Trevor Gleeson Unhappy that Wildcats won't Play NBA Friendlies
Have you ever heard of the Brisbane Bullets, the Sydney Kings or even Melbourne United? Do not feel bad if none of those names strike a chord in your memory. All three are teams in the NBL, Australiaís basketball league, and they are slated to play matches in the United States, though their presence is unlikely to affect betting odds for next NBA games.
The idea of NBL teams playing against NBA teams in the pre-season should be exciting news for everyone. NBL fans obviously want to see just how effectively their local teams perform against the juggernauts of the NBA. And NBA fans will relish the opportunity to prove that the NBA is superior to all other basketball leagues.
However, questions have begun to arise with regards to the teams chosen to represent Australia in the NBA. The NBL players will be facing off against the Phoenix Suns, the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma Thunder, and announcements were initially met with a fair amount of excitement.
However, for some people, it was a little dubious that the Perth Wildcats were not on the schedule. The three teams chosen to represent Australia in the NBA are by no means terrible. But none of them made it to the latest NBL post-season. The Perth Wildcats, on the other hand, are the reigning champions.
If anyone deserves to take on the Phoenix Suns, itís the Wildcats, and it makes all the sense in the world for NBL fans looking to make a splash in the NBA to take umbrage with the selections made.
However, the Wildcats themselves donít seem too bothered by their absence in the pre-season friendlies. Larry Kestelman who operates as the NBL executive chairman explained, first and foremost, that teams were chosen based on their popularity and the level of following they commanded.
The goal was to ensure that the biggest sections of Australian NBL fans were represented. The Wildcats then came out to comment on the matter, explaining that they had definitely discussed the NBA Pre-season games earlier in the year and found that the schedules presented wouldnít be conducive to them.
There was also the issue of the financial cost involved. According to their representative, the Wildcats are firmly focused on preparing for their upcoming NBL campaign and an NBA game would disrupt them in the long run.
The decision to prioritize their home games over a fairly unimportant friendly match abroad has been largely applauded, especially by fans of the NBL. Of course, not everyone seems to agree with this line of reasoning.
Wildcats Coach Trevor Gleeson wasnít afraid to express his disappointment at the selections made. Trevor would have loved to repeat the 1995 game in London where the Wildcats played the Houston Rockets, an opportunity that was only granted them because they had won the championship.
Trevor agreed that the excitement surrounding the NBLís incursion into the NBA was more than warranted and that the Australian league only stood to benefit from such glamor matches.
There is something to be said about the fact that the Wildcats will have the freedom to prepare for the upcoming season without the disruptions that would have been caused by lengthy trips to the United States.