’t even know the Taipans were still around."

"Turns out the new-NBL exists and is actually still called the NBL," Heal said in a surprised tone. "Who would’ve thought the league could’ve survived the retirement of The Hammer... again?"

"The Hammer leaves Sydney. Soon after they fold. The Hammer leaves the Dragons. Soon after they fold. Even Brisbane struggled with the help of a billionaire owner to survive without me. Coincidence? I think not!"


Basketball Australia votes in favour of a "switch of season" during quarterly meeting

Larry Sengstock proud of his achievements
October 1, 2009

SYDNEY--As has become a tradition of Basketball Australia’s quarterly meetings, the issue of a switch of season has been brought up for discussion, a league spokesman stated. The last major switch of season occurred in 1998 when the league went from a winter sport to a summer sport.  This coincided with the already existent steady decline in popularity of the sport.

“Of course, we haven’t agreed on the most appropriate switch of season for the national league yet,” Basketball Australia Chief Executive Larry Sengstock said following the meeting. “However, to demonstrate that our discussions regarding this issue are not completely futile and do produce definite decisions leading to tangible outcomes, we have unanimously voted to approve the switch from spring to summer for the 1st of December. This additionally keeps us in line with FIBA standards which state that ‘FIBA competitions must adhere to the same seasonal nomenclature as is standard in each respective country’. This puts us even more in line with FIBA standards.”

“This marks yet another productive outcome for Basketball Australia, as we also voted a few weeks ago in favour of a switch from winter to spring on September 1,” Sengstock added.


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