The recent idea being floated, that the AFL would be an ideal match for running clubs in the NBL has some sound logic behind it, but there is at least one detractor.
Dean Brogan, who probably owns the city of Adelaide through his exploits as a championship player for the Adelaide 36ers of the NBL and his premiership from his days as a ruckman for the Port Adelaide Power, told the Australian Associated Press, “I’d be worried if I was the NBL because the AFL have been known to poach a lot of basketballers and turn them into footy players.”
Brogan does not deny that some of the more established and well-funded AFL clubs have the wherewithal to run an NBL operation, as the GWS Giants and Collingwood Magpies have already demonstrated that crossovers to other leagues are quite synergistic.
The poaching issue is his main concern. “You’d be pretty nervous about have (sic) 12 six-foot-10 athletes running around with the AFL coaches watching pretty closely.The big kids who don’t get games, I know what they’ll be doing. They’d be training them up to be ruckmen, I can guarantee you that.It’s good from a commercial point of view, but I don’t want all their big six- foot-10 players playing ruck for Collingwood on a Friday night.”
The Magpies is one of the clubs that has expressed interest in running a basketball club if the NBL does indeed expand, an issue that seems more a matter of when than if.
NBL chief Jeremey Loeliger is campaigning for the idea based on the natural combination afforded by having an AFL club’s non-football departments and training staffs busy when the AFL was spelling.
Fremantle is another possible expansion location, but Victoria, meaning Melbourne, is also in a prime position. According to Loeliger, Obviously, there’s a couple here in Victoria who are pretty keen because we’ve made know already about the most likely expansion, I guess in the short term, coming from Victoria.”