New Zealand Breaker Barry Brown called a referee a cheat but NBL legends believe the league’s decision not to sanction the import could set a dangerous precedent.
NBL greats believe the league has set a dangerous precedent after New Zealand import guard Barry Brown only received a technical foul for calling a referee a ‘cheat’.
That’s the view of legends Shane Heal and Derek Rucker, who both insist Brown deserved a bigger penalty for questioning a referee’s integrity.
The incident occurred in the third quarter of Thursday’s New Zealand versus Sydney Kings clash in Auckland.
Referee Vaughan Mayberry approached the Breakers bench during a time-out with four minutes left in the third, saying: “Just so you know, he (Brown) said that is cheating. He said I was cheating. Stop that.”
Brown received a technical foul for his outburst that was sparked when he didn’t get a call when he drove to the basket while he apologised to Mayberry after the time-out.
However, Heal insists the New Zealand import should’ve received a heavier sanction.
“It’s more than a tech foul, but the NBL has set a precedent now that is what you get if you call someone a cheat,” Heal said on this week’s episode of The Basketball Show.
“He isn’t getting charged for it. He only got a tech foul for calling a referee a cheat.
“You can’t do that.
“That is a real personal thing for somebody’s integrity as a referee to insinuate or say that he is cheating.”
Rucker, who won the league’s MVP in 1990, was also shocked to see Brown accuse Mayberry of ‘cheating’.
The former point guard turned commentator says the league needed to come down harder on the Breakers import.
“It’s a huge no-no,” Rucker said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’ve been around the NBL for 32 years.
“The way he (Mayberry) reacted, I knew it was not only a basketball infraction, but he took it as a personal front to his integrity as a referee.
“I’ve never seen him react like that. We know he can be distant as a referee at times, but he is a quality person and a quality person.
“Barry Brown was quite apologetic when they came out of the time-out. He was trying to backtrack on what he said without admitting that he was entirely wrong with his stance.”
Could an NBL All-Star team excel — or even win — the pre-season NBA Summer League tournament?
NBL boss Larry Kestelman certainly thinks so.
Kestelman confirmed an NBL team playing in the pre-season NBA Summer League remains a possibility, but he isn’t sure if officials and teams in the world’s best league would welcome the move.
“Quite frankly, if we took a serious team over to the Summer League, we would probably do very well and I’m not sure how that would sit with them,” Kestelman said.
“Because they (the NBA) are worried about their image as well, so how will our teams fare?
“We are already doing the pre-season games at the moment, so I think it will be a question of whether the NBA is not a little too wary.
“But I think it (an NBL team in the NBA Summer League) can absolutely happen.
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“We used to take teams to China, like an NBL All-Star-type set up.
“We’ve discussed this with the NBA before and they were open to it, so we will continue those discussions.”
So what would an NBL team in the Summer League look like?
Crosscourt has picked a team — with a few stipulations — that we think would go pretty well in the big league’s pre-season comp.
***Minimum one player from each team
***One Special Restricted Player
***Three young prospects
***Luke Travers would play for the Cavs
***Xavier Cooks isn’t a big fan of Summer League
LARRY’S BIG CONCERN: HAWKS’ WOE CATCHES NBL BOSS’S ATTENTION
NBL boss Larry Kestelman has labelled the Illawarra Hawks’ current situation “concerning,” as pressure mounts on the club’s fans to turn up and support the last-placed foundation franchise.
Just a season after a Brian Goorjian-coached side made the semi-finals, the Hawks have slumped to last on the back of a 2-12 record.
Illawarra’s disappointing campaign reached a low on Thursday night in a forgettable 39-point loss to the South East Melbourne Phoenix.
The Hawks responded on Saturday night against the Taipans, but still left Cairns empty-handed thanks to a double-overtime loss.
Illawarra displayed impressive resilience led by star guard Tyler Harvey and Boomers forward Sam Froling, who combined for 43 points.
However, the Hawks are still anchored to the bottom of the ladder, and need their fans to attend games to secure the struggling club’s future.
Friday’s home clash against local arch rivals the Sydney Kings looms as the perfect chance for the Illawarra faithful to turn up.
Crowds of around 2000 have attended five of the club’s seven home games to date, with 4008 in round one against the Kings the highest attendance.
Kestelman wants the Hawks to succeed, and has faith the club can turn around its fortunes, but stressed the need for all teams to be viable to ensure future success.
“The Hawks are a concern,” Kestelman told Crosscourt.
“I think the crowds are down, that is factual, and they are not performing as well on the court.
“We do have concerns, but we also know it comes around. They were in the finals last year and doing well, just like Melbourne who isn’t doing as well on the court this year.
“Hopefully, they (Hawks) can find their model, but sustainability of clubs is really important to me.
“And finding the right model, for not just the big cites, but for the smaller regions is important.
“Because as the league grows, the budget grows, so we need to keep evolving as a model.”
SIXERS’ MILESTONE FLOP
Just when you thought the Sixers had started to turn the corner, they come up with that against Perth — in stalwart Daniel Johnson’s 400th game, no less.
The Sixers looked up and about for most of the game, but went to sleep defensively in the last quarter, allowing a 17-6 run that closed it out for the Wildcats, 98-90.
“The talk was about getting it done for DJ and we didn’t get that done, so that’s disappointing,” captain Mitch McCarron said.
“It was all about coming to play for DJ.”
The loss pushed the Sixers back out of the top six, after they had won two of three and looked on the up.
While it initially appeared the Sixers had enough talent to take their time with their import search, there will be a little more urgency after back-to-back losses and the season fast approaching its stretch run.
VALE GOORJ SENIOR
Crosscourt sends its best wishes to NBL and Boomers coaching great Brian Goorjian, whose father Ed died over the weekend.
The LMU Basketball family is saddened to learn about the passing of Ed Goorjian. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
Once a Lion, always a Lion. pic.twitter.com/XqECBWzX5t
Goorjian senior served as an assistant for coaching legend Jerry Tarkanian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, during the 1990s. He started his coaching career at California’s Crescenta Valley High School in 1960 as the school’s inaugural head coach. His three sons – Brian, Kevin and Greg – played for him on the school team.
Goorjian senior won seven league championships in his 18 seasons at Crescenta. His 1970-71 side had an impressive 29-1 record and is regarded the greatest basketball team in the school’s history and was inducted into the Crescenta Valley Hall of Fame in 2013.
NOT CP3, BUT SHEA IS A-OK
A comment was made to Crosscourt last week that Shea Ili was “not Chris Paul” so why was Melbourne making such a big deal about his absence?
You need only have watched Saturday night’s game against the Brisbane Bullets to understand why United had missed the Kiwi maestro so much.
The United coaching stuff clearly mulled on it, because the starting line-up didn’t come through until about 10 minutes before tip-off. When it landed, Ili was inserted straight into the starting five for Xavier Rathan-Mayes after missing 12 of the first 15 games with concussion and inner-ear issues.
How Melbourne United’s 35-second meltdown against Perth played out
The 30-year-old didn’t miss a beat with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block — including a trey on three-quarter-time buzzer that almost lifted the roof off John Cain Arena. He pressed the pace from the word go, moved the ball and was a constant thorn on the defensive end for the Bullets as United snapped a five-game losing streak, 104-88.
He might not be Chris Paul, but Ili is a damn fine baller in his own right and United has missed him dearly.
COACHES HIT UP WNBL THRILLER
There was a distinct NBL feel in the crowd at Wednesday night’s WNBL blockbuster between Melbourne Boomers and Townsville Fire at the State Basketball Centre. Illawarra coach Jacob Jackomas and South East Melbourne mentor Simon Mitchell were in the house as the Boomers came back from 14 down to take victory — and second place — from the Fire. Jackomas, with new Hawks import Michael Frazier, was there to support girlfriend and Fire captain Lauren Nicholson, who poured in an equal-game-high 23 points.
So do they talk hoops? “Surprisingly, not as much as you’d think,” Nicholson told Crosscourt after the game.
With the Hawks in action the next night against the Phoenix, Jackomas said it was nice to be able to attend Nicholson’s game, given their schedules rarely matched up.
Mitchell attended with wife Kerryn, who has been a long-time mentor of Fire point guard Steph Reid, a product of the Mornington Peninsula, where Kerryn has had a long association with coaching.
Originally published as Crosscourt: Our likes and dislikes out of round 10 of NBL23
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