GB v New Zealand 25 July 2015

On Saturday 25 July Team GB took all New Zealand (the Tall Blacks) in a friendly game at London’s Copper Box Arena. I could produce a review of the game, but let’s face it the game was a few days ago now if you wanted to know you would have read one by now. The key thing is the result GB 63 – NZ 84.

It was a big night for ex-London Lions player, Drew Sullivan. He became the first player in GB history to earn 100 caps. It was also a pretty big night for Team GB who played 7 new players.  It’s definitely encouraging to see Coach Prunty bring in some new, young, players to the team. Interviews with the coach post game suggest that his focus is on seeking out young GB talent to give them a chance.

I won’t pretend that I was blown away by all of the players on Saturday but there were some promising moments. I think the team will need to play a few games to get comfortable with each other. I hope that GB Basketball are looking for opportunities to set up more friendly games. Perhaps staging a few in other parts of the UK to allow greater exposure to the game.

It was great to see the Copper Box so full for a friendly game, though based on the noise it seems that a large number of the attendees were supporting NZ. I really hope that any London based NZ fans at the game will be encouraged to come back to the Copper Box for the British Basketball season, starting in September.

Real issue? Or media causing an issue?

NBA Summer League should be a time for teams to showcase their new acquisitions and try out some potential acquisitions. This year the New York Knicks have gotten as much coverage for a player who wasn’t in attendance as they have for the ones that were. 

So the big name player didn’t make an appearance at summer league. He is not contractually required to. So he apparently hasn’t been involved in negotiations to bring new players to the team. As far as I am aware he is not contractually required to do that either. So why so much fuss that he has done neither thing? 

I have no personal involvement in this situation. Maybe Carmelo Anthony is being petulant because he does not agree with decisions being made about the team, or because the management have not involved him in the decision making process.

Maybe he just took a step back, because his job is to play basketball not to coach, or make draft picks, or arrange new contracts.  Maybe he wanted to focus on building his brand. After all of the fuss around his, alleged, opinions on this year’s draft pick maybe he felt his absence, and therefore his lack of media interviews would be the best thing. 

I can’t help feeling that he would have been damned in the media regardless of whether or not he made an appearance at summer league. Articles I have read imply that his absence from summer league, and lack of involvement in free agency discussions, will have a negative impact on the team. Of course, mutilple articles in the news suggesting that the start player is unhappy will have that affect anyway, whether it is true or not.