An Australian basketball star makes a heroic comeback, a player banned for betting on matches and some bold season picks.
The new season of the NBL starts this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know before Round 1.
Adelaide 36er policemen disqualified for betting
Basketball Australia disqualified Deng Acuoth for 10 games and a $ 2300 fine for committing a prohibited conduct by placing bets on NBL games.
Nine games of the ban will not be the subject of further rumors.
The Adelaide 36ers center was found guilty of betting on NBL matches while playing in the NBL1 competition and before signing with the 36ers.
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He will miss the opening of Adelaide’s NBL season against Tasmania JackJumpers on 13 October.
But he will be free to play in Adelaide’s NBL x NBA games against the Phoenix Suns Monday from 1pm (CEST) and the Oklahoma City Thunder from 11am (CEST).
Elsewhere, Melbourne United’s Isaac Humphries was fined $ 1500 ($ 500 suspended) for calling NBL referees “not exceptional” in a radio interview.
Humphries has fouled three times in his five starting games and the Phoenixes have asked for clarity on the expectations on refereeing this season.
Aron Baynes makes a heroic comeback
Veteran Australian basketball player Aron Baynes will play his first season in the NBL for the Brisbane Bullets this season after making a remarkable comeback from injury.
Baynes suffered a spinal cord injury at the Tokyo Olympics last year and lost participation in the Boomers’ bronze medal-winning match.
At one point the 35-year-old thought he would never play professional basketball again, but he recovered, showing excellent form in the pre-season NBL Blitz as he hopes to eventually return to the NBA.
“It’s huge,” Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze of Baynes’ inclusion in the NBL told news.com.au.
“When a quality player like that returns to the competition, someone we have come to love primarily through his exploits in playing for the Boomers, it is a great thrill to have an NBA quality player enter the league.
“And it makes him even more special when he’s a guy who has worn the Aussie shirt a lot over the past decade or so.
“It creates a real buzz and when you hear some of the stories about the challenges he has faced recently with injuries, it’s great that he can use it as a vehicle to get back.
“Having seen a little bit of him in preseason, he has a smile on his face, he looks really happy to be out there. Having a boy of his size and abilities in our league further improves our competition. “
Gaze makes season predictions
Baynes’ inclusion in a Brisbane squad with Nathan Sobey means there will be high expectations for the Bullets, who missed the finals last season.
The Sydney Kings dominated the second half of last season by winning the NBL title, but the loss of MVP Jaylen Adams, Jarell Martin and Ian Clark will be tough.
But the new imports of Kings Derrick Walton, Justin Simon and Tim Soare are solid and should contend again.
“Sydney have lost a couple of really important players, but they seem to have done a good job of replacing them,” said Gaze.
“Whenever you lose the MVP or the competition from your team, it’s really hard to place, but they will be right there. I still like what they’ve done with their recruiting. “
Gaze believes the Perth Wildcats will be serious title contenders again this season after missing the finals for the first time in 35 years.
With three-time NBL MVP Bryce Cotton, potential NBA client Luke Travers and US college importer Brady Manek, Perth could be one of the teams to beat.
“I think the Perth Wildcats have done a great job too, they’ve made their roster,” said Gaze.
“When you have the bona fide star of the competition in Bryce Cotton to build, you’re getting a really good starting point.
“The guy they have (Manek), the 6’10” guy can shoot, he’s an athlete, he’s played for North Carolina, he’s been part of a big program – he’s going to be a big part of what they do and I like. what he brings to the table. I think they will do really well. “
Melbourne United youth Ariel Hukporti suffered an Achilles tendon injury on the eve of the season and could throw United’s campaign into chaos.
“They’re the ones we’ve seen in the playoffs in recent years and there’s a real question mark about them,” Gaze said.
But Gaze rates the South East Melbourne Phoenix team very well, especially after recruiting seven-footed Chinese Zhou Qi for another season.
“I think their city rivals, the Phoenix, have put together a really nice line-up,” he said.
“Bringing Zhou Qi back, having a player with his skills in our league is another good thing. With that signature, Phoenix could be up there too.
Australian NBA stars honored in ‘beautiful‘ artwork
Baynes is on his way back to the NBA and the ever-growing group of Australians playing in the world Premier League have been honored in a mural at Melbourne’s RMIT A’Beckett Urban Square.
Artist Kris Andrew Small has designed a huge mural with the names of Australians currently plying their trade in the NBA.
“They are the heroes of a lot of players who will use that court,” Gaze said.
“It is a visual example of the paths and success our Australian players are having. “It is a beautiful piece of art. They did a really good job of presenting him in that environment. “
Originally released as a preview of the NBL season: Adelaide 36er cops disqualified for betting, Aron Baynes returns injured