Philadelphia 76ers’ coach Brett Brown believes NBL Executive Director Larry Kestelman’s plan for the Australian league’s teams to play preseason games against NBA sides would be welcomed ‘with open arms’ Down Under. “I think it makes complete sense,” Brown said in Brooklyn on Sunday. “The Australian basketball fraternity deserves it. I think they’re committed people; excellent coaches, a country that’s extremely passionate about basketball. They would certainly welcome them [NBA teams] with open arms, and treat them and manage the situation where Australia would be proud.”
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Kestelman confirmed his ambitious proposal for the NBL to take on the NBA’s best was well advanced. His goal is for teams like Sydney and Melbourne to play pre-season matches against some of the NBA’s biggest franchises. “We are having dialogue with the NBA and I won’t rest until we see the Sydney Kings playing the Warriors or the Chicago Bulls,” Kestelman said.
Melbourne United has signed former New Jersey Nets big-man, Josh Boone, sources told foxsports.com.au. Boone will join United as a temporary injury replacement, but is expected to be with the team for the remainder of the 2016-17 season, sources said. After David Andersen and Devin Williams both suffered long-term injuries, United immediately began searching for a player to bolster its frontcourt, with the team choosing to go with the 32-year-old Boone.
Andrew Gaze has all but ruled out star import Steve Blake returning to the NBL this season. The Kings granted the American indefinite leave on compassionate grounds this week to return to home to be with sick family member. Gaze said he had no confidence the 36-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers guard would return. “The high probability is he won’t be back,” Gaze told EON Sports Radio. “We’re hopeful that he may be, but I think it’s going to be a difficult one.”